ULA Hosts First Tweetup, Prepares to Launch Atlas Rocket

United Launch Alliance hosted the first half of its two-day "Tweetup" today. The second half will take place tomorrow during launch activities for the Atlas V 401 rocket carrying the SBIRS GEO 2 spacecraft. Photo Credit: Jeffrey J. Soulliere

United Launch Alliance hosted the first half of its two-day “Tweetup” today. The second half will take place tomorrow during launch activities for the Atlas V 401 rocket carrying the SBIRS GEO-2 spacecraft. Photo Credit: Jeffrey J. Soulliere

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — United Launch Alliance (ULA) conducted its first “Tweetup” today at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Colorado-based company held the event the day prior to the planned launch of an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

While NASA has been hosting “Tweetups” (since renamed “Socials”) since 2009, this is the first one held by ULA. Given that, by all accounts this event was a complete success; there can be little doubt that these events could become a regular occurrence during the launches and other events that ULA manages at both Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Participants got to witness the rollout of the Atlas V from the Vertical Integration Facility or "VIF" to the adjacent Space Launch Complex 41. Photo Credit: Jeffrey J. Soulliere

Participants got to witness the rollout of the Atlas V from the Vertical Integration Facility, or “VIF,” to the adjacent Space Launch Complex 41. Photo Credit: Jeffrey J. Soulliere

The response was very positive, both by participants and officials that were present for the lead-up to launch.

“United Launch Alliance and Lockheed Martin are close partners, and the Tweetup that is being held is a very important effort. Anytime that we can use Twitter, Facebook, and other social mediums to attract attention to the good work we’re doing and inspire the next generation of our work force—it’s absolutely critical to the future of not just the space program, but our aerospace industry and the nation as a whole,” said Michael Friedman with Lockheed Martin.

Guests who were fortunate enough to be selected by ULA to attend the event were treated to a full day’s worth of activities. They got to see a number of the milestones that ULA conducts prior to launching the venerable Atlas V as well as key facilities such as the Morrell Operations Center, the Vertical Integration Facility, and Space Launch Complex 41 itself.

United Launch Alliance representative Tony Taliancich addresses the crowd at the first-ever ULA Tweetup. Photo Credit: Jeffrey J. Soulliere

United Launch Alliance representative Tony Taliancich addresses the crowd at the first-ever ULA Tweetup. Photo Credit: Jeffrey J. Soulliere

“Today’s Tweetup was a complete success. Our guests got to see the Atlas V launch vehicle roll out to the pad, visit the Morrell Operations Center, and tour the facilities where we conduct the launches,” said ULA’s Jessica Rye.

Tomorrow will be a busy one as well, with the Tweetup being allowed to witness a rocket launch first hand—that is, if the weather cooperates. Clouds gave way to rain later in the day. Prior to this front moving in, weather conditions were at 70 percent of providing favorable conditions for launch.

The Atlas V that is currently at Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex 41 is carrying the second of the U.S. military’s Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Orbit satellites, more commonly known as “SBIRS GEO-2“ or just “SBIRS.”

THis panorama shot was shot by AMericaSpace's Jeffrey J. Soulliere from the gate to Space Launch Complex 41. Photo Credit: Jeffrey J. Soulliere

This panorama shot was shot by AmericaSpace’s Jeffrey J. Soulliere from the gate to Space Launch Complex 41. Photo Credit: Jeffrey J. Soulliere

 

 

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