NASA invites Twitter fans to space shuttle launch

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NASA on Tuesday invited fans on Twitter to get front-row seats for next month's launch of the space shuttle Atlantis from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Registration for a NASA "Tweetup" will open on Friday, and the first 100 people to sign up will get to spend two days at the space center, touring the facility, chatting with technicians and astronauts, as well as watching a launch.

The event planned for November 11 and 12 will be the US space agency's fifth Tweetup for users of the wildly popular microblogging service but it will be the first time the gathering includes a shuttle launch.

"The goal of this particular Tweetup is to share the excitement of a shuttle launch with a new audience," said Michael Cabbage, director of the News Services division at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

"Each event has provided our followers with inside access to NASA personnel, including astronauts."

Atlantis is scheduled to take-off the afternoon of November 12th on a trip to the International Space Station.

The Tweetup will include a "meet and greet" session to allow participants to mingle with fellow "Tweeps" and the staff behind space agency tweets posted on Twitter. The gathering is meant for Twitter users who follow @NASA tweets.

NASA said Twitter followers will be able to sign up for the event online at The names of 50 people will be put on a standby list to attend the gathering.