If ever there was a powerful message of the growing influence of social media in space news coverage then surely NASA and SpaceX’s decision to invite 50 ‘followers’ to the launch of the COTS demo flight is probably it.
The agency and SpaceX will open registration on April 5 for the selection of the fortunate 50 who will be on-hand for a two-day NASA Social April 29-30 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The highlight of the event is the planned launch of SpaceX's second Commercial Orbital Transportation Services demonstration flight. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is targeted to lift off at 12:22 p.m. EDT on April 30, in an attempt to become the first commercial company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station.
Registration will close at noon (EDT) of April 6. Registration is only open to US citizens and is for “for people who use NASA's social media accounts” on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. The lucky 50 will “view the launch, tour NASA facilities at Kennedy, speak with representatives from both organizations, view the SpaceX launch pad, meet fellow space enthusiasts who are active on social media, and meet members of SpaceX and NASA's social media teams,” says NASA. For more info and to register click here.Ready for launch: SpaceX's Dragon sits atop Falcon 9 at the Cape in readiness for COTS demo flight.