How do you make an agency like NASA cool again?
This is the question that my favorite new nerd blog, Gearfuse, is asking in their latest post, "The Frontier is Everywhere." I love blogs like Gearfuse because they dare to ask questions that seem too bizarre, sciencey or out-there for most other writers. Everything from amazing music videos by bands with names like the Freelance Whales to the world's largest ice-core drilling operation, to alternate endings to Return of the Jedi.
Which brings us back to NASA. You probably haven't thought of NASA since the shuttle launch you saw when you were in the fifth grade, maybe even the Discovery tragedy. It's been ages since the last (failed) Mars Rover mission. The Chinese may well soon beat us in terms of astrophysical prowess and investment. Everyone's talking about how American students are trailing other countries in math and science education.
So if you happened to be a NASA executive, as thrilling as a job like that might be, it would be tempting to think that the glory days of your agency are behind you. Perhaps, but their marketing division is clearly at the top of their game. They definitely borrowed a lot of cinematic touches from Planet Earth, but it's all in good faith. With unemployment more or less permanently stuck at 10% and states and cities billions of dollars in the red, many people may need convincing that a national space program still deserves our attention (and $$). Happy Friday, everybody! This should lift your spirits just a bit: