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NASA Trailer To Be Shown Before Star Trek: Into Darkness 158

Tired of seeing ads for cars and soda before the films you watch at the theater? Well, a successful crowdfunding campaign at Indiegogo will see a trimmed down version of NASA's 'We Are Explorers' video aired before showings of the upcoming Star Trek: Into Darkness in theaters all over the country. "Most people recognize space as a key expression of our character. They know our space programs as a globally recognized brand of ingenuity. The recently landed Mars Curiosity Rover was the latest reminder that space systems are the crown jewels of our scientific and technical prowess. Less known is the indispensable value space systems bring to our everyday lives. Space provides irreplaceable capabilities for defense, public health, finance, medicine, energy, agriculture, transportation, development and countless other fields. Investments in space programs are precisely about improving and protecting life on Earth. ... By funding this campaign, we can remind students and the general public that our nation's space agency is working hard on the next era of exploration." The campaign's funding goal was reached in just six days — their stretch goal will increase the number of theaters for the clip from 59 screens to 750. The movie comes out on May 17th.

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NASA Trailer To Be Shown Before Star Trek: Into Darkness

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  • Good (Score:5, Informative)

    by RobbieCrash ( 834439 ) * on Sunday March 31, 2013 @02:39AM (#43322743)

    Wider exposure to science cannot be a bad thing.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @02:40AM (#43322745)

    It's not like you have to convince the average Star Trek fan that NASA should get some sensible funding.

    But given the quality of the more recent Star Trek movies, this might just be the best thing they'll see that evening.

    • by denzacar ( 181829 ) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @03:36AM (#43322845) Journal

      The entire thing basically looks like the intro of Star Trek: Enterprise. Minus the singing.
      Also, practically minus the "future". All that trailer does is show things NASA "used to do".
      Making the ST: E intro far more inspirational.

      On the other hand, "We are explorers" is not really the motto that syncs with Jar Jar's Trek - which is about lens flares, explosions, running, shooting and apparently tits in space.
      Not that there's anything wrong with tits in space, it's just that when talking about "exploration of celestial spheres" our goal should be set a little farther than a pair of double Ds.

    • by jythie ( 914043 )
      I was actually thinking the other direction, that this is the wrong audience for NASA. While I know the stats are up for debate, from reading interviews it really seems like the creators of the reboot are primarily interested in reaching people who didn't like star trek.. so films that are heavily built on emotional acting, fast pace, and special effects. So standard action flic stuff. Which has its place, but most of the science geeks I know who loved Trek saw the first movie, were bored, and are not go
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The last movie turned out to be a lie.
    It was called star trek and it had some characters with the same name in and a few things in common.
    But it wasn't star trek, the universe wasn't the same one.
    I don't imagine many people will be conned again

    • That's exactly how I felt about it: It was a modestly interesting SF movie, but it wasn't Star Trek.

      • I can give some slack to character interpretations bu honestly, the ending sucked and I concur, other than name it did not feel like 'star trek'

    • Yea, it was a lot better than the old one.
    • by jythie ( 914043 )
      Yeah.. sometimes I wonder if the same thing happened as Super Mario Brother's 2... some new author created an original world with its own backstory and characters, then some executive said 'hey, we like this, but if we rebrand it as something high profile then more people will watch if we just change all the characters and backgrounds.. and hey, since it is a dream/reboot the artifacts from swapping things out does not even have to make sense!'
    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

      That is the nature of any inter-generational story. Some fanboy will always whine that the newest incarnation is not a true Scotsman.

      It doesn't matter if it's Dickens or Batman.

  • Just think how much more awesomer this would have been if made by the IRS. Cheaper too - they already have a Star Trek set and costumes.

  • Target audience? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thatkid_2002 ( 1529917 ) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @04:14AM (#43322903)

    TFA cites younger people as being the target audience. As a young person who also happens to know quite a few other young people this seems strange. In general, young people tend to understand the importance of NASA and space programs in general - we all know all know the associated trivia such as where ballpoint pens and Teflon came from. We all know the importance of science - we are all (unless you are in the Bible Belt of the USA) taught it in school and we are all aware of what science can do for us.

