NASA has an extraordinarily popular Twitter account. With 22.4 million followers, it ranks among the top 60 accounts on all of Twitter. It is the only US government agency to come remotely close to the top 100, which mostly consists of celebrities. It is, therefore, a bastion of science, space, and reason in a sea of reality TV, late night television, and sports stars.
During the last several years, one of the NASA Twitter feed’s most common hashtags has been #JourneyToMars, representative of the agency’s stated goal of sending humans to Mars in the 2030s. The “Journey to Mars” had been a frequent talking point for Administrator Charles Bolden and other agency leaders. They talked about the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft as key components of this mission.
But on the day Donald Trump became president and Bolden left his post as administrator, NASA has essentially stopped tweeting about the Journey to Mars. In the half-dozen months prior to President Trump’s inauguration, the @NASA account used the #JourneyToMars hashtag, on average, about six times a month. However, NASA’s main account has used it on Twitter just once since the new POTUS took office.