No, NASA has not faked space walks and astronauts' presence at the ISS using greenscreen technology

By: Christian Haag
June 9 2023

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No, NASA has not faked space walks and astronauts' presence at the ISS using greenscreen technology


The Verdict False

The International Space Station has seen many astronauts visiting the station, and the footage has not been filmed underwater on Earth.

Claim ID 7321675c


A video from a meeting at Brevard City Council, North Carolina, has gone viral on TikTok and other social media platforms, showing a young man claiming that there are no astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) and that the spacewalks and footage inside the station are being filmed on Earth.

The claimant argues that glitches in the screen and astronauts appearing from nowhere proves that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is using greenscreens and VR to make it appear that the astronauts are in a weightless environment.

The claimant continues his argument, stating that air bubbles have been recorded during spacewalks and that 2013 astronaut Luca Partinao almost drowned during a spacewalk when his helmet filled with water. To that end, he asks if the astronauts are in space or in a pool of water on Earth, implicating that the space walks are filmed in an underwater pool and then edited to appear as if they are being carried out in space. He concludes by asking for an investigation into NASA's fraudulent practices and misuse of tax dollars to deceive the U.S. public.

In Fact

The claims are false. A spokesperson from NASA told the Associated Press (AP) that the glitches in the video feed are most likely due to interruptions in the satellite transmission, and the footage of astronauts working underwater is actual footage of training exercises at NASA. It is also worth noting that the footage from the underwater training used to facilitate real space looks vastly different from actual footage from space.

Space communicator Astro Alexandra, who responded with a debunking video on TikTok, explains that the supposed air bubbles in the footage were coolant leaks. She also points out that the coolant leak seen in the footage is from a different Russian satellite. Furthermore, Alexandra clarifies that Luca Parmitano did almost drown during a spacewalk and that water in space suits is used to keep the astronauts cool during exposure to radiation from the sun, which increases the temperature. It is not proof that the footage was filmed underwater in a pool.

There is ample evidence that the space station is populated and has hosted astronauts from many countries during its lifetime. One, Swedish astronaut Christer Fuglesang, has appeared in several videos uploaded by the Swedish National Space Agency's YouTube account. NASA has an active blog with an extensive archive and a Twitter account for the ISS, providing news and events at the space station. The latest update on 7 June describes how SpaceX Dragon has docked at the space station, carrying cargo and solar arrays.

PolitiFact and Reuters have checked similar claims that no humans are on the ISS, finding them false.

The Verdict

All available evidence shows that the ISS is real and is not faked with greenscreen technology. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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