One hundred and fifty lucky NASA Twitter followers are going to get the chance of a lifetime.
The space agency is offering 150 followers the chance to witness the United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 take-off for the red planet of Mars.
The latest Mars rover — the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover — will lift off Nov. 25 on the Atlas V 541 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 10:21 a.m. ET. Once on the red planet, which Curiosity should reach around August 2012, the space laboratory will commence a two-year mission during which it studies Mars’s Gale crater to assess signs that life could have or once did exist on that part of the planet.
NASA will accept Tweetup applications starting on Oct. 5 at noon and closing on Oct. 7 at noon. The 150 participants are chosen at random. If selected, you get to spend two days visiting the Kennedy Space Center, meet and talk with NASA engineers and scientists, and hang with fellow tweeters and space enthusiasts, as well as NASA’s Social Team. Tweeting from the two-day event (Nov. 23-25) is, of course, encouraged.
The prize is a front-row seat for the Curiosity launch. NASA typically places Tweetup participants a mile or so away from the actual launch and, in the case of the shuttle launches, right next to the giant countdown clock at the Kennedy Space Center. Even at that distance, the launch view is spectacular and you hear the roar as space vehicle lifts off and feel the rumble of its rocket engine. It’s a bucket list moment.
You’ll find more details about the mission, this Tweetup and other Tweetup opportunities on NASA’s website.