Synthesis Matrix

How did the development and innovations of technology by NASA since 1958 have play a crucial role in the advancement of social media?

The development and innovations of technology by NASA since 1958 have played a crucial role in the advancement of social media because:

Names of Authors NASA improved the computer and signal clarity by adding speed to share multimedia such as images and videos through networks across the world wide web. The development of satellites enabled a broader range of network capacity to connect people worldwide. NASA has created thousands of computer programs over the decades equipped to develop media over the world wide web so that initially astronauts can share multimedia from space, but today those same programs are used to share multimedia. The technology and social media usage my NASA spurred competition among other companies in order to get the public more engaged through social media by competitions, interactions, and give-aways. 
Crawford, S.

 Not only did they develop multiple applications for the computer, but also helped develop it into a user friendly technological device. “Companies took speed and developed quicker web servers. High resolution was developed so that sharing multimedia could be clearer.”(Crawford) Starting with the Apollo missions is when social media exploded as images from space were shared drastically among people worldwide.  Satellites directly opened the world to mass networking. People watch TV shows that are broadcasted across the ocean. This opened up media to see what goes on in other parts of the world. “Millions of people connect through all kinds of social media websites to see news, talk to family, blog, and whatever else it may be.”(Crawford)  During the Apollo missions, NASA relied on webcam and live camera footage to see what astronauts were doing. “These footages were broadcasted live on websites. Eventually NASA developed blogging websites and used many programs to construct early websites for twitterlike websites for themselves.”(Crawford) These programs were later used as a basis for companies such as twitter and tumblr.  At the early times, NASA was the only company that really took advantage of the social media. The only other option at the time was listening to the news over the radio. “Once companies came out specializing in social media departments to engage users for products and ideas.”(Crawford)
Hendricks, D.

Telephone lines and radio signals enabled people to communicate across great distances instantaneously, something that mankind had never experienced before. “Improving signal clarity came directly from improving the clarity of communication from head quarters, to astronauts in space.”(Hendricks) With such an advancement in signals, multimedia sharing became much more proficient.   World wide connection and networking today is an utmost necessity. Today, there is a tremendous variety of social networking sites, and many of them can be linked to allow cross-posting. “This creates an environment where users can reach the maximum number of people without sacrificing the intimacy of person-to-person communication. “(Hendricks)  Websites are created using programs such as HTML, JavaScript, SQL, PHP, and different other programs. NASA depended on these programs for its website and the ability to interact with people. “The C Program Packages was also a huge innovation. With all these programs, and using the networking and social media concept, companies ideally took the design and improved it upon their own nature.”(Hendricks) This is how Twitter and Tumblr, to name a few, allow inter-connectivity only only through their website, but through other websites too.
Dunbar, B.

The television was still a relatively new concept during the early times of the cold war. With black and white imaging originally, NASA and scientists spearheaded the color TV which gave the world a different kind of clarity. “Peter Carl Goldmark got a lot of help from the research that was provided by NASA, and this became a major stepping stone in the world of not only the television, but clarity for public information and vision.”(Dunbar)   “A group of more than 20 satellites make up the Global Positioning System, or GPS. If you have a GPS receiver, these satellites can help figure out your exact location. The number of satellites for uses have grown.”(Dunbar) There are separate satellites for the telephone, television, internet, digital cinema, and many more. Satellite Internet access is Internet access provided through communications satellites. “Modern satellite Internet service is typically provided to users through geostationary satellites that can offer high data speeds, with newer satellites achieving downstream data speeds up to 15 Mbps.”(Dunbar)  Mobile application development is the process by which application software is developed for low-power handheld devices, such as personal digital assistantsenterprise digital assistants or mobile phones. “These applications can be pre-installed on phones during manufacturing, downloaded by customers from various mobile software distribution platforms, or delivered as web applications using server-side or client-side processing (e.g. JavaScript) to provide an “application-like” experience within a Web browser.”(Dunbar) 

“NASA is one of the few brands doing something right with Google+. It has 1.3m followers and has been viewed over 362m times.”(Dunbar) One of the key ways in which NASA has achieved this following is through its steady programme of very entertaining Google Hangouts, all of which are available on its YouTube channel.

