NASA FAKED A SHUTTLE IMAGE!!!!!

By Phil Plait | January 29, 2009 7:30 am

BABloggee parkylondon alerted me to this NASA image of the Space Shuttle Atlantis’s cockpit, taken in March 2000 during mission STS-101. He sent me a note via Twitter telling me how much he liked it, but as soon as I saw it I smelled a rat. A SPACE SHUTTLE-sized rat.

NASA, j’accuse! [Click to embiggen]

I didn’t have to think twice. I knew right then and there, NASA was hosting a faked image on their own servers. There was no way this was a simple snapshot of the Shuttle’s interior! All my years as an image analyst, coupled with my long battle-hardened abilities with conspiracies and fakery, told me I was on to something big here. Very big.

Tell me:

Why are there stars in the picture?

First, the cabin lights were on. That means the photo would use a SHORT exposure time and a SMALL aperture, otherwise the bright interior would be overexposed. But there’s no way you could see stars in a photo under those circumstances!

Second, those interior lights would reflect inside those windows, again drowning out any outside sources. Whenever you see astronauts taking pictures out the windows, they are always RIGHT UP next to the windows, not a few feet away. Why? Because otherwise the reflections block the view.

Third, and worst, the Earth hangs fat and bright right smack dab in the center of the viewports! The bright Earth could not possibly be exposed correctly and have the photo still show stars in the windows. The Earth is THOUSANDS of times brighter than the stars. Even the Moon would look dull and dim if the Earth were exposed correctly.

There’s only one explanation: Someone at NASA faked the photo!!! They added in stars later, for what nefarious purposes only the Top Brass at NASA must know. Was this mission faked in some way? Was the whole Shuttle project faked? Does NASA even exist?

Have you ever even seen NASA?

At this point, I wondered if maybe I was making too much of this. If I was really breaking new ground here like Galileo or Einstein did, then I had to be careful. A paradigm shift this big could rate a NOBEL! Maybe this was just a mistake, and the caption of the picture would say something about it. It would give some innocent reason why NASA would add stars to a photograph… but here is the complete caption on the NASA page for this image. Read it and see the deception.

JSC2000-E-10522 (March 2000) — Eleven new full-color, flat-panel display screens in the Shuttle cockpit replace 32 gauges and electromechanical displays and four cathode-ray tube displays. The new “glass cockpit” is 75 pounds lighter and uses less power than before, and its color displays provide easier pilot recognition of key functions. The new cockpit is expected to be installed on all shuttles in the NASA fleet by 2002, and it sets the stage for the next cockpit improvement planned to fly by 2005: a “smart cockpit” that reduces the pilot’s workload during critical periods. During STS-101 Atlantis will fly as the most updated shuttle ever, with more than 100 new modifications incorporated during a ten-month period in 1998 at Boeing’s Palmdale, Ca., Shuttle factory.

Nothing. Not a word as to WHY NASA WOULD HAVE FAKED THIS IMAGE! Our tax dollars paid for this picture! Hundreds of billions of dollars of American citizens’ money has been sent to NASA, and really what do we have to show for it? NASA’s promises, and a bunch of pictures. And this one is CLEARLY faked!

My course of action is clear. I am demanding NASA shut down the Shuttle program. We cannot let this type of trickery stand. Now, realistically, they cannot simply turn off the whole program. I can be magnanimous. So I will give them some time… let’s say a year. No, a year and a half. I’ll give them, say, eight more flights, but then I want the Shuttle Transport System shut down for once and for all.

In fact, I demand it!

NASA, I await your call.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Debunking, Humor, NASA, Piece of mind

Comments (221)

  1. Zach Shuford

    Phil, what you have to realize is, there was *never* a shuttle program. There’s nothing to shut down!!!11!111!one!1

  2. WillC

    The image does kinda look weird…

  3. Chuck

    Wow, talk out throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Phil, it’s time to switch to decaf :P

  4. darren

    The image certainly looks odd at first glance, but could it not be a simple HDR trick where multiple pictures are taken at different exposure settings and then merged to create a final image?

  5. Greatmatt

    Best. Post. Ever.

  6. This is absolutely hilarious! The only way you could make it more like every other conspiracy theorist, NASA-hating website is to have the changing color/size of the fonts on a putrid magenta or neon green background, so as to make half of the nonsense unreadable (and thus more palatable).

    ~Nick

  7. Atticus05

    If I didn’t know you better Phil… I’d say you drank the kool-aid

  8. TheCat

    Not enough exlamation marks, you need at least six after every sentence, and ten after every crucial statement!!!!!!!!!!

  9. TheCat

    Damn it, where did my c go? :p

  10. Lurker #753

    But why would they also lie about the flight being in March, rather than May?

    Lurker #753

  11. Swift

    I don’t see a need to shut-down the shuttle program. It is obvious the whole thing was faked and there are no shuttles. ;)

  12. Cheyenne

    Phil – Karen Nyberg took the photo while in orbit. The flash emitted from the camera, bounced off the front of the cockpit, returned to hit her pale blues of beauty, and they flashed back a wonder so powerful it created stars in the heavens.

    I don’t have a thing for Karen “Hottest Space Astronaut EVER” Nyberg – I’m just trying to explain how the picture turned out that way. Just using science here man.

  13. Chris

    well played my friend! I don’t know why they would fake it when they could have millions of dollars given to them by the prime minister of nigeria’s private secret fund. YUO COULD BE RICH BECOME!

  14. Penelope

    Makes a nice back ground image. Fake or not fake.

  15. Tom

    The first shuttle in space with a glass cockpit was in May 2000. The photo is dated March 2000…. it was a computer generated image that was released with an article discussing the improvement.

  16. DrFlimmer

    Phil is tempted by the dark side of the force :D

    But: Since shuttles do not exist, the Hubble telesdope does not exist, either. All the photos of space are faked! The earth is flat and 6000 years old!!! WTF????

    But Phil, to become a real conspirator you have to practice a little more :D

  17. I call Poe.

    Wait, does that work for conspiracy theorists too? If not, then let’s dub this a Phil.

    I call Phil.

  18. This is awesome. Good job Phil.

  19. Arneb

    Wow, what a dull site. I demand more colour! More ALL CAPS. More fonts! Longer ramblings!!!
    More exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What did TPTB PAY you to write such a poor conspirassy theory fake???!!! The TURTH! I demand THE TURTH!

  20. José

    Oh God,
    This post will cause you headaches for the next ten years. I expect to hear something like “Why even prominent skeptic/astronomer and former NASA employee Phil Plait has accused NASA of faking space missions.” I’d seriously consider putting “I’m just kidding, morons!!!” in giant red blinking letters at the start of the post.

  21. Matthew Alan

    LOL I love it. Great post.

