How Social Media Has Changed The Way We View Space Travel
white United States space shuttle
Photo by Erick F. Castañeda on Unsplash

How Social Media Has Changed The Way We View Space Travel

Manon Lamy June 16, 2022

On May 12 2022 NASA astronaut Mike Massimino posted a picture of a tweet he sent from space 13 years ago. This was upon his 2009 trip to service the Hubble telescope aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis. His caption struck a cord: social media has changed our lives in more ways than we know it. And one of those ways we might not realise is how much social media has impacted the way we view space travel.

Today most NASA astronauts have public Instagram and Twitter accounts to keep the public updated as to what goes on 400km above the planet, aboard the International Space Station. They keep us updated before, during and after their missions.

A better perception of NASA

The fact that many are on social media today means that more people can know what is going on with NASA. This has resulted in a better perception of NASA, as they keep their followers updated with news of the agency.

For many years, events happening in space or with the agency were only reported through the news. Only the people who kept updated with the news knew what was going on. And even when they did it was not as personal as social media.

Furthermore, for a long time people did not see the role of NASA. Especially in a post Cold War world where the space race became obsolete. Mostly they thought the space race was a waste of money. That is until social media made people see what really is going on and how it’s going on.

Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The benefits of social on space exploration

Today, more than ever before, space is interactive and dynamic. In the early days of the space race people would watch on TV or listen on the radio. Information was hard to access. Today it is the opposite. News about space is easily accessible. NASA, ESA and all its partners have multiple Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Furthermore, today astronauts are easily (ish) reachable. Mike Massimino and others have Instagram and Twitter accounts where they might respond to citizens with questions. This is more than ever before. It makes them relatable (well to an extent that you can relate to an astronauts).

Without social media we wouldn’t care as much as to what is going on. With Artemis One in wet dress rehearsal it makes people excited about astronauts returning to the moon and beyond. Space isn’t some far off disconnected idea anymore. It will probably inspire a new generation to become astronauts.

As most of us use social media to share pictures of what is going on in our lives, so do the astronauts. NASA Astronaut Kayla Barron, a Crew-3 member who has just returned from the ISS, shared multiple pictures of her time in space.

It was inspiring to see what the members of Crew-3 had been up to during their stay on the International Space Station. Social media has forever changed the way we view space and will continue on as the space program reaches new milestones.

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know
Manon is a freelance journalist for Freshered. She joined Freshered in February 2022 where she is still working today. As a freelance journalist she enjoys covering everything from international politics to Formula 1 and travelling. Manon is currently in her final year of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham after returning from a year abroad in Vienna, Austria. She hopes to continue her studies in Journalism.