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NASA officially joins Instagram, shares historic moon photos ahead of rocket launch

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NASA's first Instagram photo
NASA's first Instagram photo

NASA is nearly everywhere on social media — Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Google+, YouTube, and even Foursquare. But it wasn't until today that NASA, as an agency, officially joined on Instagram. If you use the photo sharing service and are a fan of space, science, or generally beautiful images, NASA will end up being a must-follow. So far the agency has uploaded four historic images of the moon in a nod to the scheduled launch of the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE), which is set to take place tonight.

LADEE is a robotic vehicle that will orbit the moon, gathering information on its thin, dusty atmosphere. NASA says it will also post photos from LADEE's Virginia launch site before and during Friday's planned liftoff. And, in general, the agency says it will use its new Instagram account to share all sorts of photos and videos in a bid to offer up a comprehensive view of what it's up to both in space and here on earth. If NASA's massive photo archives — or the images the Goddard space flight center and Ames research center have been sharing on Instagram — are any indication, we're in for one stunningly gorgeous new account.