Tom Cruise helped NASA redesign its website, according to comments made by a former chief of the space agency.
Sean O’Keefe, who ran NASA between 2001 and 2004 made the comments during a panel discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
He said that the Top Gun actor and self-confessed space geek was unimpressed by the layout of NASA’s website and urged the team to make changes.
“[Cruise] came in and visited the offices one day and he’s a big space nut and the whole bit. He told me, ‘You’ve got this great website with tons of information on it and it’s perfectly designed for a lot of research faculty across the globe, I guess, that is going to be of interest to them. But to the rest of us it’s three clicks to oblivion and you go the next thing and you find yourself nowhere’,” O’Keefe said of the incident.
Cruise then offered to loan the space agency one of his “tech heads” who design movie trailers to “take what you’ve already got, all the information that’s already here and just make it more readily accessible”.
“So I took him up on the offer and it changed the appearance of that website in a way that made it inviting, interesting, folks wanted to participate,” said O’Keefe.
The site ended up with a very different design that was much more accessible to the masses.
“Every time I encounter situations like this on how do you make the information more available, I’ve got to thank Tom Cruise for his blinding flash of the obvious,” added O’Keefe.