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Oh, Those Silly Brits

By Keith Cowing
NASA Watch
November 17, 2005

Space Cadets hoax out of this world, Evening Standard

“Unbeknown to them, their shuttle will be a Hollywood creation, made originally for the film Space Cowboys. A giant custom-built screen positioned just outside the shuttle will, it is hoped, provide the illusion of a view of Earth from space including a hurricane over Mexico and a glimpse of the UK on one day when cloud cover parts.”

Editor’s note: Gee, I wonder how they’ll explain the fact that there is still gravity in their shuttle? Oh wait – they’ll just put wires and special harnesses on the contestants, bring in a crew to work the pulleys, and make the contestants think they are floating in weightlessness – just like they did in all those space puppet shows like “Thunderbirds”. That way they won’t have a clue that a trick is being played on them. Of course, as soon as they start playing with their food …

Editor’s update: Wait – there’s more: another UK paper has elaborated on the physics so as to explain the presence of gravity. What is “near space” and how do you “orbit” in it? I guess Dr. Who is the TV series’ technical consultant.

‘Reality’ show stars will be taken for one galactic ride, TimesOnline

“They will not experience weightlessness because they are only orbiting “near space”.

Alas, the venerable (but gullible) BBC has fallen for this tabloid pseudoscience as well – and apparently has no one with any scientific background on its staff to proof read its online article, Spoof show to trick ‘astronauts’

“But producers will not have to recreate weightlessness because the contestants are to be told their orbit will take them to Near Space, not Deep Space, where they could experience the sensation.”

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.