NASA

Album: Thank U, Next (2019)
Charted: 17
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Songfacts®:

  • On July 29, 1958, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act into law, establishing a new federal non-military space agency known as NASA. During this R&B-infused song, Ariana Grande puts a twist on the agency's acronym by chanting about her need for space, having spent too much time with her man.

    I can't really miss you if I'm with you
    And when I miss you, it'll change the way I kiss you
    Baby, you know time apart is beneficial
    It's like I'm the universe and you'll be N-A-S-A


    Grande believes that if she spends some time apart from her lover, she can appear more enigmatic. He can then discover more about her mysterious ways in the same way as NASA explores the mysteries of the universe.
  • Grande has previously expressed an interest in astronomy, posting some thoughts on Instagram about Jupiter after the Juno spacecraft took photos of the giant gas planet. The songstress also has form for comparing herself to the universe having done so on the lyrics of "God Is A Woman," when she crooned: "And he see the universe when I'm in company."
  • The first voice we hear on the song is that of Shangela Laquifa Wadley, a drag queen known for her stints on the reality show Rupaul's Drag Race. Her intro puts a feminist twist on Neil Armstrong's iconic Moon-landing phrase. The astronaut's first words when he stepped on the moon were:

    That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

    Shangela told Billboard how she came up with the quote after Grande played her the song. The Drag Race queen replied that she loved it and was already thinking about doing her own version. "I wanna come out like I'm walking on the moon," Shangela added. "I'm gonna lift up that fake moon mask, and I'm gonna say: 'This is one small step for woman, one giant leap for womankind.'"

    Grande promptly requested Shangela record the phrase into her phone. A couple months later, she called the Draq Queen to confirm her quote would be included on the record.
  • Ariana Grande wrote the song with her go-to collaborators Tayla Parx, Victoria Monét and the production duo Social House. Their other efforts together include "Thank U, Next" and "7 Rings." Speaking about the track to Genius Parx said:

    "Ariana is obviously a massive fan of NASA. [A lot of songwriting is] coming up with different quirky ways of saying the things that we say every day, the feelings that we feel every day. Because that's really what people like and also it's one of the things that I pride myself on as a songwriter and was so happy that I was able to accomplish that with some other creatives. It was just an incredible experience bouncing off each other just to create a new way to say the same thing."

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