The Grammy-winning songstress received a grand tour of Mission Control the day after performing to a sold-out crowd in San Antonio, Texas as part of her Sweetener World Tour. The renowned aerospace facility honored her with a sign that read, “Welcome to Mission Control Ariana Grande.”
Grande documented her experience in a series of videos on her Instagram Stories. In a video shared by Ariana Grande Access – Fan Account, she put on a spacesuit, gloves, and a helmet. She even rode a NASA rover and “flew” through the air to “work on” machines.
Ariana Grande recently getting ready and experimenting machines on the private tour at NASA’s space center headquarters. pic.twitter.com/fy12IBupOq
— Ariana Grande Access · Fan Account (@arianaaccesscom) May 19, 2019
The “Love Me Harder” singer-songwriter thanked NASA for a fantastic experience in another post, shared by arianaigstories. She wrote:
Superstar Space Geek
Ariana Grande is a self-professed space fan. She even wrote a song called “NASA” on her chart-topping thank u, next album.
The track kicks off with a twist on Neil Armstrong’s famous 1969 lunar declaration. It says, “This is one small step for woman/One giant leap for womankind.”
Grande sings the catchy hook “I’ma need space” throughout the song. Later, she references NASA saying, “It’s like I’m the universe, and you’ll be N-A-S-A.”
During videos of her unforgettable NASA experience, the “7 Rings” singer is seen laughing while struggling a bit to get into the spacesuit. In one photo shared by People, Grande peeks out over her gloved hands, and a tag bearing her name as “Grande, A” is sticking out of a pocket above a NASA patch.
Excited for the pop superstar’s visit, the Johnson Space Center team snapped a group photo with Grande and shared it on Twitter. They wrote:
We heard you needed space, @ArianaGrande, and we’re glad we could share some with you! 💫 Thanks for stopping by to learn more about what it’s like to be an astronaut and our #Moon2024 plans! 👩🚀🌙 pic.twitter.com/uFjnXGuNJW
— Johnson Space Center (@NASA_Johnson) May 19, 2019
Space in Pop Culture
Multiple generations of people have been fascinated with the mysteries of life beyond Earth. As such, pop culture makes lots of outer space references. From film franchise giants like “Star Wars,” “Star Trek,” and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, to TV series like “Star Trek: Discovery,” “Doctor Who,” and the Netflix reboot of “Lost in Space,” space lovers can revel in many different fictional depictions of intergalactic worlds.
Plus, numerous recording artists have released songs with interstellar themes including “Across the Universe” by The Beatles, “Rocket Man” by Elton John, “Walking on the Moon” by The Police, “Fly Me to the Moon,” by Frank Sinatra and David Bowie’s iconic hit “Life on Mars?”
Furthermore, social media only amps up a space fan’s excitement, which NASA and Johnson Space Center appreciate. Counting a globally adored celebrity like Ariana Grande as a diehard space enthusiast is a coup for both organizations.
Grande’s Mission Control tour occurred during a busy time in the U.S. space program.
Currently, a crew of astronauts (including American females Christina Koch and Anne McClain) is busy conducting experiments at the International Space Station.
Plus, President Trump recently approved $1.6 billion in additional funding to further NASA’s goal to land the first woman on the Moon by 2024. The announcement comes ahead of the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s historic Moon landing on July 20.
Commercial companies like SpaceX and Boeing are looking to play an instrumental role in reaching the Moon 2024 goal. SpaceX made a successful trip to the ISS with its Crew Dragon capsule back in March. That uncrewed mission served as a precursor to a future crewed spaceflight. The date for the historic event is still to be determined.