Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

History-Making Astronaut Scott Kelly on Space Travel, Social Media

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

History-Making Astronaut Scott Kelly on Space Travel, Social Media

Article excerpt

Retired U.S. Navy Captain and NASA astronaut Scott Kelly captured the attention of the entire world recently after spending 340 days on the International Space Station. Kelly's mission included scientific studies on the effects of long-duration space travel on the human body--which included a twin study conducted in conjunction with his identical twin brother, Mark, an astronaut who remained on Earth.

Kelly documented his out-of-this-world adventure on social media, after President Obama told him in the days before his departure to "Instagram it." Kelly took the presidential directive to heart, tweeting out photos and messages daily from the International Space Station and participating in live Twitter chats, Reddit forums and video interviews while in orbit 250 miles above Earth. Over the course of his 340-day stay on the ISS, he amassed over 1 million Twitter followers. For Kelly, it was about "engaging the customer--the taxpayer--in the conversation" about science and space exploration.

While he planned some content in advance, Kelly says that most of the time, his posts were spontaneous. And given the spontaneous nature of social media, it comes as little surprise that his favorite social media "moment" happened during a live Twitter chat.

"President Obama tweeted me and asked, 'Do you ever look out the window and just freak out?"' Kelly says. True to his calm, collected demeanor (he credits his Navy training for that), he responded: "I don't freak out about anything, Mr. …

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