  22. Wow. Just… wow. Thank you, that made my morning.

  23. Needz moar formatting.

  24. Charles Boyer

    The shame of this Phil is that you will now be used as a quoted source in some crackpot’s conspiracy theory in order to lend their delusions some credence.

    That despite the obvious snark and the humor tag.

    BTW, the interior cockpit lights in the ORBITER (it’s NOT a SHUTTLE) are not all that bright. Been there, seen that.

  25. Tim

    Chill out, the photo looks to be an HDR image. 3 or more pictures taken consecutively at difference exposures and combine for pretty cool look. This type of photograph is a fad in the digital photography world (maybe fad is a bit too strong).

    Check out: HDF at wikipedia for a much better explanation than I can give.

    On further reflection, I think the post was done in jest.

  26. Phil, you’re one of the most amusing figments of my imagination.

  27. Grant

    @Cheyenne

    Wow, that is a big brain on Nyberg. That is what you meant, right? Or were you refering to the empirical data indicating a high level of smokinghotinosity?

    It’s a word cause I used it in a sentance.

  28. Corey

    Oh. My. Gawd.

    I’ve never seen you though, Phil.

    Do you exist?

  29. Wasn’t rabbit hole day a few days ago?

  30. Where are the Comic Sans and animated GIFs?

  31. ABR.

    Now if only JayUtah would drop by this blog post…

  32. Hehehehe. Nice one. My first guess was that it was a mock-up cockpit, like the kind visitors can climb inside at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Of course they paint the Earth and stars on the wall outside of it: that makes you feel more like an astronaut ;)

    I think a bigger problem is that it’s *obviously* missing cupholders.

  33. Phil is SCARY good at this. I’m glad he’s a skeptic instead of a loon.

  34. Lee

    …but wouldn’t it just be so ‘cool’ if the view did look like that.

  35. Oh look, and the photo is straight off the Wikipedia page for “Space Shuttle”. Note the “note” below. Hehehe.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:STSCPanel.jpg

  36. Peptron

    A true CONSPIRACIST of the WORLD requires that EVERY third word BE written in ALL caps, even IF that does NOT put the FOCUS on the RIGHT word. also HE would never USE basic rgb COLORS to make HIS point. he WOULD use colors THAT cause internal BLEEDING of the EYES, like bright YELLOW on lime GREEN, or orange ON an pink BACKGROUND. also he WOULD make sure TO drink 4-5 CANS of redbull TO make sure TO be agitated ENOUGH for his POST to have THE right tone. I can feel THOSE cans i DRANK start to MAKE their effect AS OMFG! THIS IS ALL A LIE AGAINST US! YOU WOULD PROBABLY THINK THAT I AM INSANE, BUT I AM NOT!!!! Your squirrel overlords can talk to me telepathically, and they Told me that I AM SANE! In fact, I think it’s THEM that faked that picture!

  37. Rodney

    “Phil is SCARY good at this.”

    Yeah, I’d be laughing if he wasn’t SO scary good at this.

    In fact, I’m sipping coffee and would have done a “noser” by now, if BA wasn’t channeling Richard C. “Hyper dimensional” Hoagland so well.

    Chills the blood a little.

    Your name is “Phil” isn’t it…

    rod

  38. Daniel

    Phil have you lost your mind? :/

  39. Redx

    Careful Phil, if you keep talking like that, the members of the scientific establishment that hosts your site might not be too happy. You know how much they hate it when these stories come to light.

  40. Miranda

    Needs more spelling mistakes, Phil!

  41. Luis Dias

    “Phil, you’re one of the most amusing figments of my imagination.”

    Surely quoting someone else, but alas, this is by far one of the best (contextualized) comments I’ve ever seen!

  42. Bill

    You are several years late (once again) in venting your outrage. This image was outed as fake a long time ago.

  43. J. D. Mack

    Phil’s post may seem like a joke, but men in dark cars have been spotted in Phil’s neighborhood. Also, sometimes Phil’s cell phone calls are cut short due to signal loss – FOR NO APPARENT REASON! And just last night, when Phil entered his living room, a newscaster on his television was heard to say “we’ve had our fill of this wintry weather, haven’t we.” Fill=Phil. Coincidence? Hardly! They’re clearing watching him and they want him to KNOW that they’re watching him!

  44. getting the joke, but ignoring it

    As long as we all agree that there was no photo fakery. This photo was probably taken in a shuttle simulator. Notice how the caption refers to the mission in the future tense?

  45. This post is a fake Conspiracy Theorist post. See the use of common primary and secondary colors in the text. This is obviously a case of someone trying too hard to sound like a woo. Real woos use browns, brighter yellows, and darker blues. If it’s a lipstick or Sherwin-Williams color with a fancy name, conspiracy theorists use it like it’s going out of style.

    And there’s a laughably noticeable lack of italics. Phil is known for being prejudiced against Italians, and we see it front and center right here with his pointed non-use of the Italian National Font (Fontina Nacionale Italia).

    Peptron makes a good point with the use (or non-use) of capitals. Sorry Phil, but this post is now bunked. Thank you.

  46. I think we will all look back on this post and see just how prescient BA was on this day, January 29, 2009.

  47. Cheyenne

    @Grant- Well, the data that I have been reviewing indicate it’s a delicate balance of Ms. Nyberg “smokinghotinosity” coupled with the aforementioned brain power and, crucially added, the “I signed up for a ride on a freaking bomb to launch my butt up into space” coolness factor.

    But seriously, people need to get over this Karen Nyberg fascination. Just because Karen Nyberg is so hot she melts mirrors with glances, gets degrees that only the elite can get, and works her way up to the NASA chain to actually get launched into space does not merit us talking about Karen Nyberg constantly in blog comments.

  48. Hm, apparently my last comment is “awaiting moderaton”? Anyway, this photo is on w.i.k.i.p.e.d.i.a. under “space shuttle”. Go there and check the note below it ;)

  49. Wow a conspiracy post that can be debunked with a simple search for the date sts-101 flew. Very good, Mr BA, well executed!

  50. Tomas

    Stars being visible in this image was the first thing I noticed when the photo appeared on digg a few day ago (http://digg.com/space/Space_Shuttle_Cockpit_Interior).

    But …. the NASA source of the image says “The new cockpit is expected to be installed on all shuttles in the NASA fleet by 2002…” so this was probably a concept mock-up with Earth and stars added.

  51. Stars, and the of the Earth looks to curved, indicating a higher orbit than normal for the shuttles. And the lighting is too good, that’s not from a single camera flash.
    You are absolutely right. Shut it down!
    Give them a few years, and maybe then let them try something else, hopefully they will have learned their lesson by then.

  52. David

    Phil obviously dreams of writing for The Onion …

  53. I….I think I…love you.

    *squeee*

  54. Unfortunately, I fear some conspiracy theorists will grab a hold of this post and use it as proof for years to come. What would make a better argument from authority than using the words of the expert Dr. Plait?

