#MarsMonday : Public Outreach and Space Advocacy

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#MarsMonday – I didn’t create this hashtag.  Somebody more creative and original than my  self can claim that.  But as passionate advocate of Mars exploration, I’ve adopted the hashtag as the herald of my public outreach campaign for the HI-SEAS simulation.

Recently, NASA has restated what every proponent of space exploration already knew- that the planet Mars is the next destination for the human species.  The focal point of all contemporary human spaceflight programs is the red planet.  From analog studies like HI-SEAS to ever-longer crew rotations on the International Space Station, NASA is working diligently to reach our ultimate destination.

Unfortunately, there is little fanfare given to this National endeavor. Most of the mainstream media ignores space policy announcements, only mentioning them to denounce the reported price tags.  The tech industry reports the latest developments in space technologies, but rarely expounds upon the why .  Political partisanship further distorts the message, dividing the space program along differing party views.

This is why public outreach is imperative. Unless the importance of human spaceflight is told, public support for exploration will wither.  Already, political commitments to NASA ebb and flow on the annual whims of our elected leadership.  Outreach and advocacy are the methods to change this.  That is why I’ve adopted the #MarsMonday hashtag. Every Monday, on Twitter and other social media platforms, we tag facts, questions, links, and photos about exploring Mars.  I talk about the need for human exploration, the parallels of Mars and Earth, and the opportunities Mars represents.  This is just a small way of embedding the significance of spaceflight into the public consciousness.

I encourage everyone reading this to find a outlet for encouraging space exploration outreach and advocacy.  If this is something you’re passionate about, make your voice heard.  Passion breeds interest, and that’s all that’s needed to plant the seed.

To see more, just go on Twitter and find my account: @casey_stedman

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