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The Biggest Mistake in the History of NASA: when NASA debunked Apollo 18

On July 8, 2011, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration brought the second phase of America’s 50-year history of manned space flight to a close.  The final flight of the space shuttle left NASA incapable of putting astronauts into space, forcing them to bum rides from their old competitors, the Russians. space science universe and space station alien science

America’s new car pool van. space science universe and space station alien science

NASA recently released a new proposal to develop a new heavy-lift booster rocket that could put America back into space by the end of the decade.  The price tag, somewhere between $35 and $62 billion over the next 15 years.  According to the Wall Street Journal, White House officials are worried that Congress’s current anti-debt hysteria will make it difficult to get funding for this new endeavor passed. space science universe and space station alien science

NASA spending generally pays for itself a dozen times over through new technology.  It serves as a world-wide reminder that America can do great things for all mankind. It inspires new generations of scientists.  It’s generally a good idea, so yeah, Congress will probably cut it. space science universe and space station alien science

That’s why it’s such a shame that NASA passed up an incredible opportunity to guarantee funding.  “The biggest mistake in the history of NASA” wasn’t Bruce Willis. It happened this week in the press. space science universe and space station alien science

This is a Hubble telescope image of a gas cloud from the Carina Nebula. It's more than three light-years tall. I don't care what your political views are - that's cool.

This is a Hubble telescope image of a gas cloud from the Carina Nebula. It’s more than three light-years tall. I don’t care what your political views are – that’s cool. space science universe and space station alien science

Last weekend, the Weinstein Co. released Apollo 18, a “found footage” horror film most simply described as “the Blair Witch on the moon.” SPOILER ALERT  In it, moon spiders that can disguise themselves as rocks manage to kill the astronauts from our last, secret, moon shot.  According to most reviews, it’s pretty terrible.  (Rotten Tomatoes score of 18%. 4% lower than the Smurfs).  But that doesn’t matter.  What matters is the advertising. space science universe and space station alien science

Like the Blair Witch Project, Apollo 18 was advertised as a documentary that featured real footage of a deliberately covered-up mission.  You’d think that America would know better than to look for truth in movie trailers by now, but NASA disagrees.  In an interview with the LA Times, NASA’s Bert Ulrich made a point of saying that: “Apollo 18 is not a documentary. The film is a work of fiction, and we always knew that.” space science universe and space station alien science

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