Opinion Brief

The 'inspirational' fan-made video that shows NASA how to sell itself

A powerful video collage reminds viewers of the wonders of cosmic exploration. Can the space agency learn from its message?

The video: Frustrated with NASA's inability to successfully market itself, one savvy YouTube user has created a video (see below) that is earning rave reviews for its "inspirational" message about space travel. The short film, titled "The Frontier Is Everywhere," blends NASA footage, the readings of the late beloved astronomer Carl Sagan, and a minimalist score to build support for the beleaguered space program, which recently had its budget slashed. The space agency is "one of humanity's grandest projects," writes damewse, the YouTube user who uploaded the video, in an introduction. But NASA ended up on the chopping block because it failed to share its "hopes and dreams in a way the public" could grasp. "NASA is the most fascinating, adventurous, epic institution ever devised by human beings," says damewse, "and their media sucks."
The reaction
: This is "the kind of video that Carl Sagan himself would have loved," says Patrick Hipp in The Awl. And while the footage is inspirational, it's also sobering to watch and think of how little the United States invests in its space program, as compared to the "humongous — and ultimately fruitless, economically — expenditures on figuring out just how to collect enough weaponry to shatter the planet into pieces." This footage is so inspiring, says The High Definite, it's likely to make you reconsider your own life path: "If you wanted to be an astronaut when you were younger and you're not one, get ready to be disappointed with your career choices." Watch the stunning video:

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