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Mars fans make viral video

"We're NASA and We Know It" celebrates NASA's latest Mars mission.


They're not NASA, and now Mars Curiosity and the world knows it. And that's awesome.

The latest space-based viral video, titled "We're NASA and We Know It," celebrates all the angles of NASA's $2.5 billion Curiosity rover mission to Mars, from the crazy sky-crane landing to the Mohawk Guy's star-spangled hairdo. "I got stars on my 'hawk, and I ain't afraid to show it," the video's rapper declares.

That rapper may look like a blue-shirted NASA flight director, and it may seem as if the three-minute video was shot at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. But it was actually made in Seattle, by a informal comedy group called Satire, with Cinesaurus video wizard David Hudson as the Mohawk-haired star of the show.

The NASA gear was provided by Anne Ketola, who used to work at Mission Control in Houston, and the actors were green-screened to make it look as if they were sitting at JPL.


Even though NASA had no hand in making the video, the group received a high-level endorsement from the Curiosity rover herself.

"This fan-made video is AWESOME (and I know it)," the rover tweeted

Zachary Cohn, who's part of the Satire group as well as the LaughPong YouTube channel and Startup Weekend, said he and his collaborators are "pretty ecstatic" about the shout-out from Curiosity.

"Basically we just take pop culture topics that are being talked about a lot and make funny videos about them," he told me.

The Curiosity mission is extra-special for them. "We really support what NASA is doing," Cohn said. "We're all techie people, and we're all excited about the landing."

Cohn and his friends had a Mars landing party on Sunday night. They wrote the video script on Thursday, filmed it on Saturday, and launched it today. The YouTube video is just building up a head of steam, but it seems certain to win a place among these other science-related viral videos:


Alan Boyle is NBCNews.com's science editor. Connect with the Cosmic Log community by "liking" the log's Facebook page, following @b0yle on Twitter and adding the Cosmic Log page to your Google+ presence. To keep up with Cosmic Log as well as NBCNews.com's other stories about science and space, sign up for the Tech & Science newsletter, delivered to your email in-box every weekday. You can also check out "The Case for Pluto," my book about the dwarf planet and the search for new worlds.