    It seems to me that the people who actually need to be targeted are the middle aged and older people who are in control of the votes and money needed to revitalise the space programs. Luckily, there is some penetration of Star Trek into these age groups.

    • It seems to me that the people who actually need to be targeted are the middle aged and older people who are in control of the votes and money needed to revitalise the space programs. Luckily, there is some penetration of Star Trek into these age groups.

      Like, everyone who watched TOS when it was new...

      • TOS was terrible. I know I'm going to get hate for saying that, but it's truly unbearable crap. No-wonder that whole age bracket has an aversion to science.
        • Yes, "that whole age bracket" agrees with you, which is why the Historical Documents marked the beginning and end of the franchise, and it died alone, unloved and unremembered, inspiring nothing and no-one.

        • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @05:22AM (#43323029)

          TOS was terrible. I know I'm going to get hate for saying that, but it's truly unbearable crap. No-wonder that whole age bracket has an aversion to science.

          Yeah, it should have been sophisticated, like today's television shows.

        • by jythie ( 914043 )
          While terrible in its way, compared to other media of the time period it was rather groundbreaking, and actually did result in many young people getting interested in science and engineering. So while it might not have had much of a mass impact on the general public, it has been sited as having an impact on the minority that really drove engineering for many decades.
        • Though I don't agree, your comment should get modded up as a conversation starter because it is both right and wrong. Yes, many of the TOS episodes are unbearably (can't think of the right word) trite by some modern standards and even at the time it was pointed out (among other things) that the concept of the ship's captain putting himself in life threatening situations was unrealistic (to say the least). However, for the time (and I was there to see it) it was a fascinating and insightful show which ofte

        • by k6mfw ( 1182893 )

          TOS was terrible.

          Both true and false. yes, the special effects were terrible compared to nowadays and Shatner's ego tend to dominate everything. However, they had to rely on compelling stories (take a look at credits of screenplays, you will see some notable SF authors). They could not use CGI to make up for a bad plot though it seems these days it what they are doing, and it ain't working (who watches sci-fi channel these days?). One thing for sure it generated a whole genre and several movies and TV shows all based on a

          • I'm re-watching ST-TOS now (friend let me copy the entire series in avi format), and I've seen the first few episodes, starting with the original pilot episode. The first season had amazingly involved storylines that were probably way over most viewers heads at that time, since most tv then was 'I Love Lucy' fare.

            What ST did was give young people a version of the future that was hopeful, something that was seriously lacking in the sixties in peoples live. It showed people cooperating for altruistic reason

    • It seems to me that the people who actually need to be targeted are the middle aged and older people who are in control of the votes and money needed to revitalise the space programs.

      It's also nearly impossible to change the opinions of middle aged and older people.

    • we all know all know the associated trivia such as where ballpoint pens and Teflon came from

      Do tell.

      The ballpoint pen was invented by Laszlo Biro in 1938

      • by dryeo ( 100693 )

        The history of the ball point pen goes back a lot further then that. It just took a long time to perfect with the Biro brothers making an important step in the ink department and having luck like meeting the President of Argentina on an ocean liner and American pilots discovering it.
        Really it was Bich who ended up perfecting it and managed to sell it which was hard as so many ball point pens had leaked and ruined shirts.

    • Neither ball-point pens nor Teflon came out of NASA. But if they spur your interest in NASA, science, and the rest, more power to y'all. Go for it!

      • There was a pen developed for writing upside down and in zero gravity, not by NASA. It was advertised as the space pen, and 'pumped' the ink to the tip when you pressed hard a few times. And it was used by astronauts, that got used in the ads for it. The Space Pen had a short run as a product and faded quickly. It was more an unneeded gimmick since gravity fed pens work quite well on Earth.
        • Sure, I've owned several, they work well; only drawback I ever found was a tendency for a very small blob of ink to appear when starting to write. I found they were more than a gimmick on Earth; I've had enough occasions taking down measurements or marking up framing, for instance, worked nicely, and sometimes better than just using a pencil (and you don't have to sharpen it).

          Was done by Fisher, of Fisher Pen; he put in a million out of his pocket towards development, so the story goes. See Wikipedia for

          • Sorry, should have been a hyphen before ink. And no, it didn't have to be pumped.

