NASA Launches Tweetup for Liftoff

Reaching out to the younger space geeks

By Jessica Greene
|  Wednesday, Oct 14, 2009  |  Updated 1:15 PM PDT
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Hubble's Newest Pictures

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Space Shuttle Endeavour launches from launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center July 15, 2009 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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No matter how big your TV set is or how real-time the video is that can stream into your handheld device, nothing beats watching a space shuttle launch live and in person.

NASA knows how cool it is to stand a few hundred feet from the launch pad, feel the heat from the rocket blast and watch as the "3, 2, 1, liftoff" call is made. So, they're using a high-tech approach to invite a younger set of space geeks to Orlando for the next liftoff.

They're launching a Tweetup to invite people to watch the Nov. 12 launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis. The first 100 followers who sign up for the trip will get two days at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Orlando.

The lucky twits will also be able to spend some quality time with shuttle technicians, engineers, astronauts and managers. There's also a  "meet and greet" session planned where participants can "mingle with fellow Tweeps and the staff behind the tweets on @NASA."

It's the fifth Tweetup for NASA but the first time they are reaching out to a new audience for a launch via the 140-character sensation.

They've been livestreaming the launches online and on TV for years now. The team also uses Twitter to share news about their programs, contests and shuttle launches and in May, Astronaut Mike Massimino sent the first tweet from space, but this marks the first time they are using the service for this type of offer.

Registration opens Friday at noon.The first 100 who score invitations will have to pay for travel and other expenses.

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