Since I’ve had this blog, I’ve covered a few subjects – media, primarily, and few recent posts on youth baseball. (A blog should focus on one subject, I know. )
I’ve been picked as one of 150 Twitter users worldwide to attend what’s known as a Tweetup; an event where Twitter users actually congregate in one place and presumably Tweet about it. This NASA Tweetup revolves around a science mission called GRAIL, set to launch from the Kennedy Space Center Sept. 8, sending twin satellites to orbit the moon for six months. From NASA:
“The Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission will create the most accurate gravitational map of the moon to date, improving our knowledge of near-side gravity by 100 times and of far-side gravity by 1000 times. The high-resolution gravitational field, especially when combined with a comparable-resolution topographical field, will enable scientists to deduce the moon’s interior structure and composition, and to gain insights into its thermal evolution — that is, the history of the moon’s heating and cooling, which opens the door to understanding its origin and development.”
NASA started doing Tweetups a couple of years ago to increase its presence in social media. The Twitterazzi get a two-day pass. The day before the launch they get a special tour of the space center, talk to scientists involved in the mission and see the launch up close the next day. It’s not media credentials but probably the next best thing.
Highlight: Former astronaut Sally Ride will reportedly be at the Tweetup. She’ll be promoting her project, Sally Ride Science, geared toward middle school students. There will be cameras aboard the GRAIL satellites that kids will be able to direct to take photos of specific areas of the lunar surface.
I covered Ride’s first shuttle flight, STS-7 in June 1983, and her second and last flight in 1984. Ride was the third woman to go into space;
Valentina Tereshkova was the first, in June 1963, and Svetlana Savitskaya in 1982. Savitskaya flew again in 1984 and became the first woman to walk in space. Both Russian women went into politics after their space careers.
I’ll be blogging (and Tweeting, or course) leading up to the Sept. 7-8 Tweetup. Follow me at @Jim_DeLa.