Life, art, and complaints of Cat Razim

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Florida Day 1 – prep!


Sorry. Residual stress from DRIVING TO FLORIDA FROM NEW YORK  WHATTHEHELLISWRONGWITHME!? It was fun. Seriously. No. Yes, I am crazy. I don’t think I was ever sane.

In case you haven’t heard me rant excitedly like a school girl for the last month- I’m here in the sunshine state for the #NASATweetUp of the Mars Space Laboratory dubbed “Curiosity”. I’m going to see and experience SO MUCH that I decided to blog about it.

First off. What is a NASATweetUp? Well, I suppose I should break it down even further to “What is a TweetUp”… A TweetUp is a gathering of people, specifically with at least one thing in common – they use twitter. The only way to enter is to use twitter. And if you win, the organization assumes you will tweet about it, and then tweet some more when you are at the gathering. In a way, it’s like unofficial publicity. NASA has seen this power of publicizing through twitter and figured out how to use it. NASATweetUps- using social media to gather people, with another thing in common (SPACE) and plan something amazing and fun that they’ll share with their friends and followers to help “spread the word”. Awesome for them. Awesome for us!

Now, about this Mars Space Laboratory… We are sending a new rover to Mars. The planet. No, I don’t think it is made of candy (no M&Ms on Mars… Cheese on the moon, however, is still debatable.) This SUV sized robot of awesome is going to to drive around the Gale Crater and “investigate the area’s past and present environments”(MSL press release. Seriously. Everyone should read this.) Basically, it’s going to observe and analyze what’s on the surface and below the surface (up to 6cm, I believe, with a laser!) and run other tests because it is a mobile laboratory on freaking MARS. (Well.. not there yet…)

At this TweetUp I get to meet engineers, scientists, and other awesome people who are a part of this mission. I also get to meet other amazing people just because Mars is freaking awesome and they wanted to be a part of it, too! (*cough*Bill Nye The Science Guy *cough*Will.I.Am*cough cough*)

How did I manage to get this AMAZING opportunity? Easy! I entered the #NASATweetUp lottery! huzzah! Simply follow @NASATweetUp on Twitter and when they announce a new Tweetup just enter! You’ll be randomly pick from the pile! To be completely honest – I freaking lucked out! I didn’t know which tweetup opportunity I sumbitted my twitter handle for. I saw the chance to enter, put in my name and actually forgot about it. Only a few weeks later I got the email saying “CONGRATULATION!”

Jaw drop

First I was like...

Then I was all like

Yeah… Go ahead. be jealous. I can take it.

I arrived in the sunshine state last night after splitting my insane road trip into two parts. Part A from New York to North Carolina in 11 hours. Stayed with the ‘rents for a day, then proceeded to Part B… another 10 hours from NC to Florida. Arrived at the Pre-Tweetup dinner and met a few awesome people. Meeting people you’ve only met online IRL was weird but exciting! Oh, and the food was good.

Today I went to pick up my badge. The drive to the Space Center was just totally terrific. I also saw the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) in the distance. Oh it was a beautiful site. (VAB not shown.. sorry…)

On the Way to NASA

I would not mind this being my commute everyday. *cough*HINT*cough*

I am already so excited, and I barely did anything yet. I received a free pass to the Visitor’s Center which I’ll redeem tomorrow. A full Thanksgiving day of just Space Nerd-ery. I’ll post an end-of-day post. Also follow me on Twitter and on this tumblr I just made while writing this to keep up with all of my thoughts and pics. Yeah. this is going to be awesome.

posted by Cathy Razim at 12:15 am  

1 Comment »

  1. Very exciting! So glad you made it there safely.

    Comment by Grey Catsidhe — November 24, 2011 @ 1:06 am

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