  55. The greatest part is that your reasoning on determining this as a fake is exactly contrary to the “reasoning” used by conspiricists. e.g., “If they’re on the moon, then WHY ARE THERE NO STARS!!!!!@!!!1!”

  56. All this Karen Nyberg talk.
    What about Julie Payette?

  57. Love it, love it, love it!

  58. Lynn

    I smell A SPACE SHUTTLE-sized crack pot.

  59. DW

    I had the same train of thoughts as you, the stars were like big flashing red alarm buttons, but I didn’t realise it was an official NASA picture. Thought it was someone photoshopping Google Earth onto a cockpit picture.

  60. Nat

    Apparently a lot of commenters here aren’t noticing that the name of the image is “STS-101 Shuttle Mission Imagery” and it’s obviously a computer-generated mock-up of (what was at the time) a future device…

  61. Dan

    Yup. Best post ever.

    You just need to add a blink tag or two. Still…

    Brilliant!

  62. kevlar

    I thought that planet looked a lot like Tattooine in the opening scene of Star Wars, the first episode ;)

  63. Tomas

    @Bipedal: That’s exactly what I thought when I read it … Julie, apart from being a total MILF, is also totally awesome (had the chance to talk to her personally). Besides, she’s (French) Canadian, i.e. she wouldn’t even need to have her butt “launched into space” for the “coolness factor”. :D

  64. @Cheyenne
    You’re absolutely right! And I have the photographic evidence to prove it. And no, that picture isn’t fake! I swear it’s not! Why don’t you believe me? ;-)

  65. Wow.

    I didn’t know I was kicking something like this off.

    I am humbled but laughing. @parkylondon

  66. Ed

    Next thing you know, there’ll be magazine covers proclaiming “DARWIN WAS WRONG”… =)

    -Ed

  67. Greg in Austin

    One look at the picture, and instantly my first thought was, “Why are there stars?”

    Upon closer inspection, however, you know the picture is fake, because the keys aren’t in the ignition, and there are no fuzzy dice.

    8)

  68. markm

    One other clue this is a mock-up: It’s too neat. In a working orbiter cockpit, there are clipboards and checklists hanging about, masking tape with reminders written on them, perhaps a stray ipod or two.

    This shuttle appears to be commanded by Mr. Monk.

  69. Charles Boyer

    But seriously, people need to get over this Karen Nyberg fascination.

    Nahhh, we don’t. It’s time that the fellows had an astronaut they could enjoy as much as the ladies have enjoyed certain ones through the years.

    My mother talked about Scott Carpenter to her dying day, for example. Apparently, Scott was quite the man-about-town during his days on the Space Coast and young single ladies like my Mom, who got to know him, remembered him very, very well. And oh yeah, Scott was a thorough competent pilot, engineer and astronaut.

  70. Grant

    @Cheyenne
    Who, Karen Nyberg? No, no, we don’t need to talk about Karen Nyberg constantly. I mean sure, Karen Nyberg is pretty, smart, far far cooler than any of us. But Karen Nyberg is, after all, just Karen Nyberg.

    Karen Nyberg

  71. Geoff

    Yup. Stars and the curve. Either it’s a fake or it’s taken in the simulator. But then why would the simulator have an orbit that high? Unless someone forgot to switch it off, it doesn’t make much sense either.

  72. jonathan

    That was so perfect. The random colors, bonus exclamation marks, random sizes, it all aids your case so well. Are you secretly a conspiracy theorist??
    W

    WHAT ARE YOU HIDING FROM US PHIL PLAIT??!!!

  73. Bill

    Tim says: “On further reflection, I think the post was done in jest.”

    Give the man a cookie. :)

  74. gopher65

    Oh. No. Phil’s brain got haxored:(. He should never have got that neural interface. And he really shouldn’t have installed the insecure Mac OS on it.

  75. It’s a ‘shop. I can’t tell from the pixels and from having seen a number of shops in my time.

  76. Michael

    Yes… stars, no window reflections, flying too high… and no seats.

    Exposure of the cockpit and earth can easily be balanced by varying the flash output
    (won’t give you stars of course).

    Er… but the caption doesn’t say that this is from an actual mission. And talks about
    the “glass cockpit” in the future tense… Might as well complain about graphics of
    Orion Modules.

  77. gxip

    Awesome post.

    I think it looks weird because the picture is probably a merge of 3 to 5 different pictures, all taken with different exposures from the exact same spot. Or something similar.

  78. Eighthman

    Oh, come on. The photo was taken before the new cockpits were installed! So of course it isn’t a real photo from space. The outrage reminds me of the overreactions when people get bent out of shape over on the Photoshop Disaster blog about a picture that they think isn’t possible, but actually is.

  79. Kevin

    If tyhe shuttle didn’t exist…
    Then the HST wouldn’t exist….
    Phil says he did HST work…

    Ergo…

    Phil doesn’t exist.

    If he doesn’t exist, this site doesn’t exist.

    Therefore….

    We don’t exis…………………..

  80. Gareth

    There’s even more evidence that the image was faked.

    The MFDs seem to be set up for the landing phase (difficult to tell as even the high-res image is still not readable – very clever, NASA – but it looks like the landing phase to me), yet if we are to believe that the image is genuine, they are still clearly in orbit, way before the de-orbit phase.

    The MET display is also blank. Now, I don’t know if they switch it off during flight or not, but I would have *thought* it should show the mission elapsed time.

    Come on, NASA! How stupid do you think we are???

  81. Unfortunately there’s no Nobel prize for astronomy (a pity) or (surprisingly not) possible deception detection, Phil…otherwise you’d have it cornered.

  82. holastefan

    @Cheyenne: Is your Karen Nyberg shrine open for public viewing? Has it been difficult to get new shrine material since she got the restraining order?

  83. Nasa = owned!

    Actually, the earth looks fake also. But the stars are utterly overexposed in this image.

  84. Terry

    They obvisouly shot it from the same stage/set that they faked the moonshot on. Also, from this orbit, if you look really closely, you can see Hoagland’s glass structures. I think I can actually see NASA people constructing new lies when I zoom in on the earth.

  85. I don’t think some people understand this is a big act of sarcasm… which makes it that much more funny.

  86. Peptron

    Some already said it, but I think it’s important:

    A true conspiracy site is recognized by its attempts at making you blind or triggering epilepsy, no matter what the content says. An amateur conspiracist gives you a headache from having you wrap your mind attempting to make sense out of his text, a professional conspiracist will give you a headache by having you marely look in the direction of said text.

  87. Robocop, Dick Jones: “I had a guarantee military sale with ED-209. Renovation program. Spare parts for 25 years. Who cares if it worked or not?”

  88. Faked is so harsh a term. I suggest “enhanced”. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  89. Christine P.

