Through a lot of hard work, excellent engineering, and the gift of gab, Tesla definitely made electric cars cool. Now, space travel and NASA itself are experiencing a similar resurgence. At the heart of it all is Elon Musk. Neil deGrasse Tyson went on-record saying that SpaceX’s partnership with NASA’s is one of the best moves the Space Agency has made since its 1969 Apollo moon landing.
In the 1960s, space was super popular. Around 600 million people worldwide watched the first moon mission. Later, the Space Shuttle program made some key advances but never caught the public’s attention as the moon landings did. This is because although important and interesting, the Space Shuttle program never went anywhere. It stayed right here, just above Earth.
With Elon planning to go to Mars, space is back in the limelight. Also, Musk does interesting things to get the publics attention. In 2018, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket launched ‘Starman’ and a Tesla Roadster toward the red planet. Then, this year, NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken flew the Crew Dragon spacecraft to the ISS. This was the first time a private company ferries astronauts into space. Then, they splashed down safely just two months later, making history both times.
In May alone, more than 150,000 people went to Florida to visit Kennedy Space Center so they could watch the first launch attempt, and 10 million or more watched the launch over the next few days.
A lot of people don’t realize that there is a difference between SpaceX and NASA. Andrew Sloan, the founder of branding outfit, ‘Cosma Schema,’ identify Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson as ‘generating big interest again in what’s happening in space exploration.’
NASA’s is now a social media icon. The Space Agency has over 500 accounts across all the popular social media platforms. NASA’s primary Instagram account has over 60 million followers, and the Hubble Space Telescope account alone has more than 3 million loyal fans. NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover even has its own Twitter account, with just over 4 million followers. Also, NASA offers totally free access to its massive photo and video database.
CNBC reports that Leland Melvin, a retired astronaut, said, ‘You go to Target and you buy a NASA T-shirt and you wear it and you support it because being a nerd is cool. We’re looking at going to Mars. We’re looking at sending the first woman to the moon in the Artemis program. And I think kids see this, people see this, and they say, “These are the things that are possible.”‘