NASA Selects Lucky Few For Tweetup Event For GRAIL’s Thursday Launch

Twitter’s little birdie just got a lift on a NASA rocket bound for the moon. NASA has invited 150 of its Twitter followers to a two-day Tweetup program on the day of the launch and the day before that.

We had told you about the launch here.

The Program

The program will give NASA’s Twitter followers a chance to be the part of the historic launch of the GRAIL spacecrafts on the 8th of September, i.e. upcoming Thursday. The lucky selected few will be expected to do the thing that got them selected in the first place tweet about the program on Twitter.

The Twitter Logo on the Moon. (Courtesy: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The participants will be meeting important members of the GRAIL mission like NASA administrator Charles Bolden, Maria Zuber, the principal investigator at MIT, Cambridge and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. A part of the Tweetup program will be broadcast. The group will also be given a tour of the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral, which are near the launch site. This part of the Tweetup will begin on Wednesday, 7th September, at 3 PM.

You can watch the broadcast of the tweetup here:

There will also be a mouth-watering visit of the launch-pad from up close.

The 150 participants have been chosen from among 800 participants who registered for the program online. Apart from the U.S., participants hail from India, Brazil, Spain, United Kingdom, Canada, Indonesia and Australia.

For those who were unfortunate enough to miss out, you can still watch the liftoff at NASA’s HDTV initiative program website. For tweets from the Tweetup participants about the program and launch, watch out for the #NASATweetup hashtag on Twitter.

The official site for the GRAIL launch is here:  and

We promise to track any major development and report it here.

NASA Releases a Full-fledged Android Application for Free

NASA had released two Android apps, Spinoff and NASA 360 few months back which were just peripheral things unlike the iPhone and iPad apps which saw a huge success with over five million downloads. But now, NASA has finally released a full-fledged Android application which is packed with loads of features including, images from NASA IOTD and APOD, Mission Information and Countdowns, live steaming and many more.

The application also allows you to watch NASA TV and enjoy videos from the Space Agency on the go.

NASA Android App Videos NASA Android App Missions NASA Android App Images

The new Android app is available for free which can be downloaded on smartphones running Android 2.1 or higher versions. The current version of the Android app is 1.0.1, as it had minor fixes recently.

Here’s the complete list of features the app includes:

  • Thousands of images from NASA IOTD, APOD and
  • On demand NASA Videos from around the agency
  • Current NASA Mission Information
  • Launch Information & Countdown clocks
  • Current Visible Passes for the International Space Station (ISS)
  • ISS and Earth Orbiting Satellite Tracker
  • NASA Twitter Feeds from around the agency
  • News and Features from the NASA topic areas
  • Facebook Connect and Integrated Twitter client for easy sharing
  • Live Streaming of NASA TV
  • NASA TV and What’s On Your TV schedules
  • Map and links to all of the NASA centers
  • Featured content section

Here’s the official announcement made by NASA

NASA has launched the free NASA App for Android (TM), a new application designed for mobile devices that run the open source Android platform.

The NASA App for Android showcases a huge collection of NASA content, including images, videos on-demand, live streaming video from NASA Television, mission information, feature stories and breaking news. Users also can find sighting opportunities for the International Space Station and track the current positions of spacecraft currently orbiting Earth. App users also easily can share NASA content with their friends and followers on Facebook, Twitter or via e-mail.

The app has been rated 4.1 out of 5 and  has got pretty decent reviews from users in the Android Market. Among 85 user rating, almost 55 users have rated the app 5 star.

NASA Android App Rating

The user interface and design looks promising and intuitive. However, users in the Android Market have reported stating that images and videos were taking longer time to load than expected. This is due to high traffic and server load making the application’s  functionality  to slow down.

It is also mentioned that one of the most desirable feature in the application,  the live  steaming  of NASA TV requires flash to stream and play videos, which is quite  disappointing.

You can download the app and try for yourself. The Android application can be downloaded from the Android Market here.