NASA goes social to take its case directly to the people

“If you want politicians to give you money, you need to build public support for what you do,” Jason Snell reports for Yahoo Tech. “NASA has been doing just that since the 1960s. Back then, to build excitement for missions to the moon and beyond, the space agency would send astronauts and astronauts-in-training on tours to towns all across America, giving stump speeches about the space program and its goals.”

“These days, NASA does much the same thing, but now it harnesses the power of the Internet to make its case,” Snell reports. “One way it does so: It invites people with significant social-media followings to NASA facilities and events.”

“NASA knows that a lot of people view the space program as remote and irrelevant to their daily lives. That’s a view the agency is constantly trying to fight,” Snell reports. “Another perception problem NASA is seeking to correct: The public thinks NASA takes up nearly a quarter of the federal budget, when the actual number is one half of one percent. NASA fights this misperception with the message that the agency gives great value for the money it does get — that all of its high-profile initiatives consume just a tiny fraction of the federal budget.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: A U.S. President with true leadership abilities would immediately boost NASA’s budget ten-fold (at the very least) and patiently explain to the naysayers why it is important to push the envelope and that NASA’s budget, even with a ten-fold increase, is barely a drop in the ocean.

There hasn’t been a U.S. President with a vision of the future beyond his own term(s) and the nu… guts to stand by his beliefs in the face of PITA whiners who want every single last cent to blow on wasteful, redundant boondoggles (which somehow magically materialize into waterfront homes for lobbyists) since… we can’t remember when.

Imagine a Steve Jobs as U.S. President 30, 40 years ago. People would be living on the moon and Mars today with outposts on Europa.

It’s been 43 years, 1 month, and 28 days since man last set foot on the moon. Every person on earth should be profoundly embarrassed by that fact.

The United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them. This country was conquered by those who moved forward, and so will space. — President John F. Kennedy

There are so many benefits to be derived from space exploration and exploitation; why not take what seems to me the only chance of escaping what is otherwise the sure destruction of all that humanity has struggled to achieve for 50,000 years? — Isaac Asimov

Earth is too small a basket for mankind to keep all its eggs in. — Robert A. Heinlein

It’s too bad, but the way American people are, now that they have all this capability, instead of taking advantage of it, they’ll probably just piss it all away. —  President Lyndon B. Johnson, overheard during a visit to the Apollo 7 crew in training, 1968.

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

We make tools for these kinds of people.

While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

How NASA landed a Mac on Mars using MacBook Pros – August 14, 2012
NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity essentially has same brain as Apple’s Bondi Blue iMac G3 – August 6, 2012
NASA control room packed with Apple Macs during Mars Curiosity rover landing – August 6, 2012


  1. President Obama told NASA administrator Charles Bolden that his highest priority should be “to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world…”
    With a president like this, our country is doomed.

        1. That’s all they’ve got and all they ever had. Baseless claims meant to divide. Without the lockstep black vote, they aren’t even a national party.

        2. Baseless claims? That is your calling card, Fwhatever. You make up bullshit or twist reality into unrecognizable knots in your attempts to make your viewpoint the one and only possible answer to everything. All of your vilification is meaningless to me and anyone else with the intelligence and logic to think for themselves.

          You are a sad, sad little man, and your ideology is ruining this country. Of course, you see things exactly oppositely. I would expect nothing else.

        1. Mr. Dingler, your portrayal of NASA is wholly inaccurate. While we have no idea of your actual intelligence level, your misstatement of the actual facts betrays one of three possible situations:

          (1) You have an agenda against the space program;
          (2) You have no care for accuracy; or
          (3) You’re a moron.

          In any of the above cases, you have not demonstrated your qualifications to dictate any part of this discussion. Kindly either so demonstrate, or withdraw from the discussion.

          (And if you think that the above constitutes “ad hominem,” then case 3 is far more likely than cases 1 and 2.)

    1. I’d personally be happy to have, as MDN suggests, having NASA’s budget increased 10-fold, specifically by pulling the required funding OUT of military funding.