Launius, R.

 Sputnik as an opportunity to demonstrate the power of the “positive liberal state” offered the world by the United States. In essence, this position celebrates the use of state power for public good. “Space exploration, they argued, was reasonable and forward-looking and led to “good” results for all concerned. Without perhaps seeking to do so, Sputnik offered an important perspective on a debate that has raged over the proper place of state power since the beginning of the United States.”(Launius) Basically to put a massive computer in space was highly unthinkable. With Sputnik becoming the first computer in space, this changed technology completely.   Without Sputnik, as well as the Soviet Union’s ensuing achievement of putting the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, in April 1961, experts have questioned whether American astronauts would have walked away on the moon as soon as they did, or ever. In a sense, the victory of the Apollo 11 moon walk in July 1969 can be traced all the way back to Sputnik. “Without Sputnik, the race for the power of technological superpower would’ve never happened, media would’ve grown slower, and we might not even have smart phones or laptops to this date.”(Launius)    By today’s standards, the IT Nasa used in the Apollo manned lunar programme is pretty basic. “But while they were no more powerful than a pocket calculator, these ingenious computer systems were able to guide astronauts across 356,000 km of space from the Earth to the Moon and return them safely.”(Launius) The lunar programme led to the development of safety-critical systems and the practice of software engineering to program those systems. Much of this knowledge gleaned from the Apollo programme forms the basis of modern computing. These kind of computing were put in use into the public, giving them desktops, and to the direct development of the laptop. “During the Cold War era when space flights and launches were a regular, NASA set up a program where people would have to take pictures with captions and mail them in.”(Launius) When NASA found them interesting or loved them, the winners would be able to go to the launches and meet with the director. This still happens today, but this was an early development of the NASA Social program.
Embrick, J.

 Sharing images, videos, and all kinds of multimedia are a must to keep people interested and updated. John Embrick said that, “social media can not be where it’s at without the computer.” He said that statement bluntly and based on my research it is utmost true.  With social media exploding today, John Embrick is a pioneer at NASA. While NASA has no budget for social media, he took advantage of all social media websites and created multiple accounts where whatever NASA is doing is displayed. “The development of the satellites not only played a large role in social media today, but rather it is the reason why social media is in existence at the level it’s at.”(Embrick) To this date, social media is only expanding, and more satellites are going up for a quicker level of connection globally.  Without the development of any kind of programs that NASA had to use for any missions and all computers, the progression of programming and development of technology would’ve been super slow. “Due to the cold war, NASA saw the expansion of programming as not only a technological innovation, but a method of communication.”(Embrick)  “Increasingly, more and more people are getting their news from online sources, and we strive to share our story of exploration and discovery with the public through these digital channels, including social media,” said David Weaver, associate administrator for Communications at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “As NASA embarks on missions to go farther in space than ever before, we will look for new ways to engage the public and share the experience.” (Embrick)
Mulready, R.

“CompuServe was the first major commercial Internet service provider for the public in the United States. Using a technology known then as dial-up, it dominated the field through the 1980s and remained a major player until the mid-1990s.”(Mulready) This was the start of the computer development and eventually led to massive networking starting in communities.  NASA singlehandedly takes advantage of the satellites that they put up. For the satellites that monitor internet, a gargantuan amount of signals are sent to them. In turn, they quickly shoot back and whatever we searched on our phones or computer shows up. The speed and networking today has excelled beyond to what technologists could’ve imagined two decades ago.  The way NASA operates its social media is like the a way a marketing company should do it. After all, NASA is a government agency, but they have millions of followers across all social media accounts. NASA gives its products voices. “They have taken this approach with its Mars Curiosity Rover, giving it a voice through dedicated FacebookTwitter and Foursquare accounts. They use Google+ as a method to directly contact people and groups to talk about daily news, or about random topics regarding NASA.”(Mulready) These kinds of interactions prove to go above and beyond all companies, which causes competition and a social media innovation. 
Oxford, T.

