I got an email from the tweetup coordinator today with the agenda for both days. They’ve adjusted the early check in time on Saturday to allow a little later window. I was pleased since I was arriving with very little time to spare to get from Orlando to the Space Coast before the early check in closed. So it won’t be nearly as rushed to get there! I want to find the check in site and have the opportunity to look around KSC before getting totally overwhelmed with the tweetup.
The tweetup officially starts at noon on Oct 31. We will be busy with presentations by NASA team member John Yembrick, Astronaut Nicole Stott, Bill Gerstenmaier, Astronaut Ron Garan, and Stephanie Stillson; demos by/of Robonaut 2 and the Astronauts ACES -Advanced Crew Escape Suit. Then we’ll have the opportunity to tour several parts of KSC. We’ll have the chance to see the International Space Station Center, the Saturn V Center, the Shuttle Landing Facility, the Mate-Demate Device, the Orbiter Processing Facility, the Vehicle Assembly Building, and the Mobile Launcher Platforms. We’ll also have the opportunity to see Discovery on the Launch Pad and watch as the Rotating Service structure is retracted on Sunday evening. And that’s just the first day!
Then on Monday, the tweetup starts at 11:00AM. We’ll get a group picture by the countdown clock, and have several more presentations by Astronaut Janet Voss, Jason Goldman – Vice President of Product Twitter, Lt. Col. Patrick Barrett of the 45th Weather Squadron USAF, and a member of the STS-133 Closeout Crew. In the midst of this, we’ll stop and line the road that the Astronauts will travel to the shuttle on the launch pad to wave and wish them well. If all goes well, the shuttle will launch at 4:40PM Eastern Time. Remember it’ll be 3:40PM Central Time, for those here in town!
If you want to watch the launch, you can watch in online at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv. NASA will broadcast the Oct 31st 2:20PM-3:20PM part of the tweetup on ustream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nasa-television If your tv provider has the NASA Channel, you can watch the launch and possibly other parts of the tweetup there.
NASA is expecting more than 500,000 people to be in the area for the launch. They have said to expect better delays of up to 3 hours trying to get out after the launch. It makes Talladega race weekend traffic look like nothing. I expect we will all be buzzing from the rush of the launch for a very long time, and will not be willing to leave the area until traffic clears a bit.
Now for some links to follow along with the tweetup. The official Twitter account is @NASATweetup. The twitter list and twitter stream of all the participants is http://twitter.com/nasatweetup/sts-133-launch. The hashtag for the tweetup is #NASATweetup. The link to all of NASA’s social media sites is http://buzzroom.nasa.gov/. The page for Shuttle Mission STS-133 is http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts133/index.html.
This is SO Exciting! Its like waiting for Christmas morning when you are 6 years old! Only 2 more days, then I’ll be flying out for the tweetup. Its for real!
If you would like to put your name in the hat for the next launch at the end of February, get a Twitter account, follow @NASATweetup, and keep watch out for when they open up the website http://www.nasa.gov/connect/tweetup/index.html for entries to the tweetup for STS-134. Keep an eye out from mid November on. With luck, you’ll be in this same place come February!