NASA joins Instagram, epic galactic pictures to follow

In a bid to secure the title of best Instagram account of all time, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration joined the popular (hipster) photo-sharing site yesterday.

The 55-year old government agency declared in a press release that they hope to "take its fans on an out-of-this-world journey through images of Earth and beyond."

NASA Press Secretary Lauren Worley:

"We're constantly looking to expand our social media portfolio to include tools that will best tell NASA's story of exploration and discovery. Instagram has a passionate following of users who are hungry for new and exciting photos. We believe we have some of the most engaging images on and off the planet — and we can’t wait to engage with Instagrammers."

Photos and videos posted will be centered around the subjects of aeronautics, astrophysics, Earth science, human spaceflight and beyond.

For its very first picture, NASA mooned (pun intended) everyone with an epic snapshot of planet Earth rising over one side of the night star. Originally taken on July 20, 1969 from Apollo 11, the ethereal and almost ghostly surface of the moon can clearly be seen, with Earth peeking up from it smack in the middle of the picture; an interesting perspective.

The image also served as a promotion to tune in to NASA's scheduled launch of the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE), which will take place at 11:27 p.m. EDT tonight from the Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, VA.

NASA already has accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Flickr, Foursquare and Reddit, so creating an Instagram account seems like a no-brainer. The geekiest of all federal agencies boasts 5 million+ followers on its @NASA account. Its "innovative use of social media is recognized as one of the best in federal government," said the press release, because, you know, it's so tough to use social media if you're part of the Feds.

Two of NASA's research centers, the Goddard Spaceflight Center and Ames Research Center already haev Instagram accounts. NSFW pictures of Uranus and Venus colliding to follow.


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