Social media has become so influential, even astronauts are using it! In October 2015, Scott Kelly, commander of the International Space Station broke the world record for the longest continuous space flight at 382 cumulative days.
During his year in space, Scott Kelly became an avid social media user particularly on Instagram and Twitter. Before he went to space, Scott was encouraged by President Obama to Instagram his mission to build interest in science and space. Adhering to this request, Scott regularly used Twitter and Instagram to share beautiful photos from space raising awareness for the beauty and power of Earth.
Throughout his mission, Scott was more active on social media than most people on Earth achieving:
- 1.0M followers on Twitter
- 1.0M followers on Instagram
- 2.3K tweets shared from space
- 0.8K Instagram posts shared from space
Because astronauts are the only people capable of capturing the majesty of seeing Earth from afar and sharing the importance of living sustainable, NASA has a social media manager to train astronauts. John Yembrick, NASA’s social media manager, said, “Before astronauts launch to the station, there is social media training where an overview of all the platforms available and best practices are discussed.”
In addition to simply posting photos, Scott participated in Reddit Ask Me Anything events, Facebook Q&A sessions and Tweetchats to build a sense of community around his mission and the importance and beauty of space. Scott’s ability to use social media effectively was deftly stated by Boston Globes’ Heather Circas who said, “His personality and engagement are what kept most people coming back.”
Did you see the photos that Scott Kelly sent during his year in space? Check out the complete set of photos on Instagram and Twitter in the linked below, then share your thoughts in the comments!