In an utterly bizarre twist, however, Cooper stumbles upon a secret underground community with the dream of leaving this decaying Earth behind. Yep, he’s found NASA, driven into hiding. Michael Caine’s Dr. Brand, the brilliant scientist heading up NASA’s interstellar mission, explains to Cooper that public opinion couldn’t justify allocating funding for the space agency, so they had to conduct their affairs in secret. But now, as the world’s atmosphere becomes saturated with nitrogen, NASA is humanity’s only hope to find a new world where the species can start over again.