She said she needed space, and on May 18, she nearly got it. After wrapping up the sold-out San Antonio stop on her Sweetener tour, Ariana Grande visited NASA and made the space exploring dreams exhibited in her Thank U, Next track with the same name come true. She also discovered that she can totally pull off an astronaut suit, even though it may have been a touch too big.
The visit may not come as a surprise to fans who follow Grande on Twitter. After the release of her album, #NASA began trending, which drew the attention of the space center. "Hey @ArianaGrande, we saw 'NASA' trending this morning and thought it was about one of our new discoveries," NASA's official account tweeted. "But we realized that you might need some space."
Then, history-making astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who was the second man to step on the moon behind Neil Armstrong, chimed in. "Do you think I'll make it into one of @ArianaGrande songs too!?" he tweeted. Grande was shocked to discover him contributing to the conversation. "...................................................honest to god....... someone come check on me," she responded.
NASA's Johnson Space Center is located in Houston, about 200 miles from where she was in San Antonio, but Grande had to take advantage of this once and a lifetime opportunity. She shared snaps of her visit on her Instagram Story, including a picture of her in the iconic space suit, holding up the helmet in gleeful amazement.
"Thank you for the coolest day of my life @nasa," she wrote on her Instagram Story. "My mind is still processing and devouring every second of what just happened but I can't wait to share more. What a special day and experience. Thank you so so so so much for your generosity and for showing my friends n I around."
One of her friends recorded her in the space suit and immediately played "NASA." Upon hearing her song's opening line, "One small step for woman, one giant leap for woman-kind!" Grande started cackling. The line is a remix of Armstrong's first words after stepping onto the moon, and was remixed by RuPaul's Drag Race queen Shangela.
Upon exploring Mission Control, Grande realized that its main screen welcomed her. “Welcome to Mission Control Ariana Grande," it read.
Grande's love of space has never been a secret. She frequently shares her adoration of the cosmos and various planets on social media, and also often wears the space station's logo on her clothing. And although the "NASA" track obviously has space themes, they're used as a metaphor for herself, calling herself "the universe" and "a star." She briefly touched on the deeper meaning of the song in January when she clapped back at a fan who said the song isn't "about a man": "well it is so we should probably shut up lmao," she responded.
Regardless of whether or not the song is more about space or a past relationship of Grande's, it's still a catchy tune that caught the attention of a national space station, which is pretty dang cool. Before we know it, the singer will be adding the moon as the last stop on her tour.