“While sitting just outside the boundaries of the 1950s in that it delivered its very first computation in 1949, it was in the 1950s that modifications to this computer made history. The Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator (EDSAC) was one of the first British computers and the LEO 1 (Lyons Electronic Office 1), built by J. Lyons and Co, was the first computer used for business applications devised on the EDSAC model.”(Oxford) The first stored program computer took a massive turn when the space race was at its beginning. NASA was established and this computer had to be advanced, and so it did by NASA computer scientists. From there the computer took off, and made history.

 The microchip is a tiny wafer of semiconducting material used to make an integrated circuit. A microchip is a semiconductor integrated circuit. The function depends on what it is designed to do. It could be a micro processor, memory chip, or digital tuner. “It could be used in your wristwatch, microwave oven, cell phone, garage door opener, the space shuttle, or almost anything. When it was first created, it was used for small purposes. Today, they’re implanted in animals, computers, calculators, laptops, and even more.”(Oxford) This was vital for the satellites because not only did it make it a machine operable in space, but operable from the ground to space and back. this connection enabled a lowcost but quick method of communication. 

“The development of the digital modem was initially driven by the demands of SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) – the air defence system in the United States. Used to connect terminals across various radar sites, airbases and command-and-control centres, these modems were the first to be mass produced and to use the Bell 101 dataset standard.”(Oxford) They ran on dedicated telephone lines, sending data over the PSTN (public switched telephone network) and were very similar to the Bell 101, 110 baud modems. Today everyone in our home has modems for simple internet connections. This simple modem connects us with the whole world.


 Today we don’t realize how important of a role technology has played in our daily lives. Without the development of the television by NASA, especially because how much we rely on it for the news, movies and all. Without the development of the TV, there would’ve been a slower development of the computer which is one tool for social media.  It’s amazing how much satellites affect us. We rely on them to see into outer space, for weather reports, but little do most people know that the reason why we can see images on our phone from internet source and browse through stores for applications is because of satellites. They are reason when we can see all kinds of images, and interact with friends, family, and even online date.  As an information systems major, programming is one of the most important parts of the field. With the development of C packages by NASA, they played one of the biggest innovators of program development. Today these same packages can be found in our computers, tablets, and phones.  My father works at NASA as a Systems Engineer. Everyday he always tells me to be active on social media with NASA if I want to be considered to be chosen for one of NASA’s Socials. The amazing thing is that I believe that I am really social, but never have I ever won. The amount of people who use technology today is ridiculous. On twitter, I see the NBA,  Homeland Security, airlines, taxi companies, and all kinds of companies advertising themselves with rewards and competitions. A bunch of initiatives are given out so users can interact.


  • Crawford, S. (2011, March 3). How has NASA improved TV technology?. HowStuffWorks. Retrieved July 12, 2014, from
  • Hendricks, D. (2013, May 8). The Complete History of Social Media: Then And Now. Small Business Trends. Retrieved July 12, 2014, from
  • Dunbar, B. (2008, July 21). Space Program Benefits: NASA’s Positive Impact on Society.NASA. Retrieved July 14, 2014, from
  • Launius, R. (2009, November 17). An unintended consequence of the IGY: Eisenhower, Sputnik, the Founding of NASA. . Retrieved July 6, 2014, from 
  • Embrick, J. (2014, May 15). NASA Ranked High in J.D. Power’s Inaugural Social Media Study of Government. NASA. Retrieved July 14, 2014, from
  • Mulready, R. (2013, September 15). What NASA Can Teach You About Social Media Marketing. . Retrieved July 14, 2014, from
  • Oxford, T. (2009, August 5). 5 Technologies to thank the 1950s For . . Retrieved July 1, 2014, from

When I was first doing the synthesis matrix, I felt like I had all my research and I could finish this assignment within an hour. It took me a few hours because this matrix really taught me to dig into the information I had and make sure that I pull out every detail possible to obtain every bit of information. For the most part, all my research and matrices are complete. But if you look at my matrix you’ll see a couple of blank boxes for the “because clause” about media. This is because My research is present, but both the articles that I chose did not cover the aspect of social media competitions. I definitely have articles that give beyond substantive material about social media competitions and NASA making other companies enhance their marketing skills. This matrix assignment told me to bolster all my “because clauses”.

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