            • Thank you for correcting me, I never knew it was activated by a gas charge of 35 psi.

     [] Space Pen

              From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

              The Space Pen (also known as the Zero Gravity Pen), marketed by Fisher Space Pen Company, is a pen that uses pressurized ink cartridges and is claimed to write in zero gravity, underwater, over wet and greasy paper, at any angle, and in a very wide range of temperatures.

              The Fisher Space Pen was invented by American industrialist a

  • I've been worried lately that to enough of my colleagues know about NASA or understand how prestigious it would look on their resume. Money well spent.
    p.s. If you don't know, NASA is the government-funded space agency in the USA.

  • This is awesome BUT (Score:5, Interesting)

    by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <slashdot@keirstead. o r g> on Sunday March 31, 2013 @07:38AM (#43323409) Homepage

    .. I wish there was a "This video was funded by public donations" under the NASA ad at the end. I can see a lot of people in the theatre being needlessly jaded by the idea that their tax dollars were spent advertising a government agency, when that isn't the case here.

  • In Start Trek's one world government run by the army, seemingly

    • You're just bitter that they send the roboticists away for reprogramming, aren't you? But with non-scarcity they need something for humans to do. Walk outside the ship to fix dangerous stuff? Great; and even better if a few float away or get eaten by space monsters.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Irrelevant space agency that needs to get abandoned in the cold-war era where it belongs.. (FIRE SALE)
    seriously though, even in Star Trek it was a privately run thing with a really interested scientist trying to create a warp engine (and that's how it will happen)

    people working at nasa are just doing their job, they don't care what they're doing as long as they get a frigging paycheck at the end of the month (jaded old workers)

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      Not it wont happen. a "warp engine" can not be made by some guys in their garage. it will take experiments on the billion dollar and trillion dollar scales to even hope to come up with anything that can do a significant % of C.

      You watch far to many movies, Movies are not reality. Bill gates will not dump all of his wealth into ONE experiment.

    • Agreed. The only thing NASA should be involved in are basic science missions. And even there I think they should spin off their mission specialists/researchers to a university consortium. Mission control/operation services also could be spun off and offered as a service to any group.

      I would also ask - why are there not any standardized delivery systems? IE, small, medium large to which instrument(s) can be readily attached? Why must NASA reinvent the wheel on every mission? Doing so could greatly reduc

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @08:26AM (#43323537) Homepage

    Problem is War is more profitable and more desirable to human kind. We prefer to kill each other in the name of god, peace, and love.

  • by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @08:47AM (#43323621)

    What excites me more than shuttle missions are satellites and probes NASA has been sending out all these years.

    MRO and to a lesser extent MSL are worth 20 round trip human mars missions as far as I'm concerned. New telescopes like JWST are likely to be as priceless as HST and WMAP have proven to be.

    It is simply cheaper and more productive to push technology without having to worry about earthly things like human safety.

    My only problem with the video other than being slightly cheezy is the video is all rockets and no science.

    • Its using the right tool for the job.

      The problem with NASA is that its a relic of the cold war. There is this manned mission thing that quite frankly is a waste of money. It does *not* even achieve anything that the space enthusiasts want. It has awful return on investment and stops the entire space program for years every time something goes wrong.

      Some push manned missions because of inspiration and exploration spirit.. Shesh for the billions it costs you can make a lot of full length movies and rele
      • by Teancum ( 67324 )

        In defense of NASA (and I'm a huge NASA critic), they seem to do better than most other government agencies in terms of returning value for tax dollars spent. At the very least the manned spaceflight missions provided some amazing entertainment and thousands of hours of programming for the major television networks at modest prices that would be comparable to Hollywood budgets.

        I think using the "scientific inquiry" argument is about as lame as it gets and that doesn't even remotely touch what NASA actually

        • I really don't see anything they are currently doing which even comes close to the boundary pushing NASA was doing in the 1960's when things were really happening.

