Last week Elon Musk announced that SpaceX would be sending a passenger on a journey to the moon and back. That passenger, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, doesn't want to go alone. "I did not want to have such a fantastic experience by myself," Maezawa said. Instead he will be bringing half a dozen artists on the journey with him. Giving birth to the #dearMoon project.
What does the general public think of this audacious plan? To find out we will analyze the sentiment and volume of social media posts containing the hashtag #dearMoon. Since the day the project was announced, there have been 4,541 unique posts with the hashtag #dearMoon.
This graph shows that the number of posts was highest on the day of the announcement, peaking at a rate of about 3 posts per minute. We can see that there was immediate interest in this project with the first mentions of the #dearMoon hashtag appearing on Twitter within minutes of the announcement. The #dearMoon mission branding was tailor made for social media, with the name of the project literally being a hashtag. No doubt this contributed to such quick and high volume social chatter.
Nearly a third of posts about #dearMoon had positive sentiment, while only about 11% were negative. Most of the negative posts were focused on Elon Musk and his recent controversial activites, as opposed to the dearmoon project itself.
Many people spoke to the inspirational nature of the project...
Some people focused their discussion on which artists would go...
Others tried to secure a seat for themselves...
Of course you are always going to have the nitpickers.
The #dearMoon announcement also caused a huge spike in mention volume for the SpaceX brand. This spike multiplied that brands normal chatter volume by a factor of ten for two days before returning back to normal. SpaceX often has these big PR events, and they are always correlated with a huge spike in social media buzz, a great indicator that the PR event is having its intended effect.
In conclusion social media users are enthusiastic about the #dearMoon project. The #dearMoon hashtag was picked up right away on social media resulting in a strong surge of post volume. Mentions of #dearMoon had mostly positive sentiment with users focusing on the inspirational nature of the mission. Negative posts were more focused on Elon Musk than the #dearMoon project itself. In addition, this announcement has resulted in a positive boost to SpaceX brand image.