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L-3 and Counting: We’re Off to #NASATweetup #NASAJuno Mission to Jupiter

Aug 2, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Space, Travel  //  No Comments

Juno NASA credit NASASeveral weeks ago NASA announced a new Tweetup for the launch of NASA Juno, a mission to collect data about the origins of Jupiter.  Rob and I were not selected in the first round, but waitlisted (lovingly referred to as being on the #WaitUp List).  Just a couple of weeks ago we both got news that we were moved up to the invite list. That made me happy, as Rob has not yet had the opportunity to attend a NASATweetup before.  This time we can share the experience…and I hope the blogging and picture taking duties. 

This rocket launch is scheduled to take place Friday 5 August around 11:34 AM ET.  Right now it’s looking like the weather is still at 70% go, even with Emily forming in the Atlantic.

Like the NASATweetup I attended in May, NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) will be providing briefings and demonstrations the day before the launch.  Notice that you can watch some of the NASATweetup activities on NASA TV starting at 10:30 AM ET on 4 August.  Since NASA provides this stream for free to most TV providers, you may get this channel for free.  If not, you can also live stream via the links provided.

The Juno spacecraft will take five years to reach Jupiter.  In 2016 it will spend about a year orbiting the red-eyed planet then "deorbit" into Jupiter to end its mission.  The spacecraft is solar powered.  You might notice how large those panels are in the NASA artwork.  That’s because Jupiter is 25 times further away from the sun as the Earth is, so it has less sunlight to power the craft.

Our agenda for the 2-day NASATweetup will be:

 

Thursday, Aug.4/L-1: Tweetup Day 1

(8:00 a.m. – Tower rollback)

9:00 a.m. – Welcome by Trent Perrotto (@NASA) & Veronica McGregor (@NASAJPL)

10:30 a.m. – Waleed Abdalati, Chief Scientist, NASA Headquarters (NASA TV starts http://www.ustream.tv/nasatelevision)

10:45 a.m. – Jim Adams (@NASAJim), deputy director, Planetary Science, NASA Headquarters

11:00 a.m. – Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator

11:10 a.m. – Steve Levin, Juno project scientist

11:30 a.m. – Juno Science Team members Toby Owen, Fran Bagenal, Dave Stevenson discuss Why Jupiter? Why Juno?

11:55 a.m. – Steve Matousek (@SteveMatousek), Juno proposal manager, and Jan Chodas, Juno project manager

12:15 p.m. – Chris Brosious, chief systems engineer for Juno, Lockheed Martin

2:00 p.m. – Tour of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, including stops at Launch Complex 17 (GRAIL), the Atlas V Spaceflight Operations Center (Juno/Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity), Launch Complex 41 (Juno), and the Vehicle Assembly Building

Friday, Aug. 5/ Launch: Tweetup Day 2

8:30 a.m. – Group picture beside the countdown clock

8:35 a.m. – Mike Ravine, JunoCam instrument manager, and Mike Caplinger, JunoCam Systems Engineer, Malin Space Science Systems

9:00 a.m. –     Group 1: "Eyes on the Solar System" demo with Doug Ellison, JPL Visualization Producer (@NASA_Eyes) in press briefing room

Group 2: Gravity table demo with Dan Goods, JPL Visual Strategist, and What’s Up? astronomy demo with Jane Houston Jones, JPL Outreach Specialist, Cassini mission (@CassiniSaturn) in the tent

9:30 a.m. –     Group 1: Gravity table and What’s Up?

                        Group 2: Eyes on the Solar System

10:00 a.m. – Rex Engelhardt, (@NASA_LSP), mission manager, Launch Services Program

10:30 a.m. – Bill Nye the Science Guy, (@thescienceguy)

11:34 a.m.Launch window opens for Juno spacecraft to Jupiter

(window closes at 12:43 p.m.)

~1 p.m. – Post-launch news conference on NASA TV

What an agenda.  Bill Nye the Science guy.  Investigators, Scientists, Project managers, Mission managers.  What I found so great about the previous Tweetup I attended was having the opportunity to chat with people who are making a difference in the lives of millions of people, even for generations to come.

The tour is one of the most amazing parts of being a NASATweetup attendee.  Special access to launch pads, the Vehicle Assembly Building, operations centers: these are really once in a lifetime experiences.  We’ll be tweeting most of the event and posting pictures using the #NASATweetup and #NASAJuno hashtags, along with 150 other lucky space geeks.

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