Comedian Tig Notaro and Skater Tony Hawk Talk NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope on Twitter
Worlds collided as comedian Tig Notaro, pro-skater Tony Hawk and NASA teamed up on social media to talk about exciting new developments with the James Webb Space Telescope.
Earlier this month, Notaro — a beloved stand-up comedian who recently added “‘Star Trek’ actor” to her resume — tweeted about Webb, which is currently set to launch in 2021. Notaro referred to her tweetstorm as the “‘NASA Webb Crossover’ by Tig Notaro.”
⚡️ “@NASAWebb Crossover” by @TigNotaro https://t.co/etn2zrSfhMAugust 15, 2019
Notaro introduced her fans to Webb, giving them a glimpse inside NASA’s facilities and explaining what the telescope is. “The brilliant minds over at @NASAWebb shared some amazing photos and videos of their #NASA mission with Tig, so here we go!” Notaro said on Twitter. “What is #NASAWebb? A giant space telescope that will see the first galaxies that formed after the Big Bang! And it’s coated in real gold.”
The brilliant minds over at @NASAWebb shared some amazing photos and videos of their #NASA mission with Tig, so here we go! What is #NASAWebb? A giant space telescope that will see the first galaxies that formed after the Big Bang! And it’s coated in real gold. pic.twitter.com/HmKkfggpRHAugust 6, 2019
Notaro continued to tweet mesmerizing imagery of Webb and share details about the telescope and its mission, inspiring her followers to learn more. “Why are @NASAWebb‘s mirrors coated in gold? They can reflect infrared light better that way, and to see those first galaxies, the telescope needs to be infrared,” Notaro said in a later tweet.
Why are @NASAWebb’s mirrors coated in gold? They can reflect infrared light better that way, and to see those first galaxies, the telescope needs to be infrared. It’ll see things @NASAHubble can’t, and have a much larger mirror. Did I mention the mirror has to fold up? pic.twitter.com/LMdVFNpqb8August 6, 2019
This collaboration soon featured another surprise guest: Hawk. Notaro tweeted out a picture of the pro skater wearing a protective suit in the Webb lab, much to the surprise and delight of both of their fans:
Over 1,000 people in at least 14 countries have helped build the James Webb Space Telescope. This @NASA engineer looks a lot like @TonyHawk. Are you sure that’s not you, Tony? pic.twitter.com/zPfKNuJdP8August 13, 2019
The collaboration came about simply due to the comedian’s appreciation of Webb and the work that NASA is doing, said Jeff Jetton, a creative director at Sidewalk Labs and a strategist who works closely with Notaro. The basic idea was “just sort of getting the word out about what it is and who’s involved,” Jetton said.
So far, the Twitter teamup has garnered significant public praise. The positive response to the unlikely pairing could trace, in part, to Notaro’s recent role on “Star Trek: Discovery.” In the series’ second season, Notaro appeared as Chief engineer Jett Reno. “Star Trek: Discovery” showrunner Alex Kurtzman wrote the part just for Notaro, and fans have praised her in the role.