Nasa's brilliant tag cloud style collage of some of their pictograms describing Orion's features Photo credit: NASA

How do you engage an audience on the many complexities of designing a spacecraft to send people to outer space? With infographics, of course!

And not those wordy ones. The pictogram kind.

Coinciding with upcoming test flight of the Orion spacecraft on December 4, 2014, @NASASocial tweeted a pictogram for each letter of the alphabet corresponding to a feature of the new vehicle every ten minutes.

And what beautiful, simple graphics they are! I especially like the tag cloud like collage at the top. Graphics like these are always great way to quickly and simply illustrate the many fascinating details about a concept.

In this case, something completely outside of everyday life. NASA’s Orion spacecraft is designed to take humans farther out in space including Mars and asteroids. It will also sustain the crew during the travel, and be used to return to Earth. Just like during the Apollo missions in the 1960s! In fact, I’m wondering if their choice of using pictograms could be related to a theme of lunar landing retro? If so, I think it’s a great choice.

I’ve always been a fan of the kind of things NASA does on social media. They’ve got some great, engaging content. You can keep up with the Orion happenings including checking out all letter of the Orion alphabet on NASA’s Orion flickr account, Orion Twitter account, Orion Facebook page, Exploration Systems Instagram account, and of course, the Orion website.