    All I can say is thanks for the laugh! :-D

  90. OK, first thing: check that the facts are straight. The photo was taken in March 2000. STS-101 flew in May 2000.

    Problem solved: the image was taken on the ground, showing what the cabin looks like, the Earth and stars added on later, to show what the new glass cabin would look like in action a few months later.

    For confirmation, check Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:STSCPanel.jpg says “Note: this is a composite image that was published prior to this cockpit configuration ever flying. The control sticks and seats are missing. The background was photoshopped from a separate image.”

  91. Rob

    Methinks thou dost protest too much. Phil is obviously the source of all faked photos that NASA creates, and rather than someone outing him, he’s done it first. Congratulations on your admission of guilt Phil, we still think you rock. ;)

  92. OK, it seems that my comment is still in moderation purgatory. So here is photographic evidence that Cheyenne was right (there was of course, no “photoshopping”) ;-)

    (http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l184/CousinoMacul/?action=view&current=Karen-Nyberg-with-stars.jpg)

  93. This is a test to see if all of my comments are automatically condemned to moderation. :-(

  94. Nope, just the ones with links. BTW, Cheyenne was right and I have photographic evidence to prove it! Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until my previous comments are released from moderation limbo to see it. ;-)

  95. Tomas

    @the science pundit: try to use is.gd or tinyurl …

  96. tdhowe

    Phil, the wikipedia folks have been discussing this on the moon hoax conspiracy talk page for over 2 years. It’s kinda funny actually
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Apollo_Moon_Landing_hoax_conspiracy_theories/Archive_3#Stars

  97. Chris J

    @gopher65 you mean that wasn’t a disk to connect into VISAR? Man I’m glad I found that out now… It’s probably really a connection to JEVEX

  98. Cheyenne

    @holastefan -

    Goodness sakes no the Karen Nyberg shrine is not available for public viewing at this point. It took me ages to excavate the cave, get the eternal flame set up, install the velvet and shag, etc. I’ll set up a webcam eventually (paid subscription required) but not until Karen Nyberg sees the Karen Nyberg shrine. Karen Nyberg needs to know the Karen Nyberg shrine is a really and truly classy thing – not something creepy from some weirdo playing out on the intertoobs.

    And yes, the restraining order has slowed my activities substantially. Total bummer.

  99. MZ

    Yes, all caps, 18 pt font, more exclamation marks, maybe some blinking text. Then you would have accomplished the conspiracy theory version of Poe’s Law. It was a good first draft, though.

  100. holastefan

    @Cheyenne: Well, if you gotta crush on someone, I admire that you had the good taste to choose a space-a-licious astronaut who knows how to rock a reentry suit. But I don’t want to hear about you getting apprehended driving to Florida to confront your rival while wearing astronaut diapers, mkay? Leave that to the professionals.

  101. Nice catch! But the colors in this post make it look a bit silly. Personally I’d go for a more professional look for something like this.

    Of course, it could be you did that on purpose to mock the conspiracy people. If so, good job, disregard this comment. :)

  102. clheiny

    You have just scratched the surface of the whole story. You omitted WHY they had to doctor the photo….

    It was to remove the UFOs that were hovering in front of the shuttle at the time the picture was taken!!!! True evidence of EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL CONTACT!!!!! And it is being COVERED UP!!!!!!! WHY IS OUR GUMMINT LYING TO US?!???!?!?/?!?/!!!1!!

  103. Now that I read the rest of the post it’s obvious your using some heavy mockery. So disregard my previous comment about the colors. ;)

  104. Cheyenne

    “space-a-licious astronaut who knows how to rock a reentry suit”

    I so wish I typed that sentence. Awesome.

    And obviously I’m kind of playing with my comments – but that diaper psycho was flat out scary. And the fact that NASA didn’t catch that in some psych pre-screenings is even scarier.

  105. Hank

    So do people understand that it doesn’t make sense to assume that because one conspiracy theory is ridiculous all of them are far fetched and unlikely. There are such things as conspiracies. Small issues like Water Gate, Julius Caesar’s assassination, The bay of pigs, weapons of mass destruction, and the colonist’s rebellion from G.B. seem to make sense now, but hindsight is 20/20. The crackpots who were discussing things like this before they were revealed sure got what was coming to them. Sounding crazy only makes it more gratifying in the end.

  106. Technolinguist

    Phil, I am disappointed. You forgot to change the font face randomly. Everything else is spot on, though.

  107. PHIL IAM GLAD YOU FINALY QUIT SPREADING THE NASA GOVERNMENT DISINFORMATION AND HAVE COME TO YOUR SENCES AND ARE NOW ON THE SIDE OF THE REAL TRUTH BECAUSE IT IS ABOUT TIME THAT YOU FINALEY DID THAT BECAUSE YOU WERE A GOVERNMENT SHILL FOR TO LONG!!!!!!

    YOUR PAL,

    RICHARD “dick” HOAXLAND

  108. William

    am I missing something with all you doughballs, its a publicity pic to show the new panel. it has been lit for better viewing and has had stars put in to make it interesting. you lot need to get out and get some air sometimes. now for my big finish…. DUH!!!

  109. You can’t be serious. And it’s obvious you don’t even understand what you’re talking about. Even now, not talking about 2000, computers does not possess enough power to possibly render such a detailed picture!

    You missed, Phil. Just a human.

  110. Spiv

    Oh Phil, if it wasn’t you I’d have a hard time demonstrating that this was a joke instead of the real conspiri-nuts out there.

    But April is still a long way away, why now? And yes, I fake pictures of Ares-1 all the time. It’s probably because it isn’t built yet, and it’s called “engineering models.” I’m part of the conspiracy for sure. Fortunately my paycheck is like 50 billion dollars/hour, so I’m not likely to spill the beans on this sweet gig we’re milking the tax-payers for.

  111. Randall Flagg

    Click to embiggen? I suppose it’s a perfectly cromulent word. Thanks for the pic and a laugh.

  112. There are a couple other of subtle things that give away this image as being ‘shopped. All of your points about exposure are, of course, correct. But also

    1. If you look closely at the windows you will also notice they make the skin of the shuttle look thin. The real shuttle windows are quite thick, made of 3 layers of varying thickness of fused silica. Since the photo views the windows at a slight angle (especially the ones on either side) you would expect to see sides of the window frame. But instead its as if the shuttle was paper thin.

    2. The “stars” are all perfect little centroids. Real photographs of stars look more varied and more sharp (unless it’s out of focus). Just look at some real pictures of the night sky taken from earth and compare it to this.

    3. Noise. The “black” of space is exactly that. Perfectly black. Cameras don’t do that. All cameras, digital or film, will have little variations from pixel to pixel (or grain to grain) and these should be roughly even across a photograph. Look at underexposed parts of the shuttle cockpit and you will see it’s not perfectly dark. This is what space should look like.

  113. llamaguy
  114. Oh man, look at all the fun I missed while alseep in Qatar.

