I’ve been selected1 by NASA to participate in a special Tweetup event this Monday, June 6, 2011, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) in Pasadena, California. Visiting and touring JPL, which oversees all of NASA’s unmanned space probes, rovers, etc., has been on my bucket list pretty much since I first learned about space travel.

NASA logo on Lobby floor at Kennedy Space CenterAnd the good news is that you can follow along and be part of the excitement on June 6!

2011 is one of NASA’s busiest years in planetary science. The JPL Tweetup participants will be briefed and talk with NASA scientists about the Dawn mission and it’s upcoming encounter with the asteroid Vesta, the GRAIL mission which is studying the moon’s gravity field, the Juno mission to Jupiter, the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity rover, and other unmanned missions.2 We’ll also have the chance to see the actual Curiosity rover before it gets shipped to Florida for its launch to Mars.3

The agenda also includes an extended tour JPL, including the Spacecraft Assembly Facility, Mission Control for NASA’s Deep Space Network and JPL’s new Earth Science Center.

Finally, since I’ll be “in the neighborhood” on this space-themed trip, I also plan to visit the famous Griffith Observatory and Tomorrowland at Disneyland!

  1. I am one of 100 people selected by NASA from applicants around the world. []
  2. Back in February, I wrote about the MESSENGER, Dawn, Juno, GRAIL and Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity rover Missions. []
  3. Curiosity took a test drive around the JPL clean room yesterday. I’m hoping we might be lucky enough to see a similar test at the Tweetup. []

By Kevin A. Barnes

I am a writer, marketing practitioner and astronomer-in-training. My interests include science, technology and the future of just about everything. You can learn more from my Bio page.

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