Source: John Yembrick/Jason Townsend, NASA HQ

Oct. 25, 2012 • NASA will host a two-day event for 80 of its social media followers on Sunday, Feb. 10, and Monday, Feb. 11, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, Calif., for the launch of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission, a satellite that continues a record-breaking 40 years of Earth observations.

Landsat satellites provide the longest continuous global record of the Earth’s surface—ever. The first Landsat satellite launched from Vandenberg in 1972 and now what will become the eighth satellite in the Landsat series is scheduled to also launch from Vandenberg. This satellite, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM), continues Landsat’s critical role in monitoring, understanding and managing our resources of food, water and forests.

A collaboration between NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Landsat program provides data that shows the impact of human society on the planet – a crucial measure as our population surpasses seven billion people. Landsat data has, over time, led to the improvement of human and biodiversity health, energy and water management, urban planning, disaster recovery and agriculture monitoring, all resulting in incalculable benefits to the U.S. and world economy.

LDCM will join the aging Landsat 5 and Landsat 7 satellites in orbit to produce stunning images of Earth’s surface along with a wealth of scientific data.

NASA Social participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Hear first-hand accounts by the Landsat Mission science and engineering teams.
  • Get a behind-the-scenes tour of Vandenberg Air Force Base’s Western Range including:
    • A rare look inside the the Western Range Operational Control Center (WROCC), which provides safe control of all launches from Vandenberg. The WROCC includes the control center, mission flight control center, weather center and transportation control center.
    • Tours of the Landsat Launch Mission Control room, the LDCM launch pad & The Vandenberg Heritage Center
    • Vandenberg’s on-base private museum, located at historic Space Launch Complex-10. This visit includes historic briefings and artifacts dating to the earliest launches from the West Coast.
  • Meet fellow space enthusiasts who are active on social media.
  • Meet members of NASA’s social media team.

All sites on VAFB are subject to closure due to mission requirements

*** On the day of launch, NASA Social participants and their friends and families are invited to a special public viewing area to watch LDCM achieve orbit aboard an Atlas-V rocket. ***

What is a NASA Social?

A NASA Social is an informal meeting of people who use social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Participants at this event will be provided a unique in-person experience at the U.S. Air Force Western Test Range at Vandenberg Air Force Base and NASA, which they are encouraged to share with others through their favorite social network.

Guests will have an opportunity to learn more about NASA and its Earth science missions, the Landsat program and the USGS, Vandenberg Air Force Base, and to experience the rocket launch of a satellite into orbit around Earth.

How do I register?

Registration opens at noon EDT on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012 and closes at noon, EST on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. Check back on this page for the registration link. Eighty participants will be randomly selected from online registrations. Registration is for one person only (you) and is non-transferable.

Additional registrants will be placed on a waiting list.

Do I need to have a social media account to register?

Yes. This event is designed for active social media users who follow Vandenberg Air Force Base, the USGS and NASA on Twitter (@30thSpaceWing, @NASA_Landsat, @USGSLandsat, @NASA, @NASASocial), Facebook (NASA, 30thSpaceWing, Landsat, USGS) and Google+ (NASA). The goal of NASA Social is to allow people who regularly interact with each other via social networks to meet in person and discuss space exploration.

Users on all social networks are encouraged to use the hashtags #Landsat and #NASASocial. Updates and information about the event will be shared on Twitter via @NASA_Landsat and @NASASocial and via posts to Facebook and Google+.

What are the registration requirements?

Registration indicates your intent to travel to the Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, Calif., and attend the two-day event in person. You are responsible for your own expenses for travel, accommodation, food and other amenities.

Some events and participants scheduled to appear at the event are subject to change without notice. NASA, the U.S. Air Force and the USGS are not responsible for loss or damage incurred as a result of attending. NASA, the U.S. Air Force and the USGS moreover, are not responsible for loss or damage incurred if the event is cancelled with limited or no notice. Please plan accordingly.

Vandenberg Air Force Base is a government facility. Those who are selected will need to complete an additional registration step to receive clearance to enter the secure areas. To be admitted, you will need to show two photo identifications (one must be government issued with photo) that match the name provided on the registration. Those without proper identification cannot be admitted. All registrants must be at least 18 years old.

Can I register if I am not a U.S. citizen?

Yes. Non U.S. citizens must provide passport information. If you have a green card, you will be processed as a U.S. citizen. Those who are selected will need to complete an additional registration step to receive clearance to enter the secure areas. To be admitted, you will need to show two photo identifications (one must be government-issued with photo) that match the name provided on the registration. Those without proper identification cannot be admitted. All registrants must be at least 18 years old.

Does my registration include a guest?

Because of space limitations, you may not bring a guest. Each registration provides a place for one person only (you) and is non-transferable. Each individual wishing to attend must register separately.

*** On the day of launch, NASA Social participants and their friends and families are invited to a special public viewing area to watch LDCM achieve orbit aboard an Atlas-V rocket. ***

What if I cannot come to Vandenberg?

If you cannot come to Vandenberg to attend in person, you should not register for the NASA Social. You can follow the conversation using the #Landsat and #NASASocial hashtags on Twitter. NASA may broadcast a portion of the program on Feb. 10 and 11. You can watch the launch on Feb. 11 on NASA TV or in person at the Vandenberg public viewing site. NASA, the USGS and Vandenberg will provide regular launch and mission updates on @NASA and @NASA_Landsat.

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.

When will I know if I am selected?
After registrations have been received and processed, an email with confirmation information and additional instructions will be sent to those selected and those on the waitlist. We expect to send notifications no later than Jan. 18

If you do not make the registration list for this NASA Social, you can still attend the launch and participate in the conversation online. Find out about ways to experience the launch at NASA.gov/Landsat.

What if the spacecraft’s launch date changes?

Hundreds of different factors can cause a scheduled launch date to change multiple times. The launch date will not be official until after the Flight Readiness Review, which is scheduled for February 8, 2013. If the launch date changes prior to Feb. 10, NASA, the USGS and the Air Force may adjust the date of the NASA Social accordingly to coincide with the new target launch date. NASA will notify registrants of any changes by email.

If the launch is postponed, attendees may be invited to attend the launch at a future date.

NASA Social attendees are responsible for any additional costs they incur related to any launch delay. We strongly encourage participants to make travel arrangements that are refundable and/or flexible.

Does registration for and/or attendance at the NASA Social qualify me for media accreditation?

Your NASA Social registration and/or attendance does not qualify you for news media credentials at NASA or at Vandenberg Air Force Base, now or in the future.