Astronaut Slams NASA Bureaucracy in Video

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2009 11:04 AM CST

(Newser) – NASA is abuzz over a satirical video posted on YouTube that takes on the space agency’s innovation-stifling bureaucracy, reports NPR. Written, shot, and edited by astronaut Andrew Thomas and starring NASA employees and contractors, the video tells the fictional story of a young engineer’s frustrating attempts to propose a new design. “It was a composite of many, many people’s experiences,” says the woman who plays the engineer.

The video was first shown at a retreat for NASA managers. One posted it to his blog, calling it “extraordinarily funny and not at all funny.” In the video, managers constantly tell the engineer the administrative, rather than technical, reasons her design can’t be implemented. "That's not the kind of agency you would like to have running rocket programs," says a space policy expert. "It might be OK for Social Security check disbursement, but it sure isn't going to be good for rocket science."