    Dr. Plait, thankfully I had finsihed my coffee before I got to the blog, otherwise it would be all over my computer screen. :D

  115. Nick

    If more people had the ability to understand what they read, this sort of thing would never happen.

    The date of the original article:
    (March 2000)

    The article states:
    The new cockpit is expected to be installed on all shuttles in the NASA fleet by 2002.

    “Is expected to be” means that it has not been done.

    The article further states:
    During STS-101 Atlantis will fly as the most updated shuttle ever.

    That flight took place in May of 2000, two months after the article was released.

    So any thinking person would understand that no shuttle had yet flown with the new configuration so it would be impossible to have taken an actual photo as displayed. Maybe it does take a rocket scientist to realize that there was no attempt to fake the photo when the article itself plainly says that the new panels had not been used on any previous flight.

    Notice that NASA never claimed that the photo was real. I would imagine that a nice shot of the cockpit with a view of the inside of the hangar was deemed as dull and drab.

  116. Hannah B

    “All my years as an image analyst, coupled with my long battle-hardened abilities with conspiracies and fakery, told me I was on to something big here.”

    So what you’re saying is, you know it’s shopped, and you can tell by the pixels and from having seen a few shops in your time?

  117. Brady

    I am on to something even bigger – this whole conspiracy was faked! First of all, the case was presented using a clear, direct argument. Second, the use of capitals and color served to effectively highlight your points rather than appearing in random and inappropriate locations. Third, there are paragraph breaks. And where is the aliens/shadow government conspiracy?

  118. Perhaps I am too drunk to fully comprehend this image; however, I am confident in our government and our space agency in being able to provide us with images that allow us to use both our imaginations and our intelligence to create technology which will bring us into the future and beyond.

    And, I might add, I am posting this while sitting in front of my computer totally naked.

  119. Vortmax

    An excellent catch! But you didn’t catch that the chairs and controls are missing too. Obviously they had to remove all of that because they didn’t want us to know who was really flying this shuttle, nor where it was! It was part of a secret CIA mission to the aliens on the dark side of the moon, of course!!!!!

    Also, LOL.

  120. PlanJ

    Can someone say “Test Facility”?

  121. Dave

    You had me going there for a minute, Phil. I mean, heaven forbid NASA tart up an otherwise boring photo of a cockpit to make it a little more appealing to the public. But with IDiots and conspiracy theorists it’s really hard to tell satire from their real-life beliefs.

  122. Joe

    How do you know this was not taken in a simulator. Nothing in the blurb says it was taken while in orbit.

  123. bjn

    I’ve had to take airplane cockpit photos and there’s no way interior lights would be bright enough to allow for a small aperture without a long exposure. It would be difficult to light the cabin so that you could properly expose the electronic displays with the same exposure you use for the cockpit surfaces. The easiest way to take a cockpit photo is to use a tripod and shoot exposures for each illumination challenge. I shoot exposures for LCD/CRT displays and bright indicator lights in a darkened cabin. I shoot another exposure for the interior. And if I needed an actual view outside the cockpit, I’d make another exposure for that (most often I drop in an exterior view in a Photoshop composite).

    Phil, the Earth in this image would be MUCH brighter than the interior lights and it would require the shortest exposure. An interior shot exposed for the Earth would be a silhouette an only the brightest indicator lights would be visible in that exposure. But this image clearly uses either a flash or light near the camera’s point of view, and with a flash you could expose both the Earth and the interior. But that exposure would make the electronic displays look dark and of course there’s no way the stars would show up in the exposure. As far as reflections go, I’ve never been in a shuttle cockpit, but the window panels are angled with respect to the main light source and I’d hope that some taxpayer dollars were invested in antireflective coatings on window panels. That wouldn’t eliminate reflections but there’s no way the reflections from the interior in this image would block the view of the Earth. If I was doing the Photoshop composite, I’d put some soft reflections into the scene to make it feel more authentic.

  124. Mark Smithy Smith

    Of course it’s faked, it’s a publicity shot of the cockpit, so what? The caption doesn’t even claim that’s an action shot of the shuttle up in space.

  125. kellyb

    omg a touched up publicity photo!!! So what?

  126. Joe

    Did I miss something? Where in the caption does it claim that the picture is real?

  127. Sean K

    I dislike you tremendously Phil Plait. Tremendously.

  128. deathmonkey

    I’ve seen a NASA. In fact, I have a NASA, which I am willing to part with for a mere $500. I look forward to hearing from you.

  129. Photoshop this up with your own creation, good post going on over here….
    http://blogs.discovery.com/space_disco/2009/01/space-fark-a-space-shuttle-fake.html

  130. Steve Dutch

    Not only the obvious fakery, but if the Earth were really in that position the Shuttle would be upside down and everything would fall out. This is obviously a cover up to conceal the fact that they were really going to the Moon. Now we also need to compare those stars to real stars. Are they actually stars as seen from Earth or as they would be seen from many light years away, proving that the shuttle was really abducted by aliens? That might explain why there’s no elapsed time on the mission clock. Sorry. I’ve only had a few cups of coffee, so I don’t have the energy to imitate Peptron.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There, that’s better.

  131. sowhat

    so its probably a picture of the inside of the cockpit that someone decided was boring and added a backdrop. So what? I do the same thing with my fish tank. It doesn’t mean there arent real fish swimming next to real coral somewhere.

  132. Gareth

    Steve Dutch – you’re kinda on the right track. The Shuttle isn’t upside down. It’s *underneath* the Earth. The question then is what is holding the Earth up?

  133. Sundance

    Ah Phil, you really missed out on a huge opportunity here – since the photo was released before the actual mission flew it’s obvious that NASA have been equiping space shuttles with TIME-TRAVEL DRIVES, using advanced ALIEN technology from the crashed Roswell UFO!!! They needed to fake the picture to remove the flux-capacitor which would otherwise be visible in the middle of the cockpit ;-)

  134. Alf

    Here is the actual caption from NASA spaceflight gallery website:

    http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/shuttle/sts-101/html/jsc2000e10522.html

    JSC2000-E-10522 (March 2000) — Eleven new full-color, flat-panel display screens in the Shuttle cockpit replace 32 gauges and electromechanical displays and four cathode-ray tube displays. The new “glass cockpit” is 75 pounds lighter and uses less power than before, and its color displays provide easier pilot recognition of key functions. The new cockpit is expected to be installed on all shuttles in the NASA fleet by 2002, and it sets the stage for the next cockpit improvement planned to fly by 2005: a “smart cockpit” that reduces the pilot’s workload during critical periods. During STS-101 Atlantis will fly as the most updated shuttle ever, with more than 100 new modifications incorporated during a ten-month period in 1998 at Boeing’s Palmdale, Ca., Shuttle factory.

