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PRESS RELEASE
09.28.2011
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA Announces Tweetup For Mars Rover Launch

Curiosity Launch Tweetup
Curiosity Launch Tweetup
This artist concept features NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover along with an illustrated astronaut bird.

PASADENA, Calif. – NASA will host a two-day launch Tweetup for 150 of its Twitter followers on Nov. 23 and 25 at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Tweetup is expected to culminate in the launch of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The launch window is scheduled to open at 7:21 a.m. PST (10:21 a.m. EST) on Nov. 25.

The Tweetup will provide NASA's social media followers with the opportunity to tour Kennedy Space Center; speak with scientists and engineers; and, if all goes as scheduled, view the spacecraft launch. The event also will provide participants the opportunity to meet fellow tweeps and members of NASA's social media team.

Curiosity's arrival at the Red Planet is anticipated in August 2012 at Gale crater. During the two-year prime mission, the rover will investigate whether a selected area of Mars offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life and for preserving evidence about life if it existed.

Mars Science Laboratory is the fourth space mission launching this year managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The first three are Aquarius, launched June 10 to study ocean salinity; Juno, launched Aug. 5 to study the origins and interior of Jupiter; and the twin GRAIL orbiters, which departed for the moon on Sept. 10.

Launch management for the mission is the responsibility of NASA's Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Tweetup registration opens at 9 a.m. PDT (noon EDT) on Wed, Oct. 5, and closes at 9 a.m. PDT (noon EST) on Fri., Oct. 7. NASA will randomly select 150 participants from online registrations.

For more information and rules about the Tweetup and registration, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/tweetup

For information about connecting and collaborating with NASA, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/connect

For information about the mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/

You can follow the Mars Curiosity mission on social media via Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/MarsCuriosity and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MarsCuriosity .

2011-302

Veronica McGregor 818-354-9452
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
veronica.c.mcgregor@jpl.nasa.gov

Stephanie L. Schierholz 202-358-4997
Headquarters, Washington
stephanie.schierholz@nasa.gov


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