nasa
nasa

NASA Invites You to Witness Rocket Test in Person

nasa
nasa

On August 13 of this year, NASA plans to test out their RS-25 engine at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi—and they're looking for some social media enthusiasts to attend. 

Visitors will be treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility, where they'll get to experience the sheer force of the engine for themselves. Also on the agenda: a Q&A with NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne representatives. (For those of you who can't make it, fear not: the chat will air live on NASA TV.)

Four of these new engines will power the core stage of NASA’s new Space Launch System, which is expected to bring humans farther into space than ever before—including, if all goes well, to an asteroid and to Mars

By hosting this event, NASA hopes to reach new audiences across nontraditional media platforms. Social media stars will be given the type of access normally reserved for journalists, and will be encouraged to share what they learn with their followers. 

You can apply to see the action here. Registration closes tonight at 5 p.m. EST, so space lovers are advised to hurry! 

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ESA/ATG
The European Space Agency Needs Help Naming Its New Mars Rover
ESA/ATG
ESA/ATG

The European Space Agency is hosting a competition to find a snazzy new name for its ExoMars rover, Sky News reports. The rover will be deployed to Mars in 2020, so the winner would be playing a small role in the progress of space exploration.

At the contest's launch, British astronaut Tim Peake described Mars as a place where humans and robots will someday work together to search for evidence of life in our solar system. To this end, the ExoMars rover, which will land on Mars in 2021, will drill up to two meters into the planet’s soil and collect samples, the ESA notes. "The ExoMars rover is a vital part of this journey of exploration, and we're asking you to become part of this exciting mission and name the rover that will scout the Martian surface,” Peake said.

However, the agency is well aware of past public naming contests that have gone horribly wrong (we’re looking at you, Boaty McBoatface), so it’s rigged the rules to prevent such a spectacle. Instead of a public poll, suggestions will be submitted privately to the agency, which has created a panel of judges to choose the winning name.

The winner of the contest will also receive a trip to Stevenage, England, where they’ll get to see the Airbus facility where the rover is being pieced together. The contest is only open to citizens of the two dozen European countries that are partners in the ESA.

To enter, submit your name suggestion online before October 10, 2018, along with a brief explanation (under 150 words) of why your name should be chosen. Click the following PDF link to see the full terms and conditions [PDF].

[h/t Sky News]

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NASA, Getty Images
Watch Apollo 11 Launch
Vice President Spiro Agnew and former President Lyndon Johnson view the liftoff of Apollo 11
Vice President Spiro Agnew and former President Lyndon Johnson view the liftoff of Apollo 11
NASA, Getty Images

Apollo 11 launched on July 16, 1969, on its way to the moon. In the video below, Mark Gray shows slow-motion footage of the launch (a Saturn V rocket) and explains in glorious detail what's going on from a technical perspective—the launch is very complex, and lots of stuff has to happen just right in order to get a safe launch. The video is mesmerizing, the narration is informative. Prepare to geek out about rockets! (Did you know the hold-down arms actually catch on fire after the rocket lifts off?)

Apollo 11 Saturn V Launch (HD) Camera E-8 from Spacecraft Films on Vimeo.

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