Here is a video where Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) scientists reflect on the landing of Curiosity Mars Rover that is coming up on August 6th, 2012.
NYTimes has a story about how this video has become a huge hit for NASA. NYTimes elaborates that this video has become a success because it is not dry and boring like all other NASA videos, but instead is made to be thrilling and exciting, like your average Hollywood fare.
A snippet from the NYTimes story:
The slick video is “definitely a step up,” said Reid Gower, a 26-year-old Canadian who was so frustrated by NASA’s previous efforts that last year he put together NASA snippets into a promotional video that he thought the space agency should be making. “That’s along the lines of what I feel they could be doing, something that’s education but also engaging. It’s not static and dry. It has emotional content in it.”
After viewing the overly dramatic video, I am actually of the opposite opinion.
NASA should leave such “emotional content” to Hollywood and focus on presenting good science. I don’t buy the idea that making science seem overly thrilling and exciting is going to attract more people to do good science. Video such as “Seven Minutes of Terror” seem very close to horrible “science” fiction movies like Armageddon (1998), which present scientists and science as something of a joke.
Such sexed-up presentations from NASA only focus on the seven minutes of suspense, but leave out the years and years those scientists have put in to create an awesome and epic mission to another planet. A better title would have been “Eight Years of Hard Work.” Let’s see how many people that attracts to JPL.