    And forget Nyberg, I prefer K. Megan McArthur:

    http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/shuttle/sts-125/html/jsc2008e008440.html

  135. Randall

    Though it could be a little clearer, the description of the image on the NASA page does kind of indicate that it’s only a mock-up. It speaks of STS-101′s launch as being in the future, which would make it difficult for them to already have images of the new cockpit in orbit.

  136. Ben

    “BABloggee parkylondon alerted me to this NASA image of the Space Shuttle Atlantis’s cockpit, taken in March 2000 during mission STS-101.”

    STS-101 launched May 19, 2000. The image was released in March 2000. Yes, it was faked (lol). There is no argument about adding the earth or compositing photos. This image was NOT taken during STS-101, but in fact on the ground before flight.

  137. Kristina

    Sorry, kiddo. NASA didn’t mean this to be real. It’s just an image of how the cockpit will look once it’s installed. They even mentioned that it hasn’t been installed yet in the caption, which is them saying that this is not in space.

  138. TheSHAD0W

    You’d think an astronaut might be into HDR photography…

  139. Paul M.

    So obviously faked… where are the squirrel pilots?

  140. 1) The Earth’s Atmosphere absorbs a large portion of the radiation stars emit, thus, the stars would appear MUCH brighter in space–and in fact, they do.

    2) The earth is NOT brighter than the stars. The reflected light from the Earth comes from a star, but plenty of energy is absorbed by the Earth, thus, through the vaccuum of space, any star of regular size will be MUCH brighter than the reflected glow of a planet. Don’t forget that stars emit a wide array of radiation, all of which, beyond a certain point, will be picked up by film. In the case of digital cameras, the visible spectrum alone from stars is STILL MUCH MORE THAN REFLECTED GLOW.

    3) The windows in the front of the cockpit are not only immaculate but sloped at a very steep angle–taking a photo of a window at a 45 angle to the shutter will not result in reflection–what’s more, even if there is reflection, is it not plausable that THAT could be photoshopped out?

    You may have all this experience, but you’ve just been schooled by a college dropout.

  141. Jeff

    Who the hell cares???? How does this affect your daily life? You need to get out more man….

  142. On top of that, why does NASA use Rosetta Stone language learning software? Are they learning alien languages? And how did the folks at Rosetta Stone learn the alien languages in the first place? Are the Illuminati really aliens who are making a killing in the language learning software industry? All equally valid questions!

  143. One Eyed Jack

    I’m so depressed. In all the years of Shuttle missions, nobody has ever put a pair of fuzzy dice or a bobble head on the dash board. Perhaps we could send it to MTV’s pimp my ride?

  144. Tommy

    Nice work! They really shouldn’t do something like that, it is dishonest and they are supposed to be all about science. (Very funny your demand to shut down the space program in 2010. Because that’s their plan. :-) But I suppose you knew that Phil)

  145. Grand Lunar

    Phil, that’s not the space shuttle!

    That’s a view from one of the NX-01′s shuttle pods!

  146. Jonathan

    Yes, I agree it isn’t right – but I’m thinking its not faked, at least in the sense you mean: I think its actually a picture taken inside a simulator, where the windows are large no-glare tv screens. While I haven’t been in the shuttle simulator, I have been in other simulators and these window views would have been reasonable for them.

  147. Jeremy

    ok so the photo is a fake, what is more likely the reason for it being fake is that they took the picture, while the shuttle is on the ground and then added the background image to simulate what it would look like in space. Granted its a crappy shop job, and I could have done better, hell we all could have done a better job at.

  148. Dave in Philly

    I’m surprised that Phil Plait didn’t blame this on George Bush. Phil’s poor due diligence in the past has caused him to unfairly put blame on Bush where it was not warranted. His hysterical rantings of Bush supressing climate science come to mind. No basis in fact if you do the actual research.

  149. That is actually the view from the cryogenic chamber where Steve Jobs is living out the rest of his available years.

  150. Eddie

    Alright, this is blown completely out of proportion. I hate to ruin all of the fun, but take a closer look at the original caption. This image is merely displaying a new and improved cockpit which at the time of publication was not in use. So, of course the image was doctored. How exciting would the image be of a new cockpit with a random NASA mechanical room in the background?

  151. DLC

    Of course it’s a clever fake. Clever enough to fool anyone . . . Except you, Phil.
    I’m sorry, but we of the conspiracy are going to have to take steps.
    Well . . . we took the steps, but then realized it wasn’t your house we took them from.
    Blast that poor intelligence!

  152. Brian

    That’s not a picture of the planet Earth.

    IT’S A SPACE STATION.

  153. Crudely Wrott

    “Stop now!”

    Oh, sure.

    And a wink is as good as a nod.

    Thanks, Phil.

  154. ROFL… Too funny Phil!

    There needs to be more posts like this. Perhaps if we make a mockery of the nutjob conspiracy theories they might realize the error in their ways? I doubt it will unfortunately…

    I’m off to fake my own Moon landing…

  155. Melissa

    Seriously, this “imagery” (as described on the NASA site) was posted to show the new cockpit. There is no claim that it is was taken during a mission or that it showed a view from a mission.

    I would hope that folks coming to this page can see the difference between an image provided as an explanation of new hardware and a photo from space.

  156. Marion

    This is just a PR photo for the new control system like the glam shots for movies. This picture was made using a mock up of the new controls with a screen of the earth and stares in front of the fake cockpit for effect.

    Most people don’t know dick about photography so they woud be clueless that this photo was a fake. However, because most of them are clueless they would be saying “But were are the stars”? if they had not put them in.

  157. Bo

    Gee, pouncing on an advertising photo from nasa….. Good Job their sport!
    Nailing a photo an figuring out it’s from a simulator in all of 5 seconds really justifies your life don’t it.

  158. Darrin

    I demand more posts like this! :D

    To paraphrase Robot Chicken:
    “That’s no planet…that’s yo mama!”
    *insert crowd going “OHHHHH!!”

    You made my day, Phil!

  159. ndaa lavoka

    It was taken in a flight stimulation

  160. From what NASA said about the photo I thought it was probably just a “promo” photo.

    DHMO.org has a lot of information about this dangerous substance, but they left something out. DHMO (whether solid or liquid) completely RUINSfine whiskey, fine wine and good beer.

    BAN DHMO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  161. Alec

    OK, first thing: check that the facts are straight. The photo was taken in March 2000. STS-101 flew in May 2000.

    Problem solved: the image was taken on the ground, showing what the cabin looks like, the Earth and stars added on later, to show what the new glass cabin would look like in action a few months later.

    For confirmation, check Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:STSCPanel.jpg says “Note: this is a composite image that was published prior to this cockpit configuration ever flying. The control sticks and seats are missing. The background was photoshopped from a separate image.”

  162. I just thought you should know: The shadow government has taken note

    You’ve been warned.

  163. Matt

    First: The image could be produced with a simple fill flash exposure.

