Following a #YearInSpace


One of my favorite campaigns from this past year was NASA’s “A Year in Space” which followed the journey of astronauts Scott Kelly (USA) and Mikhail Kornienko (Russia) for a year on board the International Space Station.

The campaign used a perfect blend of traditional and new media, including news coverage and social media—as well as Google+ Educator hangouts and resources—and culminating in a fascinating (in my humble opinion) hour-long PBS special. Whether you followed posts on Instagram or Twitter, gathered educational resources from Google+, read or viewed stories in the media, or watched on PBS, each piece reinforced NASA’s goals for the mission and for public awareness. Take a look at the links included above, and check out #YearInSpace on social. What do you think those goals were? Did you happen to see or follow any of the campaign this past year and if so, what stood out to you? Have you seen any other similar campaigns that successfully blended new and traditional media?

photo credit: Good Morning from the International Space Station via photopin (license)



13 thoughts on “Following a #YearInSpace

  1. The “A Year in Space” campaign seemed to accomplish its goals of creating awareness as to what NASA is currently doing. On NASA’s website they clearly lay out the goals of the mission, ” testing the limits of human research, space exploration and the human spirit”. The millennial generation does not seem interested in space exploration, I think that NASA did a successful job at generating new excitement for future space exploration. A year long trip to space is an exciting venture because it has never been done before and research has now been done that was never thought possible. Although I only saw some of the campaign on social media throughout the year it looked to be a great campaign showcasing NASA’s accomplishments. The campaigns I have seen to use traditional and new media have not been many simply because I do not subscribe to any traditional media. I do know that there would have to be both being used in the presidential election campaigns and campaigns such as “the truth about smoking” using the hashtag #finishit.


    1. I agree, “The Truth” campaign is another great example of reaching an audience through multiple venues. It’s a strong campaign that, at least from my perspective, seems to be getting a clear message across well. Though it’s not a new message, they’re doing a great job shaping it to reach younger generations like yours.


    2. I agree that NASA accomplished its goal of creating awareness. It seems as if the past couple of years that the hype and interest for space exploration has diminished but this campaign has helped bring attention again to NASA and remind us that they are still here. It was a great way to inform the audience on what NASA does and spark interest in the people once again. They made sure to make this mission one to remember by doubling the normal time astronauts spend in space. I did not know of this campaign until a while after but it still caught my interest and had me research more about it months after it had happened.

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  2. The Year In Space campaign is an interesting one because the purpose of it can be interpreted in many ways and be viewed as open ended. I think it could have goals as specific as getting more young people interested in the research, science and logistics behind sending someone into space or be as general as having people feel involved in the process. There could even be an element of campaigning and politics if NASA is trying to increase interest in space exploration in order to get more funding. Regardless of their goals, they did a great job of making the audience feel as though they were a part of it from day one – Almost like they’re breaking the record with the two astronauts. As for traditional vs non traditional media, I love a campaign that can make use of both. A lot of the campaigns that I looked into during one of the first class periods apply here (True Blood launch, British Airways “Magic of Flying” Campaign, etc). These stick out to me more than a purely media campaign because they take much more coordination, planning and reach more audiences due to it’s larger reach via digital and physical methods.


    1. I agree, and those are great examples you mentioned. We often focus on one area, but it’s great to look at the overarching campaigns that engage their audiences through multiple mediums. I like your comment stating, “they did a great job of making the audience feel as though they were part of it from day one.” I agree that was a key aspect of this campaign’s success—the audience was invited along on the journey!


  3. The “A Year in Space” campaign is a great way to let people know what astronauts doing in space. We always think all the science article is hard to understand, it has a lot of jargon. However, the description on the webside is not hard to read. It can make people be more interested in this campaign. I like seeing “All research gathered from both the American and Russian crew members will be shared between the countries, an important step in reducing cost and improving efficiency for all future space station research.” It is good to see these two countries work together. It let us know that political conflict should not prevent the development of astronomical research.


  4. I was fascinated by this campaign (for nerd reasons). NASA has struggled to maintain popularity ever since the glint and shine of the moon landings began to ware off in the 1970’s. The combination of the greatness of that achievement and the buoyant post-war/cold-war culture made NASA and it’s astronauts international celebrities. From my recollection, nobody watched the second-to-last space shuttle launch.
    Having an astronaut and cosmonaut spend a year in space together was a great way to do something interesting and unique that would keep NASA in the spotlight. It was also a way for POCKOCMOC (RUSCOSMOS) to do the same. Both agencies were able to keep a foot in the door of the public eye through the campaign.


  5. I think this was an excellent campaign by NASA. I hardly pay any attention to what is happening in the science world, but this campaign and the messages it held managed to force its way onto my radar. I think the goals of this campaign were to increase public interest in space exploration so that NASA may once again be at the forefront of tackling the universe. The brilliant part of the campaign was the integration of both modern and traditional forms of media, which worked to captivate both older and younger audiences.
    Other than my awareness of the astronaut’s journey and the media campaign therein, I did not closely follow the story. However, I did notice how many people became engaged in the astronaut’s year in space and how that managed to peak the interest of audiences everywhere.
    Another campaign that successfully integrated both modern and traditional forms of media is a campaign called “Be More Dog”, which highlights all of the wonderful things about technology yet points out that society does not take advantage of all the things we could do with technology. The campaign calls people to “be more dog” with respect to technology, instead of being cat-like, or aloof and disinterested. We need to embrace our inner, curious dog and explore all of our possibilities. The campaign used social media, television ads, print ads, and even interactive computer games.

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  6. I think this campaign managed to achieve its’ primary goal of bringing awareness to what’s going on in the space world. There are a lot of people, much like myself, who don’t know much about NASA or all that’s being done in regards to it. Prior to reading the campaign in its entirety, I found no interest in it. I just knew that it would bore me, considering the fact that I don’t follow these kinds of happenings. After reading it however, I was stunned at how much I wanted to read more into it (I still have a few web browsers up now). I want to read more about people’s journey to space and all of the research that will be conducted to monitor a human’s body response to it. With any campaign I think it is important to not only grab your audience’s attention, but to keep it too. Mine was kept and it allowed for me to have a better, clearer understanding of a campaign’s mission.


    1. Thanks for sharing, Erika! I think your response is a testament to how well NASA did at capturing something that would intrigue a wider audience once they became more aware of the bigger story here. Like you said, it’s one thing to capture attention briefly, but for many campaigns, the goal should be to capture and hold attention longterm, and begin to build stronger connections with an audience.


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