Google+ Hangouts to Host Events With Obama, Space Station Crew
Google+ Hangouts will be used by the president and by the International Space Station crew in separate events to take questions from citizens.Google+ Hangouts will soon be used again by President Barack Obama for the second time in his presidency, while the crew of the International Space Station will use it for the first time later this month to take questions from citizens about life in Earth's orbit. Obama's Google+ Hangouts session will come at 4:50 p.m. ET Feb. 14 to answer questions from the American people two days after his State of the Union Address, which is being delivered Feb. 12. "When President Obama heads to a joint session of Congress [Feb. 12], he'll be honoring the 200-year old tradition of delivering the State of the Union to Congress and the American people," wrote Ramya Raghavan, a spokesman for the Google+ Politics division, in a Feb. 11 post on the Google Official Blog. "Two days later, the President will turn to Google+ to continue a more recent tradition, by taking questions online after his speech." This is the second time that Obama has participated in such an event. He held his first Google+ hangouts session Jan. 30, 2012, six days after his State of the Union Address that year.
Obama's online session, which is being called a "Fireside Hangout" in the tradition of presidential "fireside chats" of the past, will feature questions that have been sent in ahead of time by citizens and questions that are raised by several participants inside the Hangout, according to Raghavan.
To ask a real-time question during the event on Google+ or Twitter, participants can use the hashtag #askAstro or you can post a comment on a thread on NASA's Facebook page that will open for questions on the morning of the event. To join the Hangout, participants can visit NASA's Google+ page. NASA continues to expand its use of social media platforms such as Google+, Twitter and Facebook. In August 2012, NASA partnered with Google Earth to offer images of Mars from NASA's Curiosity Rover as it was beginning its exploration of the red planet. Also last August, NASA's Kennedy Space Center was featured in an online Google Street View tour of the sprawling and historic facility.