          This may be a fair assessment, but I'd also argue that the unmanned exploration missions have been incredibly successful and relatively efficient, and a more sustainable future for NASA. Science and technology don't always need to be "boundary pushing" - sometimes iterative refinement and incremental advances are just as important. Sure, the rov

          • by Teancum ( 67324 )

            I'd rather that NASA become much more like how the NACA (the predecessor agency to NASA) operated: They performed R&D to develop concepts and ideas, then turned those ideas over to private industry to make them into practical products. This happened in the aviation industry and it has benefited not just America (with a very strong aviation industry that is still around), but also everybody else in the world as well.

            The James Webb Space Telescope simply needs to be cancelled though. It is an albatross

  • "Tired of seeing ads for cars and soda before the films you watch at the theater?"

    A long time ago. I stopped paying $10 to then watch a commercial.. but I'm old fashion that way.

  • by LordNimon ( 85072 ) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @08:55AM (#43323665)

    What's the point of showing a NASA promotional video before a Star Trek movie? Everyone who watches that movie is already a fan of space exploration. The video should be shown in front of something completely different, like The Great Gatsby.

    I would have sponsored the funding campaign on Indiegogo if that had been their goal. Instead, it's just preaching to the choir. What a waste.

    • This is all about NASA making a scientifically correct movie how to fly some astronouts to mars and back. They will use real life models of rockets and gear. And it will cost the budget of NASA a lot. THey might even make it *** an international co-production ***. Minimal CGI, and not those fake moon-landing minitures and errors like a waving flag.

      It will be premiered on the news, and not in some MPAA controlled screen.

      • Comments like this (serious or not) make me wonder just how many people out there truly believe we never landed on the moon, sent those probes to mars, etc.

  • for corporations suckling on the government teat: "Created by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) of America" Want to know more?

  • Is this some kind of Nerd Test? The movie is called "Star Trek Into Darkness" (no colon).

  • ... instead of a semi-close local small town play actor's.
    • If you read the fine article (yeah, right), it states that it actually is Peter Cullen. I presume he sounds like he does because he's not actually trying to do the low Optimus Prime voice we all know so well.

  • If NASA was as good as doing things in space as they are at the propaganda, then we'd be doing great. Sure, they do a number of things in space that are remarkable, but the logistics and infrastructure for serious space activities just aren't there.

    For example, they're kicking around the idea of a Europa ice drill. Why only one such mission? There are plenty of other icy Moon and asteroids out there. The same drill could be used on Saturn's moon Enceladus (which has similar liquid water activities). It c
    • Funding and continuity of mission as dictated by Congress is needed for what you describe, and that's been lacking since well before the end of the Apollo program. NASA has struggled just to manage to do what they're doing now.

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      I agree with you in general. However I would say that Europa is the outstanding target candidate, because there is significant evidence of melt-through (e.g. Conamara Chaos [], other 'chaos' formations). This suggestive of a reasonably thin (10km) crust and potential for cycling of materials through the crust.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    By Grabthar's Hammer ... what a space program.

  • Does anyone else still prefer the 1975 red typographic "worm" logo NASA used to use? I would have loved to see that in white against a black background at the very end of this trailer. Maybe it's just a generational thing; most movies trailers can't resist throwing in their titles in Bank Gothic near the end.
    • by k6mfw ( 1182893 )
      In 1990s NASA administrator Dan Goldin had a eradication program to rid the NASA worm. NASAwatch had a "worm watch" page to identify those worms that escaped eradication i.e. photo of visitor center on Mountain View phone book has object with the worm, and Hubble Space Telescope (oops, kinda hard to get rid of that). Occasionally the discussion comes back, []
  • Why couldn't they have used the amazing Carl Sagan video? []
  • by heteromonomer ( 698504 ) on Monday April 01, 2013 @12:10AM (#43328407)
    In my opinion it could have been far more convincing. It is not just an "optional" desire to explore the reason we should fund NASA. It is the moral and logical imperative in order to survive as species. For the survival of intelligent species on earth. Larry Niven's line comes to mind: The dinosaurs are extinct because they did not have a space program. We need more telescopes around the earth and Venus to look for incoming small and large objects that can hit earth. And then we need to devise ways to intercept and avoid them. This argument does not make space exploration an optional luxury, but a critical necessity.

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson