Ice, space lasers, penguins and a workhorse rocket’s last liftoff – it’s the stuff great tweets are made of.

NASA is inviting social media users to apply for credentials to attend the launch of the agency’s Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite-2, or ICESat-2, aboard United Launch Alliance’s Delta II rocket. Launch from Vandenberg Airforce Base near Lompoc, California is targeted for no earlier than Sept. 12.

​ICESat-2 will measure the height of our home planet, with a focus on tracking changes to the ice sheets, glaciers and sea ice of Earth’s polar regions. The satellite’s novel laser instrument measures height by timing individual photons of light to the billionth of a second, which will allow scientists to precisely measure change, including the impacts of a warming climate.

The satellite launches on ULA’s last Delta II rocket, which has previously carried NASA satellites and spacecraft including the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers, Landsat 7 and, in 2003, the original ICESat.

Attendees at NASA’s ICESat-2 Launch Social, Sept. 10-12 at Vandenberg will have the chance to post, blog, tweet, Instagram, snap and more to engage their followers via social media. A maximum of 50 social media users will be selected to attend, and will be given access similar to news media. 

NASA Social participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Participate in a special televised pre-launch briefing
  • Witness the last launch of the Delta II rocket
  • Speak with ICESat-2 mission scientists and engineers
  • View and take photographs of the Delta II rocket on the launch pad
  • Tour facilities at Vandenberg Air Force Base
  • Interact with NASA social media managers and fellow space & Earth science enthusiast


To catch up on the ICESat-2 mission, visit

Social media accreditation for the NASA Social event will open on Friday, July 6. The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 22. All social media accreditation applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


ICESAT on Launchpad

Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Do I need to have a social media account to register?
Yes. This event is designed for people who:

  • Actively use multiple social networking platforms and tools to disseminate information to a unique audience.
  • Regularly produce new content that features multimedia elements.
  • Have the potential to reach a large number of people using digital platforms.
  • Reach a unique audience, separate and distinctive from traditional news media and/or NASA audiences.
  • Must have an established history of posting content on social media platforms.
  • Have previous postings that are highly visible, respected and widely recognized.

Users on all social networks are encouraged to use the hashtag #NASASocial. Updates and information about the event will be shared on Twitter via @NASASocial@NASA_ICE, and @NASAGoddard, and through posts to Facebook and Instagram.

How do I register?
Registration for this event opens on this page Friday, July 6, 2018 and closes at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 22, 2018. Registration is for one person only (you) and is non-transferable. Each individual wishing to attend must register separately. Each application is considered on a case-by-case basis.

Can I register if I am not a U.S. citizen?
No, you must be a U.S. citizen to attend the event. If you have a valid permanent resident card, you will be processed as a U.S. citizen.

What are the registration requirements?
Registration indicates your intent to travel to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and attend the three-day event in person. You are responsible for your own expenses for travel, accommodation, food and other amenities.

Some events and participants scheduled to appear at the event are subject to change without notice. NASA is not responsible for loss or damage incurred as a result of attending. NASA, moreover, is not responsible for loss or damage incurred if the event is canceled with limited or no notice. Please plan accordingly.

IMPORTANT: To be admitted, you will need to provide a form of unexpired government-issued identification. It must be a photo ID and match the name provided on the registration. Those without proper identification cannot be admitted. For a complete list of acceptable forms of ID, please visit:

All registrants must be at least 18 years old.

Does my registration include a guest?
Because of space limitations, you may not bring a guest. Each registration provides a place for one person only (you) and is non-transferable. Each individual wishing to attend must register separately.

When will I know if I am selected?
After registrations have been received and processed, an email with confirmation information and additional instructions will be sent to those selected. 

What if the event date changes?
If the event date changes, attendees will be notified via email.

NASA Social attendees are responsible for any additional costs they incur related to any schedule changes. We strongly encourage participants to make travel arrangements that are refundable and/or flexible.

What if I cannot come to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California?
If you cannot come to Vandenberg to attend in person, you should not register for the NASA Social. You can follow the conversation using the #NASASocialhashtag on Twitter.

If you cannot make it to this NASA Social, don't worry! NASA is planning many other NASA Socials in the near future at various locations. Check back on for updates.


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