Unfortunately, you have go to Washington DC — on your own dime — to participate.
150 of NASA’s Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ followers will get a chance to tour the space agency’s Washington Space Operations Center, chat with astronauts on the space station 240 miles up in the sky, and spend terrestrial time with other astronauts and space scientists. Topics are expected to include scientific experiments on the ISS, research that can only be done in microgravity, the effects of weightlessness on the human body, and new technologies for reaching asteroids and Mars.
To be selected, you’ll have to be an active social media user, follow NASA on a social network, and register on February 5-7. No web address has been released for registration; NASA will reveal it via Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ tomorrow at 9AM EST. The space agency will randomly select 150 participants from those who register, and if you’re selected, you’ll be able to bring a guest.
The caveat, however, is that the actual February 20 event is in Washington, DC. And for those who don’t live nearby, you’ll need to fly or drive in at your own expense..
That seems a little odd: NASA can engineer communication between Washington and a space station orbiting the earth at 17,500 miles per hour, but can’t hook you up via a Google Hangout?
If you can’t make it never fear: NASA has a solution.
What if I cannot come to Washington, D.C.?
If you cannot come to NASA Headquarters to attend in person, you do not need to register for the NASA Social. However, you can still plan to follow along with the event on Twitter via the hashtag #NASASocial.
If you cannot make this NASA Social, don’t despair; NASA is planning others in the near future at various locations. Check back on http://www.nasa.gov/social for updates.