NASA may only consume 0.5 percent of the federal budget, but it generates practically all of Uncle Sam's viral marketing buzz. Never was that more apparent than on Monday morning following the successful Mars landing of Curiosity, the biggest and most advanced spacecraft ever dispatched to another planet. In an explosion of tweets, Tumbls, status updates, and blog posts, the Internet showed its love of NASA in a way other parts of the government could only dream of. So what's NASA's secret?
The personalities Obviously NASA gets to go to space, so that kind of puts them at an advantage to, say, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but that's not its only strong suit! Those geeky, industrious, short-sleeve shirt-wearing scientists are a huge factor. And who could anticipate the surprise role of Bobak Ferdowski (nee "Mohawk Guy"), NASA's activity lead who gets a new hairdo for each mission? As millions tuned into the live stream and saw his wild do, Ferdowski became an instant symbol of rebellious nerd cool.