NASA offers Twitter followers prime view of space shuttle Endeavour launch
When the space shuttle Endeavour blasts off for the final time, there will be 150 lucky space geeks in attendance who obtained a free behind-the-scenes pass thanks to Twitter.
On March 15, NASA gave its Twitter followers a chance to have a rare vantage point for the historic launch slated for April 29 at 6:47 p.m. from Cape Canaveral, Fla. through its account @NASA.
“You could see a space shuttle launch in person at a #NASATweetup,” the tweet read, linking to a registration site that closed 24 hours later.
In that time, more than 4,100 people registered from around the globe. NASA said it selected 150 attendees at random. The participants come from 43 U.S. states and far-flung locales such as Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Venezuela.
The Tweetup participants get a tour of Kennedy Space Center as well as a spacesuit demonstration. To follow their pre-launch adventures, follow the #NASATweetup hashtag and the list of attendees here.
Endeavour was the final shuttle built. It joined the NASA fleet in 1991 to replace the ill-fated Challenger, which was destroyed shortly after launch in 1986.
Endeavour has flown 24 missions. After its last flight next week it will return to Los Angeles for permanent display at the California Science Center in Exposition Park.
Endeavour's launch will mark the fourth time NASA has invited Twitter followers to experience a space shuttle blast-off. The agency also hosts Tweetup events at other NASA centers. For example, there’s an upcoming event taking place June 6 at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.
If you’re interested, registration will open April 26 at noon for 24 hours at: http://www.nasa.gov/tweetup
-- W.J. Hennigan
Photo: Endeavour is scheduled to launch Friday for its 25th and final mission. Credit: Roberto Gonzalez / Getty Images