How NASA uses social to teach the world about space

Jason Townsend, Deputy Social Media Manager at NASA, explains how the agency gets people across the globe excited about space

NASA made its debut on social media in 2008, when Veronica McGregor (who heads up the news and social team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory) set up a Twitter account for the Mars Curiosity Rover, and began tweeting first-person updates on its adventures.

The space and aeronautics agency now runs over 700 accounts on 19 platforms, from Snapchat to Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit and Twitch, with a combined following of over 120 million.

You’d expect a government organisation of NASA’s size to have a sizeable comms team vetting its every Tweet. But NASA operates a different model – one that allows people to engage directly with its various mission and program teams across the US.