NASA: Lame Beyond Belief

So, in an attempt to make NASA look cool again, they have signed up “The Rock”, the wrestler turned actor who now goes by his given name, Dwayne Johnson, in order to make space travel look cool again:

Perhaps space travel has become old. Perhaps people have come to take it for granted. It’s been seen in so many movies. So many space shuttles have taken off and returned to Earth that we think little more of them than we do of jumbo jets.

NASA therefore has to use its imagination to persuade tomorrow’s generations that space travel continues to be a large step for man.

One small step in this process is a new public service announcement featuring that fearsome space creature, “The Rock.” Dwayne Johnson himself, a man who has appeared in so many scientifically concocted movies such as WWF SmackDown, WWE Backlash, and WWE Crush Hour, is now telling kids that NASA is cool.

You know, going into space is cool, the fact that you have to lose an actor to convince people that it is is more of an artifact of your incompetence in running the space program than it is the fundamental coolness of space.

Learning to find one’s own ass with one’s own hands would be a good start.

Video below.


  1. Guest says:

    Why is going into space so inherently cool? More so than other high-tech endeavors? Why is it inherently cooler than, say, silicon-chip manufacturing or molecular biology? Space exploration has been hyped for so long, it is a cliche. It is interesting for some and may have in the future some implications for people (probably less so than other fields of technology) but it is not particularly cool unless you are a geek, and a space geek at that.

  2. Matthew G. Saroff says:

    Well, for the past 50 years, Astronaut/Cosmonaut has been the übermensch of the world, particularly in the US and USSR.  They are the steely eyed fearless test pilot who puts his life at risk for science, national pride, etc.

    What NASA has done, through abysmal policy is to make Astronaut a glorified salesman for the Astronaut corps, by employing too many so that they can be sent out as glorified petting zoo exhibits….There's also the whole diaper wearing homicidally jealous ex-lover thing too.

    Basically, NASA has sacrificed aeronautics and science to the shuttle/space station, and created an image as a bunch of losers who cannot find their ass with both hands.

  3. Sortition says:

    My point was that this whole ubermensch was bound to wear thin at some point no matter how NASA managed things (and as far as I am concerned, BTW, the sooner the better). After the initial excitement is over, it turns out this is another case of the government sponsoring technology whose application is either esoteric (astrophysics) or commercial and often outright dangerous (military).

  4. Matthew G. Saroff says:

    Of course, the idea that someone flying into space would at some point become ordinary and routine, much like the trasformation from 1900 to 1920 regarding the drivers of motorcars.

    That being said, between 1900 and 1920, motorcars became more reliable and safer, and with NASA and the space shuttle, space flight became less reliable and more dangerous, and this was managed in such a way that the astronauts are viewed more as welfare cases than anything else.

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