NASA wants you the social media influencers to help them educate, inform, and inspire (my words not theirs) the population of the USA and the world. The space agency is seeking influencers that “Have the potential to reach a large number of people using digital platforms.” among other criteria to watch a historic SpaceX launch. While their requirements are a bit vague, my guess is that they mean you should be able to reach at least tens of thousands of people organically and not via the advertising system on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, or Tumblr.
Those selected will be watching and posting about the launch of SpaceX CRS-11, a resupply mission to the International Space Station at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the historic first launch of a reused Dragon capsule. While the post and application don’t offer specifics about what influencers will be asked to do, they do say that “NASA will provide social media credentials to social networking users who will actively collect, report, analyze and disseminate NASA news and information on digital media platforms.”.
The application also has listed a NASA Social event in Boulder, CO on June 19th one day before the 48th anniversary of the first moon landing. That event is about JPSS-1, an environmental satellite program.
This isn’t the first time NASA has sought out Social Media influencers. Ever the trailblazer the agency has been doing these events since 2013 with increasingly tantalizing events. The first time they invited social media influencers to witness a launch was for LADEE’s launch on September 5th and 6th of 2013. Since then the social program has allowed influencers to witness the launch of MAVEN, Orbital-1 cargo resupply missions, TDRS-L, SpaceX Dragon cargo resupply missions, MMS, SMAP, Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo resupply, and testing of Orion spacecraft and the SLS engines.
How to Apply for NASA Social Media Credentials
Go to the NASA Social Media Credential Application
Applications must be in by May 10th for this specific event.
The application is pretty straightforward, but limits you to one account per Platform noun Any website, mobile app, SaaS, or other digi... (except Facebook where you can list your personal page w/ friends or Facebook page). Due to these limitations if you have more than one influencer brand I think you might be able to mention that in the open text box of the “Applicant Criteria Fulfillment” section. You may also want to use this opportunity to discuss why you want to be at the launch event, for example to witness history of the first reusable commercial resupply capsule, or to inspire your friends, family, and followers back home to get involved in science. Whatever the reason this is a good place to write and get a little verbose about it.
If accepted there are a few more things you’ll need to consider
- You might have to prove your social media audience size and reach / influence / blog traffic before you get the credentials.
- You have to bring 2 forms of personal identification with you – neither one can be expired, one must be a government issued photo i.d.
- If you live in Minnesota or American Samoa you’ll need to bring different i.d. than what those places issue as standard. In Minnesota it’s the EDL.
- You’ll need to be able to make your own travel arrangements.