Nell Greenfieldboyce, NPR
Morning Edition, February 9, 2009 · A short, satirical video produced by an astronaut and posted on YouTube is generating a lot of discussion within NASA and the space community. The video focuses on making sure the agency's bureaucracy doesn't crush innovative ideas and dissenting opinions.
The video, written and filmed by four-time space flier Andrew Thomas, tells the fictional story of a young engineer at Johnson Space Center in Houston who has a great new concept for a spacecraft design.
Her attempts to convince her managers go nowhere. They dismiss her proposal with administrative objections even as they assure her that her efforts are valued.
"We don't want to repress dissenting views or innovation like this. That's not how we operate," says a fictional manager in the video. As he speaks, a caption appears and poses a question: "Are you sure?"