Saturday, 6 September 2014

Space Sunday - How To Tweet At An Asteroid

As a matter of fact ...

I made a twitter account for this blog! Twitter has been one of the biggest social media sites in the world to date, but what about out of this world? I found out that NASA is sending a spacecraft to the asteroid 'Bennu' with a time capsule on board. The time capsule contains 50 tweets and 50 instagram images submitted by the public!

The Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer or 'OSIRIS-REx' for short will be launched in 2016 and expected to arrive at Bennu in 2019. It's purpose is to asses whether or not Bennu is on a collision course with Earth. Think Armaggedon but a smaller asteroid and less Bruce Willis. 

Aside from saving humanity from obliteration, the craft is also set to study Bennu for clues about the solar system's birth. The asteroid itself is a leftover from when the Sun and planets first formed from a gaseous nebula. It's like tracing your family history back on a planetary scale. I'm betting Earth has a weird uncle we just haven't heard of yet.

Uncovering our past is a pretty good excuse for this craft to carry a time capsule of Earth at this moment. What better way to encapsulate (ouch) the human condition for our ancestors or even aliens to find than a bunch of tweets and instagram pictures? Ok, I'm sure there are better ways but not as fun or accessible! 

Anyone can enter by stick #AsteroidMission on the end of their tweet or picture. NASA only asks that you keep it relavant to exploring the solar system. So no cats or instagram smoothie pics I'm afraid. I know right. In this day and age!

Submissions close on September 30th 2014 so GET TWEETING because Bennu is waiting.

Image Map

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