"NASA Johnson Style" the Gangnam-style spoof created by students in the Pathways Intern Employment Program at Johnson Space Center in Houston, has garnered more than 4 million views since its Dec. 14 release, making the video the most watched clip on the agency's "Reel NASA" YouTube channel.
NASA Johnson Style parodies South Korean pop-star Psy's viral hit, taking advantage of its popularity to promote NASA's efforts to increase interest in science, technology, math and science through unique internships and student experiences.
The leading character is played by Pathways Intern Eric Sim, a North Carolina State University student, and features cameos by astronauts Clayton Anderson, Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Mike Massimino.
"I'm hoping the video reaches even more people. There is so much going on at NASA and there is plenty more planned for the future," said Gary Jordan, editor of the video and a Pathways Intern from Penn State University.
The video highlights the center's achievements in human space exploration and research through footage of the International Space Station, Mission Control, and JSC's Rocket Park, while Sim sings and breaks into the famous "Gangnam Style" dance.
"I'm thrilled to see the response NASA Johnson Style has received - it's clear the public is still captivated by space exploration. Our Pathways Interns represent the best and the brightest from across the nation, and the video really showcases the valuable experiences our students gain while working at Johnson Space Center," said Bryan Grant, JSC Pathways programs and recruiting manager.
Through the Pathways Intern Employment Program, students obtain hands-on experience in areas such as business, hardware and space suit development and aerospace engineering. "I,ve always been fascinated with NASA and dreamt about becoming a flight director," said Ronak Dave, a student at Purdue University, a Pathways Intern, and member of the creative team.
Although NASA Johnson Style is a light-hearted parody, the video sends a real message to the public that the space agency is alive and well and developing future business leaders, engineers, and scientists. Brian Schwing, a Pathways Intern from Ohio State University, and the song's lyricist and video director, hopes the video makes a long-lasting impact. "I want NASA Johnson Style and future videos to inspire kids to pursue careers in science or engineering. Someone recently posted a video of their children dancing and singing the "NASA Johnson Style" song. As I watched the footage, I could not have been more proud. That is exactly the impact I hoped the video would have."
Other activities to promote the NASA Johnson Style video and JSC student education programs include, the Pathway Interns participating in a Google+ hangout media interview, releasing spinoff videos, and publishing feature stories about the video's phenomenon on NASA.gov.