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Questions tagged [myth-busting]

Experimental and/or theoretical analysis aimed at correcting common misperceptions about space-, science-, and technology-related phenomena.

53
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3answers
9k views

Why would GPS availability be reduced by high demand (or solar eclipse)?

This Newsweek article states that "GPS...will likely be nonexistent near the eclipse zone" because of all the people going to that area. While it makes sense that cell towers might be overloaded and ...
20
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4answers
21k views

How was it possible for the Apollo 11 to film and take pictures with such radiation?

There's plenty of people who said it would have been impossible for the astronauts in the Apollo 11 to film or take pictures in the moon due to the high radiation there's in the moon because of the ...
7
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2answers
748 views

Why would Hollywood's Planet X (at earth's L3) be unstable?

This NASA website states "NASA is unlikely to find any use for the L3 point since it remains hidden behind the Sun at all times. The idea of a hidden "Planet-X" at the L3 point has been a popular ...
19
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2answers
5k views

Is it real to patch an opening to the vacuum with plastic tarp and duct tape as in Martian?

In the Martian movie Watney patched a broken door to the martian surface with plastic tarp and duct tape. The pressure on Mars is 0.5 kPa, which is 200 times smaller, that on Earth (100 kPa), i.e. it ...
10
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1answer
2k views

Doing an experiment to fire a laser to moon and back

After reading this question: I got an itch to to test out the mirrors myself (and maybe record whole process to irritate conspiracy nuts). What equipment would I need? I assume a high powered laser ...
17
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1answer
3k views

Is there any merit to the Apollo 13 (movie) statement “a computer that can hold millions of pieces of information”?

Early in the Apollo 13 movie, Lovell (Tom Hanks) is showing off the Saturn V and states that a part of what has made the moon landings possible is a belief that anything is possible, "things like a ...
10
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2answers
2k views

What is the science behind the canals of Mars?

A recent BBC news article give a short history on the canals of Mars In the late 19th Century, the American astronomer Percival Lowell thought he saw canals on the surface of Mars. He ...
21
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2answers
2k views

Did the designers of Voyager neglect the angular momentum of the tape recorders?

I have heard many times that the designers of the Voyager spacecraft neglected to account for the angular momentum of the tape recorders (on which data was stored). To compensate for it after launch, ...
19
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2answers
6k views

Was Valentina Tereshkova pregnant while in space?

Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman in space. I have been reading the book called "The Astronaut Wives club". In it, they discuss women flying in space, and mention that Valentina was the first ...
2
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2answers
653 views

Is there any truth to the claims of cosmonauts lost in space?

I've heard that during the space race era, many of the Soviet cosmonauts were lost in space. Or at least, such were the claims of some. So I wonder, is there any truth in these claims, or was that ...
35
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1answer
24k views

Why does the ascent stage of Apollo 11's lunar module look like it's made of paper?

Here's an image (AS11-40-5922) from Apollo 11 that NASA describes as: View of the ascent stage from the northeast. Note the wrinkled surface of the RCS plume deflector and the warping of the rear ...
26
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1answer
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Did Neil Armstrong really say “Good Luck Mr. Gorsky” on the Moon?

I have heard, that upon standing on the moon, Neil Armstrong at some point said "Good luck Mr. Gorsky". The story being that while a child, playing baseball, through an open window he heard Mrs. ...
23
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2answers
4k views

Could you fly on the Moon, in Earth's atmospheric pressure, by flapping wearable wings?

According to this site, NASA produced a public domain painting representing what the Olympics could look like on a lunar colony. In the upper right of the picture, there are people flying by flapping ...
18
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2answers
2k views

Do you need a mattress on the Moon?

In the 1985 work 'The Cat Who Walks Through Walls' by Robert Heinlein, Richard Ames makes the following internal observation; The character is in an underground abode. The accommodations are in a side ...
40
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1answer
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Who installed the camera on the Moon to film the “First step”?

On Wikipedia page on Moon landing, Neil Armstrong is shown stepping down on the surface of the Moon using the spaceship's ladder:        Still frame from a video ...
20
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1answer
3k views

Was the Apollo 13 CM guidance computer fully shut down?

I was watching the movie Apollo 13, and one thing struck me as quite odd. According to Wikipedia, [Movie director Ron] Howard went to great lengths to create a technically accurate movie, employing ...
10
votes
1answer
320 views

How seriously did astronomers take the idea of a hollow Phobos?

Phobos, the larger moon of Mars, was once theorized to be hollow by Iosif Shklovsky. Plenty of publications reference the idea (such as this snippet from Popular Science), but did anyone take it ...
29
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1answer
5k views

Who took the Curiosity rover's self-portrait photo from the surface of Mars?

Curiosity is missing an arm, can you help us find it? The self-portrait photograph of the Curiosity rover from the Gale Crater is probably one of the most well known ones of this particular rover of ...
11
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1answer
23k views

Do only Eagles walk on the moon?

Neil Armstrong was an Eagle Scout and the first person to walk on the moon. I have heard that everyone who has walked on the moon (through 2012), was an Eagle Scout. Is it true? If so other then ...
69
votes
3answers
34k views

Was the NOAA-N Prime satellite really dropped on the floor?

Recently, Donald.McLean posted this image in The Pod Bay, the site chat room: It's a rather disturbing image once you think about it for more than about half a second. Did it really happen? What ...
32
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5answers
17k views

Why didn't the Apollo 11 lander blow the dust away? (or why does it look like it didn't)

In this picture, we can see the footprints near the Apollo 11 lander. Shouldn't the dust have been blown away when Apollo 11 landed?
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3answers
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Did the Galileo spacecraft cause a “blotch” on Jupiter after it crashed?

There's this interesting story: Did NASA Accidentally “Nuke” Jupiter? Long story short: On September 21, 2003 Galileo is deorbited in order to prevent eventuality of contamination of Europa. It ...