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In which Hank discusses his trip to Northrop Grumman and how odd it is that the same people responsible for the most important space-based mission of the next 20 years are also the people who make bombs for the united states government.

At 2:26 the talented Amber Straughn is misrepresented as a Northrop Grumman employee when in fact she actually works for NASA as Deputy Project Scientist for Education and Public Outreach

Also, he got to hang out with Ze should subscribe to him

The moral of the story is, we are very lucky that someone is working on a project with this scale, and the people who are working on it are smart, funny, cool, stressed out, and thoughtful, which is nice to know.


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A Bunny
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Hank: Good morning, John, while you were spazzing out on bike trails in Indianapolis this week, I was having one of the coolest days of my life actually talking to the people who are constructing the James Webb Space Telescope, and I was doing it with some of my very favorite people, my wife, Michael Aranda, and Ze freaking Frank. Ze, by the way, is as hilarious in person as he is in video form.

Ze: What kind of car does this turn into? Is this a Republican or a Democrat? You guys ever play like a crazy game of racquetball in this room?

Hank: Returning soon to online video,, subscribe today. About a year ago, I made a video about the James Webb Space Telescope project that I believe to be one of my generation's greatest contributions not just to science, but to the world. NASA apparently freaking loved it, they Tweeted at me, they started telling everybody that they were increasing awesome and decreasing suck, basically what I'm saying is it got passed around like, in the offices of NASA and NASA contractors, and a guy at Lockheed Martin showed it to Jeff Grant, who is the vice president of space systems at Northrop Grumman, but at Northrop Grumman, they just call him the vice president of space. He e-mailed me and asked if I wanted to come meet some of the people who are working on the project and I was like, yeah, ye-yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I would, yeah, ye-yeah. On a related note, John, I would like to propose that my title at vlogbrothers enterprises be changed to Hank Green, President of Space--Nerdfighteria. Would that--can I be president of space?

Hanging out at Northrop Grumman was crazy, 'cause there were people following us everywhere, we were constantly monitored, meaning that I was entirely unable to hump anything, which is really disappointing and I apologize. People followed us to the bathroom. Of course, the people following us around isn't because they were trying to protect a space telescope, it's because Northrop Grumman makes most of its money making tools and weapons for the United States military, hard science versus heavy weaponry, kind of different, you know, missions, but a lot of NASA's contractors are also defense contractors and while the mission thing is different, maybe even antithetical, when it's time to figure out who's going to build an incredibly advanced, one-of-a-kind piece of machinery, whether it's designed to bring the world together by exploring the far reaches of our universe or, you know, to blow things up, the technical challenges are surprisingly similar, weird.

Which is why it's important to note that science and engineering and technology are neither good nor bad, it's just how we as a society decide to use them. But people, we are both good and bad and I can say having met the people at Northrop Grumman, space sciences division, those are good people. Some of the smartest people in the world. And despite the fact that they work for a big, bureaucratic organization, they were really to hang out with and they had a lot of really nice things to say about Nerdfighteria, which, that's a short path to my heart.

For me, the web telescope is a culmination of all of humanity's progress up to this point, like, it's the most technologically sophisticated thing we can do, but for the people who have been working on it, defending it from Congress, overcoming technical challenges day in and day out, it's easy for them to lose sight of how amazing the work that they're doing is, and so I feel really good that I'm able to bring that home to them and to the rest of the world and just talk about all these big, cool things. Every civilization passes things down through the ages that we all marvel at and wonder at and say, how did those people do that, how could they be capable of that? And I feel like the web telescope and Hubble, that's our pyramids, that's the thing that we pass down that future generations are gonna say, wow, they worked together, they got together and they did that thing, and it was amazing. And to think that I got to be there and to meet those people, I'm very grateful.

John, I'll see you on Tuesday.


And of course, the bigger reason why I was there was that we were filming a bunch of content for SciShow, so you should go subscribe to SciShow if you wanna see Hank Green and Ze Frank talk to Northrop Grumman scientists about the James Webb space telescope and other projects that they're working on at Northrop Grumman, trust me, you will not regret it. DFTBA.