By Claire West
NASA is launching an official Instagram profile that will take its fans on an out-of-this-world journey through images of Earth and beyond.
"We're constantly looking to expand our social media portfolio to include tools that will best tell NASA's story of exploration and discovery," said NASA Press Secretary Lauren Worley.
"Instagram has a passionate following of users who are hungry for new and exciting photos. We believe we have some of the most engaging images on and off the planet -- and we can’t wait to engage with Instagrammers."
Aeronautics, astrophysics, Earth science, human spaceflight and more, the NASA account will provide a comprehensive view of the agency by sharing new and historic images and videos.
The first NASA posts will highlight the scheduled launch of the agency's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) at 11:27 p.m. EDT Friday, from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va.
LADEE is a robotic research mission that will orbit the moon to gather detailed information about the structure and composition of the thin lunar atmosphere and determine whether dust is being lofted into the lunar sky. Using Instagram, NASA will post historic moon images and real-time photos from the launch complex before and during Friday's scheduled liftoff.