    Second: Who the hell cares! Every image you see printed, broadcast and on the internet is digitally altered one way or another these days.

    Third: Please refill your Xanax prescription.

  164. Tommyr

    The image isn’t faked at all. It wasn’t taken in space. Come on people GET REAL.

    It’s a composite most likely. I believe the image was to show the new electronic cockpit before it made it’s debut.

  165. Mind Ecdysiast

    March 2000, May 2000. What the photo proves is that not only can we go into space, but according to the report and the dates, we are able to travel into the future. As plain as the nose on your face. But we got distracted by the stars.

  166. lolzer

    lol at the lack of research you have displayed here…. kept on the web forever, for all to see.

  167. Emma

    This looks like a computer generated shot to me. Perhaps from a trainer.

  168. The image is a CG image for PR purposes. Of all things to claim that are fake from NASA! Next time, focus on many airbrushed Moon and Mars images.

  169. Todd W.

    Reading the comments, I’m actually amazed at how many people completely missed the fact that Phil’s post is a parody.

  170. IVAN3MAN

    Poe’s Law states:

    Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won’t mistake for the real thing.

  171. And WHERE are the CUPHOLDERS?! Everyone knows you can’t go all the way to space without a frosty beverage by your side! Total fake. Good call!!!!!!!!!!!!

  172. Azdak

    I want to do a study on people who are unable to process satire. When I get my grant, I’m coming here for pilot participants…

    Seriously, though, I find it fascinating that so many otherwise brilliant people lose the plot in the face of what the rest of us consider to be rather obviously satire. A guy I knew in college would become incensed when he saw us reading The Onion. “Is this real? Wait, is this REAL? WHAT DO YOU MEAN, IT’S NOT TRUE! WHY WOULD THEY SAY THAT WHEN IT’S NOT TRUE!” His reaction made the stories that much funnier.

    Also, next time, Phil: don’t skimp. You know what I’m talking about. That’s right. Mouse trails! And maybe a breakdancing robot or two.

  173. Liam

    LOL!! Love all the cocky smart-arse comments from people who’ve somehow completely failed to realise this post is satire! Damn good satire too.

  174. Snort

    No one reads any more. The description with the photo is pretty straight forward if you read the whole thing.

  175. Dave in Philly

    Poor attempt at satire. The second part of his post is clearly unamusing satire, but the first five paragraphs don’t come across that way at all. Don’t give up your day job to become a satiric comedy writer, Phil.

  176. Bunny

    Oh, wow, the post is satire. Pretty badly executed satire at that. What all the commenters seem to have missed (in their imagined intelligence) is the elephant in the corner.

    Much of what comes from NASA is faked photos. most of the photos are taken outside of visible spectrums, or taken with radio telescopes. These images are faked. They have had their “Spectrums adjusted” at the minimum. this means that some ARTIST at NASA takes an ugly photo, and colours it because no one knows for sure what colours in real life these objects are. Contrast is also normally adjusted, and many images are composites of many photographs.

    Science rarely if ever looks “Beautiful”, but NASA always seems to manage it. If you have an “enhanced” image, you do not have anything that you can use for real science.

    On a second note. For all of the proud scientists who have missed the fact that most of NASAs imagery is edited, and who seem to like laughing at people who question the real story. did you realize that it is -270C out there in space in the shade? Well that is what they tell me. 121C is what the Kennedy Space Center says is the temperature in the direct sunlight near the earth and on the moon.

    I have a question. What was the first lesson in science class? Well it was related to science, but it was a practical piece of advice. NEVER put a hot beaker under cold water. Glass doesn’t like sudden changes of temperature. I have never seen or heard of NASA made glass being sent out to prove they had glass advanced enough to take the temperature fluctuations in Space or on the moon. If they had created it, glass like this should be in every household as it would be an amazing improvement on standard glass cooking equipment.

    Even IF you argue that the glass will not heat up or cool down that fast as an astronaut turns his back to the sun, or floats/walks into the shade… the materials connecting the glass to the helmet is bound to heat up in the sun much faster and will transfer the heat to the glass, and then going back inside a temperature controlled space shuttle will again, noticeably add more heat transfer.

    I would like to see the test glass NASA had in the 1960′s… I would love to heat it up to 100C and then run ice water over the surface of it. I know there will be hundreds of desperate believers all lining up to come up with stretched theories and excuses… so I wont be back to read them… Science is about the facts… my facts can be proven over and over again… I doubt that anyone can substantiate any of their theories to the contrary. So I chose not to come back to see the idiotic mob trying to disprove my facts with force of numbers.

  177. Hank Fox

    They faked the Earth landings!

  178. I didn’t think the shuttle ever got far enough away from the earth for it to look that small.

  179. OK. So it is a fake picture. But – it does look nice.

  180. kroosing 2 '42' via '37'

    You can see a flash light reflection in the atmo gauges overhead. Does that change your argumentation on the light conditions inside, Phil?
    Great slapstick satire otherwise, love it.
    There’s a funny “original pre-photoshopped” picture-satire on http://www.buzzfeed.com/reddit/space-shuttle-cockpit-pic

  181. Ann

    According to NASA’s bio for Karen Nyberg:

    “The STS-124 mission was completed in 218 orbits, traveling 5,735.643 miles in 13 days, 18 hours, 13 minutes and 7 seconds.” !!!!!

    HOW can YOU fake nearly SEVENTEEN AND ONE HALF miles per hour ?!?!?!?!

    and 26 miles per orbit!! NASA knows a shortcut or someone rolled the odometer back ,,,,

  182. Frog

    Wait, isn’t this just supposed to be a mock-up of what the new stuff will look like? It sounds like from the description that this is a system that has yet to be implemented. If you want people to take you seriously maybe you shouldn’t rave like a madman.

  183. Greg in Austin

    @Bunny,

    Now that was pretty good satire!

    8)

  184. Sapjes

    Haha! I love you man :’)

  185. Greg in Austin

    Bunny said,

    “I would like to see the test glass NASA had in the 1960’s… I would love to heat it up to 100C and then run ice water over the surface of it.”

    Why would you run ice water over the glass? Will there be ice water in space?

    8)

  186. Justin

    I REALLY HOPE TO GOD SOME OF YOU ARE KIDDING. OTHERWISE I QUIT THE INTERNET AND SOME OF YOU NEED TO QUIT THE HUMAN RACE. the end. thanks.

  187. Michael

    The picture is not only not faked, I took it. I happen to know it’s real….

  188. Rene

    If you’re read the original message carefuluy you can say that NASA never claimed it was an actual cockpit. They just made us aware of the fact that there was a new cockpit. And since everything looks so good in the picture, perhaps they’ve removed the windows, and the seats.

    You said

    There’s only one explanation: Someone at NASA faked the photo!!!

    My question is ‘What did they fake?

    Maybe it isn’t areal shuttle, but just a simulator.

