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Help Me Attend a NASA Rocket Launch

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Hello! My name is Chris Stubenrauch and I'm a fourth-year student at Stony Brook University in New York, freelance writer for Sky and Telescope Magazine and astronomy broadcaster on PeriscopeTwitter's live-streaming mobile application. 

I began live-broadcasting shortly after realizing I could take striking pictures of the Moon's craters through my 10-inch Orion Dobsonian Telescope simply by holding my phone's camera up to the eyepiece. Since then, broadcasting the Moon, the planets, and other solar system objects, like star clusters, has become one of my favorite hobbies, and has become quite a hit with people from all over the world on Periscope.

Whether it be frost-bitten hands in the freezing cold or mosquito-bitten hands in the heat, hours and hours of broadcasting has finally paid off. I've amassed over 11,000 unique subscribers on my Periscope channel (chances are, if you're reading this, you're one of them), and was encouraged by a friend to apply to a NASA social media event to witness the launch of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft aboard an Atlas V rocket. The spacecraft will travel to a near-Earth asteroid named Bennu and will bring back an asteroid sample for complete examination. The mission will help scientists investigate how planets in our solar system may have formed and how life on our planet possibly began. Additionally, the mission might improve our understanding of asteroids that could potentially impact Earth.

To learn more about this incredible mission, I have provided NASA's homepage for the spacecraft here:   

Surely enough, with the love and support of all of my friends, family, and Periscope followers from around the world, I just received this email yesterday from NASA inviting me to tour Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on Wednesday, September 7th and witness history on the launch pad the following day. 

I couldn't be more thrilled and grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have been given to me.

As a 21-year old broadcaster and writer, I must incur all the expenses of the trip on my own, unlike others who have news agencies and professional publications paying for them to attend. Now I need your help. My trip is expected to be three days, barring no launch delays, and my expenses will include airfare, hotel accommodations, a rental car, and meals.

Expected out-of-pocket expenses will range from $750 to $1,000 and I am hopeful that you will contribute before September 8th to offsetting my expense (as paying for college is hard enough). 

I intend to broadcast the rocket launch live on my Periscope account on September 8th, and am greatly appreciative of any support you are able to provide me.

For those who contribute, I will gladly forward you behind-the-scenes images of the rocket, a link to my Periscope broadcast so you can replay it at any time, and a short article documenting my experience with a personal thank you. 

Thank you in advance for any help you can provide. Without you, this trip might not be possible. 

Clear skies,

Chris Stubenrauch


Chris Stubenrauch
Bethpage, NY

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