Improving ISRO Public Outreach Efforts

A couple of weeks back we asked you what can ISRO do to better its public outreach?

We are happy to organise some of the crowd sourced suggestions.While some might say the budget of ISRO is not enough, there could be no better strategy of getting an approval of a bigger budget than reaching out to the general public by delivering a simple message (effectively) on ‘Why spending on the space programme is really important for each one of us?’.

We sincerely hope that the policy makers of ISRO take note of these suggestions of the ‘common man’ in India and take measures to make its outreach programme as successful as its missions to Moon and Mars. 😀

  • While ISRO has an excellent content streaming on Twitter/Facebook, there seems to be no interaction via replies to the handles. The one-way street of information must turn to having a more interactive presence of answering queries on the social media. On the same lines, the Mars Orbiter handle on Twitter seems to have died out and AstroSat has no handle as such. There needs to be a consolidation of outreach strategies on Twitter/Facebook.
  • Have a YouTube Channel that can showcase
    • Series of documentaries on broad areas of its missions and the outcomes that are helping India at the grassroots level.
    • Videos with simple explanations of importance of space missions, future projects
    • Share archival footage
  • Open a public museum on the lines of the HAL Aircraft Museum in Bangalore showcasing the successes of the Indian space programme.
  • Get scientists to be active on social media (Facebook/Twitter).
  • ISRO should make the process of availing public live viewing for all launches from Sriharikota easy via online booking of slots.
  • Frequent blog posts on the updates of the ongoing missions and making data/results public. Special emphasis can be given to involving veteran/distinguished scientists to interact with general public.
  • Release 3D models or of their spacecrafts and Launch vehicles that could be helpful for hobby modellers and content creators.
  • Make the ISRO website more interactive and have a good strategy for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
  • Make the scientific data of scientific missions such as Chandrayaan/Mangalyaan etc., to the general public to encourage development of scientific temper.
  • Have an ‘ISRO Open Day’ to encourage people to visit ISRO centers. A limited crowd can be accommodated on a registration via a ‘First Come’ basis.
  • ISRO needs to organise open contests that encourages public participation.
    For eg- NASA organizes a contest on a yearly basis known as NIAC (NASA Innovative Advanced Contest) that is an open challenge to the pubic & space enthusiasts to submit their designs & blueprints regarding any future space technology that they envision.
  • Update the content on the ISRO website so that even ordinary people with no connection or interest in Space sector could understand the gist of the whole article.
  • Create a merchandise store for general public to buy space programme memorabilia. Any profits on such merchandise can be used as arbitrage for outreach programmes.
  • Have outreach/learning via ‘Education on Wheels’ kind of programmes to facilitate workshops and exhibitions across small towns and villages.
  • Get the ISRO run academic institute Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology to collaborate with premier global institutes of space such as International Space University, University of Tokyo, etc. to encourage early stage interaction of Indian youth to global peers and vice versa.

PS –

For those of you who are interested in why space is so important for all of us (no matter developed or developing countries), please do watch this exciting video ‘A Day without Satellites‘.