      We waste TRILLIONS on worthless reactions to FUD, from money blown on worthless, invented wars in the Middle East to ooo-so-scary analcyst Apple Bear Bullshit in the news.

      CREATIVITY is the goal of life. All this fear mongering and sheeple herding is mere parasitism benefitting the few who suck, specifically suck on us.

      NASA is one of many brilliant ways to get human creativity back on track and keeping it there.

      1. NASA’s goal in life is not creativity; It’s about the miitary colonization of space, a continuation of Manifest Destiny, and about tokenism in the form of pictures of rocks and water for civilian taxpayers. its black budget item is huge. That’s not democracy. This does not impress me. NASA and allied corporations such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX is about getting the 1% into space to escape the pollution they themselves created on earth.

        1. You’re off on your own self-delusional tangent. But I acknowledge that obviously a lot of what NASA does serves the interests of the military.

          As to the eternal delusion that we humans will ever ‘escape’ the Earth after having trashed it: NEVER going to happen. There is no where in space that is habitable by humans except Earth. Miracle planet Earth that made us. Our Only Home.

          So no, realistically, space exploration has nothing-at-all-ever to do with colonizing anywhere else. I can only cynically laugh at the joke of that thought.

          Meanwhile, exploring the greater universe around us? Priceless.

          I’ll add that of course we need to delineate exactly were funds are allocated and spent in our US budget in order to take from the military to feed NASA. I can dream!

        2. I completely agree.

          I also think 640k of memory ought to be enough for anybody. – Bill Gates

          In fact, I think the entire world market for computers is maybe five at best. – Thomas Watson

      2. NASA’s critics are many, and they all have always missed the point. We need to explore. It is in our genes, our human nature. It is essential for economic development and planetary security. It’s a human and a cosmic imperative.

        Inquiry is the basis of civilisation itself, and of the continued flowering of humanity. Suppression of inquiry, or neglect of it, has always led to decline in the quality of everything except the short-term gains of powerful men who don’t care about anything except their own power and comfort in this life.

    2. NASA is civilian space. The U.S. military began rapidly extricating itself from any launch relationship with NASA after the loss of the Challenger in 1986. The military then pursued the Titan IV program, which experienced a very rocky start and ended up being a very poor investment.

      In any event, the only relationships between NASA and the military of which I am aware are launch and range safety support and the land areas shared by military installations and NASA centers (e.g., Redstone Arsenal/MSFC, Edwards AFB/AFRC-Dryden Field).

      You should avoid commenting when your ignorance is certain to be exposed.

    1. As an elected official, the president is only a temporary figure in office, with the governmental staff, having life long jobs until they retire, act as did the Mayors of the Palace in Medieval France who are now represented by the NSA, CIA, Army Intelligence. They hold dictatorial power over the president. He can’t make a move without their OK because their spy and Peepiung Toim Apparatuses have the good on him and his friends. Should he deviate from their central authority, they will punish him/(her if Hillary wins). He does as he’s told.

      1. Presidents (this is a bipartisan view) don’t seem to give much support to NASA at the beginning of their presidency because they are more focused on the economy. Toward the end of their administration they decide they want to leave a legacy, a JFK speech if you will. So they work with NASA and develop long term far reaching plans. The problem is, the next president comes in and doesn’t want to spend the next eight years working for the goals of the last president, giving him/her all the credit. So the gut the plans and the cycle repeats.

  2. The problem is this: there’s just not that much value to space travel today.

    60 years ago, there was a need. The rapid progress of peaceful technology development was snuffed out by the Great Depression and, later, WW2 munitions manufacturing. So post-WW2, the government actually needed to re-purpose the industries that built munitions and weapons.

    There was also a social need. NASA got beat by the Russians, and so by the 1960’s while the postwar generation largely had everything handed to them on a silver platter, and a large percentage of youth simply smoking their brains out, the nation needed a mission. We had to prove that Americans still had the ability to achieve great products. In achieving its missions back then, NASA cultivated thousands of technologies that everyone takes for granted today.

