Category Archives: Moon

#GRAIL #NASATweetup Part I

I’m back, and it hardly seems fair that over a week has transpired since I left Florida and Kennedy Space Center. This is the first of several posts that will be a photo travelogue of my adventures during the #GRAIL #NASATweetup (for some background info about the NASATweetup and my participation, go here). My traveling companion is Gnoome, the stuffed (or plush, if you prefer) Moon. He is a traveling gnome wanna-be, hence, his name (which, pronounced in reverse is the object of the GRAIL mission).

If you want details of the science and rocketry (which are really pretty amazing), you should check out the references page on the wiki that I helped to administrate for our tweetup group. NASA does a wonderful job explaining the mission and, frankly, I couldn’t do it better.

The #GRAIL #NASATweetup was scheduled to begin on the morning of September 7, 2011. In order to arrive in time (and pick up my credentials early), I left at 2:30 AM on Tuesday, September 6th.

Gnoome and I headed out in the dark of night, armed with snack food, map, and plenty of coffee for the 10+ hour drive.

Our trip progressed quite well. No other travelers in the car, so we could just keep moving along (read: no extra long rest stops, food stops, etc). Before we knew it, we were in Florida. It's hard to tell from this photo, but it was actually raining. An ironic greeting to the Sunshine State!

Continue reading

GRAIL NASATweetup schedule

We finally received the itinerary for the #GRAIL #NASATweetup and it was worth the wait! The lineup for the day before the launch is amazing. Here are the details for September 7. Everyone in the afternoon session is a superstar. Be sure to tune in to NASATV to follow the Ustream video of the sessions! And of course, follow the #NASATweetup and #GRAIL hashtags on Twitter to follow our live reports that day! And then, of course, the launch on the following day (we hope!), September 8th.

GRAIL NASATweetup // September 7, 2011 // Kennedy Space Center, FL

7 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. – Registration at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (@ExploreSpaceKSC )

9 a.m. – Welcome by Trent Perrotto (@NASA ) & Veronica McGregor (@NASAJPL ) in the Debus Center (entry at 8:30 a.m.)

9:05 a.m. – Meet the tweeps

9:50 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Tour of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (@NASAKennedy ) and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, including stops at the Vehicle Assembly Building and Press Site launch countdown clock, Launch Complex 17 and #GRAIL, and Launch Complex 41 from which Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity (@MarsCuriosity ) will launch

1 to 3 p.m. – Break/Lunch on your own at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

3 p.m. – Jim Adams (@NASAJim ), deputy director, Planetary Division, Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, introduces Administrator Charles Bolden

(NASA Television begins

3:20 p.m. –MoonKAM (@GRAIL_MoonKAM ) presentation from the Sally Ride Science (@SallyRideSci ) team

3:40 p.m. – Sami Asmar, GRAIL deputy project scientist, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

4 p.m. – Maria Zuber, GRAIL principal investigator, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

4:20 p.m. – Break

4:30 p.m. – Eyes on the Solar System (@NASA_Eyes) demo with Doug Ellison (@Doug_Ellison ), JPL Visualization Producer

5 p.m. – Vern Thorp, manager, NASA Programs, ULA (@ULAlaunch )

5:15 p.m. – Stu Spath, chief spacecraft engineer, Lockheed Martin (@LockheedMartin )

5:30 p.m. – Neil deGrasse Tyson (@NeilTyson ), Frederick P. Rose director at the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History (@AMNH )

6 p.m. – Group photo in the rocket garden