The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an agency of the United States government, responsible for the nation's public space program. Established on July 29, 1958, by the National Aeronautics and Space Act. NASA often works with space agencies from foreign countries such as Japan and Russia for a number of missions.
In addition to the space program, it is also responsible for long-term civilian and military aerospace research. Since February 2006 NASA's self-described mission statement is to "pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics research."
- Pigs in Space: Space Shuttle Columbia — sketches written and performed in 1981 exclusively for astronauts in space
- Big Bird on Space Shuttle Challenger — Caroll Spinney considered for space mission in mid-1980s
- Mars rovers success — the Henson Company sends a letter of congratulations to NASA's JPL in 2004
- NASA Tweetup — Elmo attends the final launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2011
- Orion Flight Test — NASA sends mementos from Sesame Street into space in 2014
- Several NASA astronauts have appeared in Muppet/Sesame productions including Buzz Aldrin, Ricky Arnold, Frank Caldeiro, Soichi Noguchi (on a joint NASA/JAXA mission), Sally Ride, and Mario Runco.
- In a 1992 "Wish You Were Here" segment on Sesame Street, Gabi and Miles take a tour of the Kennedy Space Center. They learn about how rockets are launched into space, along with a group of other kids. Miles works at Mission Control, while Gabi pretends to be an astronaut.
- Sesame Street used stock footage from NASA:
- Episode 1755 uses a mix of footage for Oscar and Othmar's launch into space, orbit of the Earth, approach to the moon, and descent to the moon's surface.
- When Slimey traveled to the Moon in Sesame Street Season 29, NASA provided footage of past space missions for several episodes.
- Gordon describes the first moon mission with footage from NASA in Sesame Street Episode 3697.
- Muppet Babies used stock footage from NASA:
- Kermit the Frog visited NASA's Johnson Space Center in Texas as part of his 50th anniversary world tour in 2005. Kermit also appeared in NASA promotional material on the moon.
- On Earth Day in 2014, NASA asked everyone on the planet to participate in a Global Selfie. Sesame Workshop submitted a photo of Elmo taken on the stoop of 123 Sesame Street. NASA composited all the #GlobalSelfie images posted to social media and used Elmo in the final product. Of the two images created, Elmo can be seen in the Earth on the right, on the upper-left hand side, just Northeast of the Mediterranean Sea.
- Joe Mathieu depicts NASA's Saturn V rocket in The Sesame Street Dictionary to illustrate the definition of the word "rocket".
- Dr. Julius Strangepork writes Kermit a letter in the Summer 1983 issue of Muppet Magazine from the Johnson Space Center. He and Captain Link Hogthrob had intended to go to the island of Nassau for "de girls in de bikinis", but Link set a course instead for NASA. While they wait for The Swinetrek to be repaired, they take a tour and learn that Sally Ride will soon embark on her first mission to space. The letter arrives with bits of memorabilia including photos of the Space Shuttle, a NASA "meatball" patch, an Apollo Service Module toy, a Saturn V toy, pictures of astronauts Joseph Kerwin, Paul Weitz, and Jerry Carr (with an illustration of Link torn and pasted in), and a bill for $748,386,385.98 to repair the Swinetrek's coffee machine and water cooler.
- Sesame Street's WASA, the Worm Air and Space Agency, is a version of NASA staffed entirely by worms.
- Telly Monster's Uncle Tommy and others (including a cameo by David Rudman) appear as NASA employees in the Sesame Street video Telling the Truth.
- In Farscape, John Crichton is a an astronaut for IASA, a fictional organization modeled after NASA. Crichton's father Jack is a retired NASA astronaut.
- During a September 20, 2011 appearance on Good Morning America, Cookie Monster was watching the skies, looking out for satellites. This was a reference to the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite expected to crash around September 23 of that year.
- In The Muppets, Walter and Gary have a model of the Saturn V rocket, the only vehicle that has ever carried humans beyond low Earth orbit.
Sesame Workshop and NASA have partnered in a number of social media campaigns by way of sharing content on their various social media outlets in the interest of educational exposure.
In January 2010, Cookie Monster wrote on Sesame Street's official Twitter account, "Sometimes Moon look like giant cookie. Must look into joining space program." NASA responded a short time later from their official Twitter feed with information on how to join the space program.
- A rubber chicken named Camilla Corona is the mascot of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. "Camilla", named after Camilla the Chicken from The Muppet Show, and "Corona" for the sun's plasma atmosphere. Elmo had his picture taken with Camilla during his visit to NASA in July 2011.
- ↑ "Cookie Monster storms Twitter as @sesamestreet gains a following", LA Times blogs, April 9, 2010.
- ↑ personal communication via Scott Hanson