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Justine Mackinnon, NASA UK Twitter Follower, Invited To Launch Of Grail and Delta II

02/09/2011 10:53 | Updated 01 November 2011

Justine Mackinnon, a mother of four from Kent, has been invited by NASA to to a two day 'tweet-up' for the launch of its moon-bound spacecraft Grail and Delta II.

Mackinnon, the only British person invited to the event, will join 150 of NASA's Twitter followers from around the world for the event on September 7th and 8th at Cape Canaveral Air ForceStation in Florida.

Mackinnon said: "It's the chance of a lifetime. I appreciate how fortunate I am to have received the opportunity, and I'm hoping my trip will help me learn more, and I want to help other people understand that you don't have to have a degree to understand NASA and their involvement in space. Plus, this launch will be the last from this location, so it's quite an historic event."

The trip, which Mackinnon is paying for herself, includes a tour of NASA's Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral and a close-up visit to the launch pad. Her fellow tweet-up guests include NASA fans who registered online from the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Spain.

The rocket launch is set for 8:37 a.m. EDT on September 8th. The two GRAIL spacecraft will fly in tandem orbits around the moon for several months to measure its gravity field in unprecedented detail from crust to core.

The mission will answer longstanding questions about the moon and provide scientists with a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed.

NASA will broadcast a portion of the Tweetup where attendees will speak with Maria Zuber, GRAIL principal, amongst others.

You can follow Mackinnon's experience of the rocket launch via Twitter @Fidget02 and her blog. To follow all tweet-up participants follow the #NASATweetup hashtag.

Read about NASA's previous tweet-ups.
Read more about the NASA moon launch.

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