As I mentioned in today’s Episode 64 of the Observed Tech PODCAST, I will be down at Kennedy Space Center this weekend as a credentialed member of the press to cover the historic SpaceX Commercial Resupply Service (CRS) launch to the International Space Station (ISS).

I say this is historic because it is the first of 12 contracted flights of the privately built Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule to carry supplies up to the ISS.  Back in May SpaceX successfully flew a mission with the same configuration but it was not a full blown CRS mission.  That launch, docking and recovery was part of SpaceX’s test flight series to show the company could do it.  With that success they have been contracted to fly regular supply missions to the ISS from American soil on an American built rocket. That is a first for our country.

The unique access to Kennedy Space Center and the launch comes from a new program from NASA’s Social Media team, otherwise known as @NASASocial on Twitter, that allowed social media users to apply for a slot to cover this launch. The big difference in this program compared to past and future NASA Socials is that we were not picked randomly but based on what we can bring to the table when it comes to social media coverage.

In fact, we had to provide justification on our application of how we would use the social media tools to provide the coverage.

This event is also different from past NASA Socials in that there is no separate agenda and tours for us but we are included in any press related events that are occurring related to the launch.  It should prove to be very interesting across the board.

As for my participation I intend to be tweeting the experience through my Twitter account, @WinObs, and as the launch approaches I will host a Google+ Hangout from the press site for anyone who wants to join me to discuss the launch and to see it on the hangout.

Granted, there will be plenty of high definition streams coming your way to watch the launch including NASA TV, however I think there is something very unique about watching a live stream of the same event with a group of folks even if it is remote.

I hope you will join me for the event.

There will be two options to join in on the hangout:

The Google+ Hangout will be available on my Google+ page and will be interactive while the YouTube stream will be for viewing only.

If you have any questions that you would like me to look into during the event please let me know in the comments below and I will work to get you those answers on the hangout.