  189. Chris Funk

    Phil, please respond to this…

    I have one question, are you serious?

    Thanks,
    Chris

  190. Obviously, it said WILL be on space shuttles in 2002. So yes, this image WAS faked, it was made before 2002! The only fault is their inaccuracies, but that doesn’t mean that the space shuttle program doesn’t exist!

  191. Mike

    I work at NASA – JSC in Houston. Sure, the image out the window is fake. It makes the photo more appealing to have Earth out the windows. So what? The image was intended to show the new MEDS instrumentation that replaced the old analog-driven stuff. I’m not even sure this is from a real orbiter – it could be one of the simulators in the SMS or GNS. Whoever put the label that is was a mission is misinformed.

  192. Swillter

    U r sad mate i work at the astronaut training facilities . why would we work the bollocks off the astronaunts for no reason.DONT BELIEVE EVERYTHING U SEE ON THE INTERNET. if i wanted to i could edit my photo’s and put god only knows what on them.

    P.S If you r so sure we didnt land on the moon then why is Richard Branson launch flights to space and the moon soon with Virgin Galactic u div h

    http://www.virgingalactic.com/htmlsite/index.php?language=english
    soz i dont know i to make a hyper link

    P.S.S for those americans who dont know about Virgin -

    Virgin Atlantic
    Virgin Galactic
    Virgin Trains
    Virgin Media
    Virgin Holidays
    Virgin Money
    Virgin Mobile

  193. jgirvine

    Swillter… This is obviously your first visit to the bad astronomy site. Try reading a few more posts before accusing PHIL PLAIT of not believing in the moon landing. See what books he has written. See what he gives lectures on!

  194. Silver Knight

    Oh, man… The comment thread was even funnier than the article itself! While I really and truly do hope that there are not actually people out there as dumb as a few of these people claim to be, I am saddened by the fact that there are indeed such people in the world. Any of you who did NOT understand this was humor, read the NEXT blog entry by this author before freaking out further about the “faked photo”.

    Let’s start out by pointing out to anyone who might believe this post was serious (as others have pointed out in the comment thread also) that this post is tagged “Humor”. That might be your very FIRST clue that this was meant to make folks laugh and could not possibly have been intended seriously. Read on further in the comment threads and you find people pointing out other obvious facts that are also dead giveaways as to the humorous nature of this post such as the timing (dates) of the release of the photo and the planned mission, or other caption details from the original photo.

    For the few crackpots who might STILL not be convinced this was humor and was intended seriously, try the link to the next blog entry – http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/01/29/ok-so-maybe-nasa-didnt-fake-that-image/ where the author himself clarifies the entire thing in detail for you. Grow a sense of humor and laugh at this like most of us did. ;)

  195. poopy

    Im pretty sure he meant every word and didnt intend it as a joke there is nowhere in his comment to say he was joking, he said himself he got iit wrong, big whoop!

  196. Geoff de Ruiter

    May I make a suggestion, Can you check the curvature of the earth to see if it is congruent on either sides of the central dividing panel. It seems a bit off in that it seems the picture of the earth was spread too far across. Although it might be simply and optical illusion. If you find anything out please contact me :)

  197. Jaala

    Um excuse me everyone, but this photo, according to NASA’s own website was taken before the shuttle even launched. Like a month or two before! Egh. This is an image of the simulator. Therefore, you’re all wrong. Strange though, that the simulator view would include stars. Apparently, if we are to believe NASA, there are no stars that can be seen from space LOL.

  198. Drai

    That image looks like it came straight out of a fallout 2 game.

  199. The CONSPIRACY is actually that all these pictures coming from NASA are TRUE and GENUINE. The REALITY/FACT are all the MONEY and POLITICS/ STRATEGY involved by making people believe in all this rubbish..REMEMBER that USA became a potency recognized worldwide with all this moon landing history created in studio and as RESULT pumped their economy generating billions and reaching WORLDWIDE PRESTIGE with this “EVENT”. Why wouldn’t they do it again? Especially now that USA’s economy is in trouble…sounds a great idea! Would you ever believe in “someone” that lied to you once before? Do you believe that a man can be GAY for one day and became straight again? Do you believe in fathers XMAS? Oh Please! Come OOOOONNNN!!There is a BIG gap between what people want to believe and what is really TRUE

  200. RAYMOND

    Look they used the best fake photo they had,out of 200 shots.

  201. anand

    pudingi … podaanga panni…

  202. This picure is the kind of composition that aircraft manufacturers do all the time with their cockpits; as I pilot, I have seen lots of promotional material related to avionics, planes and other stuff that use similar photos, even of stuff in “orbit” which clearly couldn’t fly outside the atmosphere. Perhaps NASA should clarify this, but if you want to use this picture to imply somehow that NASA lies at large, it would be a gross mistake firstly because it is publicity material created as a common practice in the aerospace industry, not scientific stuff. Then, one thing is not conencted to the other: The fact that one prepares a fake image for publicity pursues doesn’t necessarily imply anithing as eviudence for the credibility of research pictures. If that were not the case, then nothing coming out of the U.S. could be considered serious because you also produce pictures of Mickey Mouse.

  203. Jesvant

    Yeah there is no space shuttle, or space program anywhere on the earth. The americans dont have the technology, the only real rockets are like the V2 launched by the Nazis, and that was merely a ballistic missile

    FAKE !

  204. nonhocapito

    But is it conceivable that, out of curiosity, never in twenty more years they felt like turning the camera outwards, maybe during one of the passages in the dark, to show us what must be a breath-taking show of billions of stars shining on?
    Think about it: you are in space and there is no atmosphere between you and the stars. That would be a never-before-seen memorable event. Any of us would have the immediate impulse and curiosity to look into space and report back the incredible impression, that nowhere on earth, not even in remote areas of Chile, can be experienced. And yet, the silence about the stars, once again and like with Apollo, is deafening.

    quoted by cluesforum.info
    – thank me later

  205. With most of the Mars landings being failures, why this new atempt to land a larger mars device on mars?? If the moon landings were real, with reasonable doubt, and it has not been explored beyond a few miles and not on back side why not learn from this to travel easier and faster thru space. A ship could constructed in orbit, fueled and supplied and travel with less needs than from earth. It could use a drive that would not need fuel that now is used to get in to orbi. It could orbit moon and use a lander as before. (If that is a fact.) …… Unless the moon is alien property and we were told to stay away!! The other is that space outside of the space stations orbit is extremely dangerious for our technology to have maned flight.

  206. Matt

    Phil, you are an idiot. That’s an image from a flight simulator showing the intended design for the new STS. You debunkers should put a little thought into your rants.

  207. Matt (220): I’m an idiot? OK. But maybe you’ll want to read the next post after this one.

    This is an excellent example of why you should follow Wheaton’s Law. If you turn out to be wrong, you don’t look as silly.

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