    But those days are gone. There is no new mission I can recall that has fundamentally brought a new commercializable technology back to earth. NASA has become a consumer of technology, no longer the progenator thereof.

    The USA would be better off winding down NASA projects to a much more modest level AND slashing military budgets of all non-domestic spending. The USA does not need to be policeman of the world nor should it be the hotelier to scientists who want to play in orbit on the ISS.

    The USA should pay its United Nations member fees and donate much of its non-proprietary NASA infrastructure for peaceful use furthering space technologies for the benefit of all mankind, paid for by all member nations who ante up.

    It’s a big universe. Why is the American taxpayer always on the hook to access it?

    1. And currently military NASA was founded by Kennedy (I think) to be a wholly civilian venture. This was significant in that all data would be transmitted to the public airwaves right away, directly, no intermediaries. OMG, the Pentagon and the clandestine spy apparatuses absolutely hated it; It bypassed their orifices. So they somehow got the Congress to markedly reduce its funding. Low and behold, the Pentagon magically pops into the picture as the white knight to save NASA’s budget issue by tasking it with military programs. NASA is now a military program without the original, egalitarian mission.

      By conscious design, that mission no longer captures the public’s imagination where the public would enthusiastically throw money at it, you know, like at romantic wars. It does this by avoiding stuff and, on the other hand, telling the public about rocks and landers and tire tracks. This NASA that is colonizing space militarily is the NASA that i deride.

    2. I think this is the reason we have SpaceX and similar companies. At today’s cost per launch there are not many reasons for space travel that make sense. Bring that cost down as Elon Musk is trying to do, and new reasons will open up.

      Remember the original iPhone and apps? I doubt if even Steve Jobs saw just how important apps would be to the success of the iPhone. It opened up a world, that most of us never saw coming.

  3. “It’s been 43 years, 1 month, and 28 days since man last set foot on the moon. Every person on earth should be profoundly embarrassed by that fact.”

    Back then it was dangerous and very expensive. Now that reusable rockets are on the horizon and powerful computers greatly reduce the risk and cost of man space travel, it it time to start making those plans to break out of low earth orbit.

  4. Unmanned space probes, like Voyager, Galileo, Cassini-Huygens, Mars rovers, New Horizons, Hubble, Kepler, and soon, James Webb, have given us the best bang for the buck in science return. They are the shining star of the space program and have excited the imaginations of a new generation of science enthusiast. This is where I hope we increase the budget ten-fold, or at least a little.

  5. Why use up vast amounts of money and resources on rocket based space travel when the secret industial complex has already developed antigravitic machines as far back as 1960’s as per mufon crash files (westall66) using element 115. Mars anomollies is a great example, one picture of something that looks intelligently made and no zoom or any other pictures. So many instances now not commented on by NASA that either the pictures are not of mars or NEED REAL INVESTIGATION by a scientist that is not tied to a millitary budget and can say things without being threatend by NSA, CIA or any goverment body. The only good thing NASA does is inspire young kids and the mocking bird adult brain washed. The time of truth has passed by a long time ago and great men like JFK were put back in the box under national security.

  6. when I was a kid … Pluto, ..
    was a planet … and it had one moon ..
    (Charon) …
    Last July .. something wonderful happened ..
    The New Horizon spacecraft zipped passed Pluto … and took a bunch of pictures … and… guess what ?

    Pluto is now a “dwarf” planet …
    with FIVE moons !

    Dunno about you Dingaling…
    but I find that kind of knowledge
    facinating … and useful !

    I think actually seeing what Pluto looks like was worth the money …

    2015 was a monumental year for astronomical discoveries… and 2016 promises
    to be even better …

    Check out and
    and try speaking from a place of knowledge…
    (instead of ignorance)

  7. When they stop lying about what’s actually happening in our solar system and the moon and retouching all the photos they release, people might actually start believing that they stand for something and support them again.

    As it is, people know when they’re being lied to and manipulated. And they don’t want to pay for that.

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