Brad Snowder, manager of the Western Washington University Planetarium and lecturer in Western's physics and astronomy department, has been selected by NASA to join a team of 25 social networking mission specialists working to create buzz about the landing of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover on Aug. 5, according to a press release.
Brad will spend three days at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and he'll get to be in mission control during the entry, descent and landing of the rover.
Here's more from the release:
The program, known as NASA Social, became so popular after its June launch that NASA has added five additional sites to the program. At JPL, Snowder's task will be to live tweet and otherwise create a stream of updates on the mission status to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, personal blogs and other online networks.
With the 14 1/2-minute time delay between Mars and Earth, scientists won't know immediately if the landing was successful. But Brad will get to be present the first transmission from the landed Curiosity is expected.
Brad is a Western alumnus with a master's degree in science education, a bachelor's degree in physics and minors in astronomy and math. He teaches astronomy at Western and at Whatcom Community College. In the past he has taught astronomy courses for Skagit Valley College and for Northwest Indian College. He has managed the WWU Planetarium since 1995.
LAKEWAY IN SUPORTS COMMUNITY
Larry MacDonald, general manager of the Best Western Plus Lakeway Inn and Conference Center in Bellingham, recently announced two community donations.
The business is giving more than 300 Bellingham Bells tickets to local nonprofit organizations for their young participants to attend the July 29 baseball game. That represents a donation of nearly $2,300, according to a press release from the hotel.
Also, nearly 30 colleagues attending a Providence Hospitality Partners conference at the Lakeway hotel each worked two hours June 21 removing non-native species from the Old Village Trail, a half-mile trail connecting Elizabeth Park and Marine Heritage Park in Bellingham. The effort enhanced the trail's appearance for more than 10,000 people who use it each year and improved the viability of native flowers recently planted along the trail.
BELLINGHAM HIGH SCHOOL REUNION
The Bellingham High School classes of 1954 to 1960 are holding a picnic reunion from 1-5 p.m., Sept. 6 at Lairmont Manor. Tickets are $25. Reservations are necessary and tickets are $25. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-647-1444.
Out and About runs Mondays in The Bellingham Herald.
Reach JULIE SHIRLEY at email@example.com or call 715-2261.