The event will offer people who connect with NASA through Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social networks the opportunity to interact with scientists and engineers working on upcoming missions and participate in hands-on demonstrations. Participants will also interact with fellow tweeps, space enthusiasts and members of NASA's social media team. They will get a behind-the-scenes tour of JPL, including:
-- The Spacecraft Assembly Facility, where hardware for two upcoming Earth missions is currently under construction. This clean room is also where NASA's Voyager and Cassini spacecraft and the Curiosity, Opportunity and Spirit Mars rovers were built and tested.
-- The JPL Earth Science Center, where data from many of the agency's Earth-observing missions are showcased in interactive displays.
-- The Mission Control Center of NASA's Deep Space Network, where engineers "talk to" spacecraft across the solar system and in interstellar space.
-- The JPL Mars Yard, where engineers and scientists test engineering models of NASA's Curiosity rover in a sandy, Mars-like environment.
Registration for the NASA Social is open until noon PDT (3 p.m. EDT) on Wednesday, Sept. 18. NASA will randomly select at least 100 participants from online registrations. More information on NASA Socials and the application for the Nov. 4/5 event are online at: http://www.nasa.gov/social .
The two NASA/JPL Earth-observing missions being assembled at JPL are the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) spacecraft and ISS-RapidScat. SMAP will produce global maps of soil moisture for tracking water availability around our planet. ISS-RapidScat is a scatterometer instrument that will be mounted outside the International Space Station to measure ocean surface wind speeds and directions. ISS-RapidScat is scheduled to launch first, in April 2014, with SMAP scheduled to launch in October 2014.
A third NASA/JPL Earth mission, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2), scheduled to launch in July 2014, is in final assembly and testing at an Orbital Sciences Corp. facility in Gilbert, Ariz. The mission will be NASA's first dedicated Earth remote-sensing satellite to study atmospheric carbon dioxide from space.
To join and track the conversation online during the NASA Socials, follow the hashtag #NASASocial.
More information about connecting and collaborating with NASA is at: http://www.nasa.gov/connect .
For more on SMAP, visit: http://smap.jpl.nasa.gov/ .
For more on ISS-RapidScat, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/ISSRapidScat.html and http://winds.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/RapidScat/ .
For more on OCO-2, visit: http://oco.jpl.nasa.gov/ .
The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena manages JPL for NASA.