Want to Shape Human Spaceflight's Future? Send a Tweet

Human Spaceflight Madness Ed White
Astronaut Ed White floats in zero gravity of space off the coast of California during the Gemini IV mission. (Image credit: NASA)

You probably already know that social media isn’t just about chatting with buddies and sharing photos of cats, but today is the day that one tweet could shape the future of the U.S. human spaceflight program. Yes, we just went from lolcats to influencing the future of space exploration… Twitter is that powerful.

For the whole of Tuesday (Oct. 29), the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is asking you to become an extension of the Committee on Human Spaceflight by sending a tweet answering this question: “What are your best ideas for creating a NASA human spaceflight program that is sustainable over the next several decades?” All you have to do is to send your best response in 140 characters, including the hashtag #HumansInSpace, and the National Academy of Sciences will consider your message to become a part of the congressionally-requested study.

“Social media is becoming an increasingly important and powerful tool, and while this is the first time that the National Research Council has requested input to a study via Twitter, the NRC is very interested in exploring the ability of social media to contribute to its work,” NAS representative Abby Sheffer told Discovery News. “One possible outcome is that the broad reach of Twitter will lead to a vigorous discussion among the participants that could yield novel inputs to this study. This Twitter conversation is one of the final steps in the outreach process to the public and stakeholders, and via Twitter we are essentially throwing the door open to anyone who wants to express an opinion or suggest an idea before the Committee completes its deliberations.”

So what are you waiting for? If you have a passion for space exploration (and even if you don’t), becoming a part of the conversation around NASA’s future human spaceflight program is critical to make your opinions known. Remember, future NASA policy isn’t just about funding, the U.S. spaceflight program and the politicians who shape its direction in space needs to take note of the public’s hopes and dreams.

What do you want from the U.S. space agency? It’s your chance to let them know.

This article was provided by Discovery News.

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Media Relations Specialist, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Ian O'Neill is a media relations specialist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California. Prior to joining JPL, he served as editor for the Astronomical Society of the Pacific‘s Mercury magazine and Mercury Online and contributed articles to a number of other publications, including Space.com, Space.com, Live Science, HISTORY.com, Scientific American. Ian holds a Ph.D in solar physics and a master's degree in planetary and space physics.