NASA Johnson Style: Gangnam Style Parody Honors Space Agency

Commentary | NASA Johnson Style is a Gangnam Style parody that honors the space agency. NASA’s Johnson Space Center just released its own spoof of singer PSY’s cross-over Korean pop hit. The k-pop imitating viral video uses footage from the International Space Station and scenes from the NASA Johnson Space Center itself to highlight the ongoing research of NASA scientists.

Gangnam Style has been enjoying a large number of spoofs and reenactments due to it being the number one YouTube video for the year. Even Christmas lights are dancing along with prisoners in Thailand. The dance is so popular that doctors warned of health issues after a British Dad died while going Gangnam Style. The popularity persists even after PSY admitted he was tired of Gangnam Style and he was criticized for an anti-American song written back in 2004.

According to LiveScience, the NASA Johnson Style viral video features cameos from many astronauts:

“A few astronauts even make cameos in parody video. The astronaut shooting the PSY impersonator a disapproving look a little less than two minutes into the video is Mike Massimino — a veteran of two space shuttle missions, both of which visited the Hubble Space Telescope.

“Clayton Anderson, a member of the Expedition 15 mission to the International Space Station, can be seen dancing at about the 2:30 mark. And Tracy Caldwell Dyson, who lived aboard the station for 174 days in 2010, pops up a few different times lip synching from inside a space capsule. A couple of the other guest stars include astronauts Michael Coats and Ellen Ochoa.”

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) had previously parodied LMFAO’s People of Walmart (Sexy and I Know It) with a video called We’re NASA and We Know It (Mars Curiosity). The NASA video producers seem to be working their way from west to east so I’m hoping their next stop will be Cape Canaveral, Florida.

I’ve lived about half my life within earshot of the home of the space shuttles. Locals were used to hearing the rumble of the shockwave created by the frequent shuttle blast offs. A friend of mine remembers watching the shockwave race across the waters near some bleachers where people were blown off their feet. The Saturn V rockets would often shatter windows miles away. A piece of our souls was lost when the Federal government decided to mothball the space shuttle program.

The local economy was especially hit hard, with the unemployment rate going from a low of 2.9 percent in 2006 to a high of 11.8 percent in 2010. The economy has bounced back due to businesses diversifying and Boeing and Space-X re-investing into the space race but we’re still nowhere near our relatively recent peak.

During that time I had a chance to visit the Kennedy Space Center many times in order to fix their computer systems. NASA employees would tell me the latest news before it ever hit the newsstands. I remember clearly how worried they all were about Obama’s plans for NASA space programs.

One of my retired friends was a manager of Kennedy Space Center through the Apollo programs and to the space shuttle era. He’s on first-name basis with all the astronauts and he still meets with famous names for lunch on a regular basis. Because of friends like him I’ve received the VIP tour treatment at Kennedy. I’ve had a chance to try out the zero-g and shuttle simulators along with the g-force accelerator.

Because of all this I was greatly excited when I first saw NASA Johnson Style. I’m hoping videos like this may revive public interest in the work that NASA is doing. Cape Canaveral especially needs some cheering up and I’m hoping that the next NASA viral video features my friends.