Posted: Mar 07, 2022 9:51 pm
by tuco
Matt_B wrote:It's just a bit of public outreach, that's all.

Relatively few people are interested in space missions for the actual science, but give people a chance to put their name on board and you can reach a whole new audience. This has been going on since, I think, New Horizons.

It comes pretty much for free too. Space probes always have a significant margin just in case something vital dramatically increases in mass between the engineering mock up and the real thing. This is typically going to be filled out with lead weights as ballast, but you can easily stick something like a flash drive in there. That's also how things like the Pioneer Plaque and the Voyager Golden Records were able to be worked in during previous eras.

It also comes with an option to sign up for a NASA newsletter and updates on the Artemis mission. So in my mind, it's a small step to popularize NASA and science. Same thing with NASA broadcasting on Twitch for example. It does not matter why people come to the channel, and it's usually over 10k when it goes live, what matters is that it gets more people involved. And since it's for free, it's a non-zerosum game where everyone wins.