Those of you inside the Beltway may or may not know that we have a new neighbor coming to town. This Thursday, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM) will welcome the Space Shuttle Discovery to its new home at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA. I am lucky enough to be one of thirty members of the public invited to participate in this first-ever NASA Social that will surround Discovery’s arrival.
What is a NASA Social, you ask? Similar to a tweetup, NASA Socials are informal events where NASA social media fans participate in a unique in-person experience that they can discuss and share on social networks. As a former NASA History intern and lover of all things social media, I see this as an incredible opportunity. NASA’s online presence has always been impressive to me, from their award-winning websites to their highly engaging social channels, all of which exemplify how a government agency can successfully leverage social networks for public outreach.
This particular NASA Social is a bit of a retirement party for Discovery, the most well-travelled of the Space Shuttles, as it joins the national collection at the Smithsonian. As an intern, I had the opportunity to see Discovery on the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center (see photo above!), so I’m looking forward to reuniting with this incredible work of American ingenuity and history.