The first round of invitations to ESA’s #SocialSpaceWA have been accepted and the seating is complete!

New Norcia tracking station

ESA’s 35 m-diameter deep-space tracking station at New Norcia, Australia, seen in a full panorama in 2002. Credit: ESA

It was an extremely tough task to select the best 15 of the 50-plus applications, as there turned out to be many more enthusiastic social-space-type folk in the land down under than we anticipated! (Nice problem to have – Ed.)

A few of the applications could be discarded immediately, as the applicant failed to include any social media account names/channels whatsoever. This, needless to say, is an automatic disqualifier. The majority, however, were very good quality.

Applications came overwhelmingly from Australia, as expected, and we reserved most of the seats for local folks – this is our first SocMed event in Australia and we wanted to ensure that people there got a really good chance to participate. We also saw applications from the UK, Spain, France, Italy, the USA and India, indicating just how widely known the ESA brand is these days.

In the end, it came down to a careful assessment of your statement of motivation, the level of activity in your social media account (Do you update often? Are you shareful?) and the number of followers you have. We know many of you were keen to join (and prepared to travel at your own expense across a lot of miles!) – if you didn’t get an invite, please accept our sincere regrets and do not hesitate to apply again in the future.

We hope you will follow us remotely, from wherever you are! Note that the official hashtag is #SocialSpaceWA (we’re also seeing a few tweets using #westspacefest, too).

And note that, even with our seats filled, there remains a (small) chance that a confirmed attendee may drop out due to unforeseen circumstances, in which case we will go straight back to the waitlist to fill the slot.

To keep up with the event, please follow any of these:

And, as always, keep an eye on ESA via Facebook, Google+ or …. many other channels!