Can't Nobody Hold NASA Down

By Boonsri Dickinson | September 25, 2008 5:25 pm

alien.jpgEven P. Diddy hasn’t rapped about science. But that didn’t stop NASA from paying a post-grad student named Jonathan Chase to write a hip-hop song for the European edition of its Astrobiology Magazine. NASA wanted Chase to help make astrobiology reach out to the known life in the universe (us!), rather than unknown life in space.

We can’t help but wonder, did NASA really want a scientific hip-hop song so badly that they asked a British guy to rap? Still, on the science end, Chase is far from unqualified: He studied aerospace engineering and science fiction in college, and is currently studying science communication in graduate school. [Clarification: While folks at NASA’s Astrobiology Magazine did invite Chase to contribute the rap, they did not actually pay him for it. In case you were worried about your hard-earned tax dollars going to rhyming limeys.]

NASA’s mission was a success: The song is reaaallly goood! Check out Chase rapping in his strong English accent on YouTube. So far, the video has been viewed over 30,000 times. Our favorite selections from the lyrics are as follows:

“What about planet x? Better leave that alone. The further from the heat source, the colder the home….Study life on earth then you do with biology. But in space, it’s called Astrobiology….looking for life in the rest of the galaxy.”

Oh yes, Chase makes looking for life in space entertaining. “I’m here to chat about astrobiology,” he carries on for six minutes.

It looks like Chase might not have much competition in the way of science rap. But there is one other to contend with: Remember the LHC rap video? It went viral on YouTube, and eventually racked up over 3 million views.

Credit: flickr/ Riccardo Cuppini


  • Melissa

    I’ve gotta hear this song! Interesting article

  • Boonsri Dickinson

    I had the part of the song “it’s called Astrobiology” stuck in my head on my way to work!

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