NASA Interns Showcase Science in a Music Video

When you make a pop song and use anything like space exploration as a central theme, there’s this certain secondary effect as far as geekdom is concerned: it’s like pouring gasoline on a bonfire.

And so it was that pop star Ariana Grande’s hit song NASA, which used the space agency’s exploration of the universe as a metaphor to describe a relationship, became the foundation for a new officially sanctioned NASA filk by a bunch of interns. The new song makes takes the metaphor literally. Still called NASA, it’s all about the agency’s mission and plans to return human beings to the moon.

NASA describes it as an “educational parody”, and it’s a volunteer outreach project from the student interns at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. It mixes real mission clips with footage of the interns dressed as astronauts, singing and dancing and doing science.

The sheer joy of the production shines through. The interns call out NASA’s planned Artemis moon mission with abandon, singing, “With our eyes surely we will see another Earth-rise/SLS will take our dreams beyond the skies.” SLS is NASA’s under-development Space Launch System rocket.

When Ariana Grande herself saw the video on Monday, she thanked the interns.

“Oh my. This is so pure and special and insane. Hi everyone over there that is doing such incredible work! Thank you for taking the time to make this! My heart is …. bursting.”

Considering what is and what we do, we can’t help but wonder if the interns have heard of us, and whether they knew they were going to become radio stars?

The Ariana Grande Song NASA

In case you haven’t actually heard the original Ariana Grande tune, here’s the official video for it.

NASA is a song sung by Ariana Grande from her fifth studio album, Thank U, Next (2019). It was released on February 8, 2019 through Republic Records.

NASA, named after the U.S. space agency of the same name, was actually a collaboration between by Ariana Grande, Victoria Monét, Tayla Parx and its producers Tommy Brown and Charles Anderson. Grande’s vocals were recorded by at the Jungle City Studios in New York City. Serban Ghenea mixed the track, and Brendan Morawski and Billy Hickey engineered the track assisted by Sean Kline. The track features a spoken introduction by Shangela, an American drag queen. She says, “One small step for woman, one giant leap for womankind”, a variation on Neil Armstrong’s quote, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.

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