In his article Jeff Carr suggests that space advocacy is harder than rocket science. More to the point, public relations and marketing is hard. Please read the article here. He poses some important questions that I think are worth discussing here. He also encourages input, so if you want to pitch him something, feel free to rough it out and get information here.

For your consideration:

How good is all this big picture thinking [moon bases, manned missions to Mars, etc] if no one else gets it or cares?

Why do our public advocacy efforts fail to get traction or to sustain momentum?

[Is space advocacy] being heard as an industry?  Or are we cancelling each other out?

How can we communicate as an industry to awaken public interest…foster national pride and resolve?


I look forward to all of your thoughtful input. I'll be chewing this one over for a few hours at least.

Tags: public relations, space advocacy

Views: 41

Replies to This Discussion

This is an extremely important topic, so I, for one, would like to see this discussion blossom and contrinue for a long time to come.

First, I'll answer all of his questions as best I can

So how is it working for America?

I honestly don't believe it's working at all. It is distressing, to say the least, to find out that no one seems to care.

Is the public getting any smarter or more informed as a result?

I don't think so. I don't think the public is getting smarter or more informed, because they don't seem to care. How do we make the public care? That's the biggest question we have to ask.

Is there a growing majority of members of Congress carrying the flag for space exploration and development?

I'm not sure I can answer this definitively, but I certainly don't think so...

Are we on the verge of the next great economic leap on the back of game-changing space technologies and discoveries?

Seeing as how NASA's funding has been cut, and astronauts have to hitch rides on Russian and other spacecraft, I'd say that the answer is no... something that desperately needs to change, IMO...


Is space becoming more relevant in the minds of Americans that are largely preoccupied with economic and social issues?

Again, no. Because nothing's being done to change that.


How good is all this big picture thinking if no one else gets it or cares?

Not good at all.


Why do our public advocacy efforts fail to get traction or to sustain momentum?

I honestly believe it's because the ever-growing number of advocacy groups with different messages. All these voices are just getting confusing.


Are we being heard as an industry?  Or are we cancelling each other out?

The latter.


How can we communicate as an industry to awaken public interest…foster national pride and resolve?

I think the different advocacy groups need to join together, under NASA, to spread one message.


The different groups we have include (but are not limited to) the National Space Society, The Space Foundation, The Planetary Society, The Mars Society, The Moon Society, The Space Frontier Foundation, The Final Frontier Foundation, The Space Generation Foundation, The Coalition for Space Exploration and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.


The National Space Society, The Space Foundation, The Space Frontier Foundation, The Final Frontier Foundation, The Space Generation Foundation, and The Coalition for Space Exploration could all be merged into one group. They are essentially advocating getting into space. So merge them all together and just call it... I don't know, the National Space Coalition.


The Planetary Society, the Mars Society, and the Moon Society could also be merged into one group, the Interplanetary Coalition.


Then we have the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.


This gives us three functioning coalitions that can all be gathered under the banner of NASA and create one, cohesive message that brings it all together:


"Space is the only step we have left. It is our future! We must build a base on the moon. We must explore Mars. We must explore the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, in the search for life.


And you can take part! You can go to space, as well!"


Take that message, or a similar one, and expand upon it. Take all the numerous voices and combine them into one voice. This is what will help to fix the public advocacy problem.



Part 2 of his article has already been posted. I wish his article was open to comments, because I, for one, would love to participate in the discussion, even though I'm just an Anthropology student.

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