Claim: Photographs show the explosive destruction of the Space Shuttle Columbia.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, 2003]
are not photographs of the destruction of the Space Shuttle Columbia, which broke up over the western United States during re-entry on
These images are frames from the special effects-laden opening sequence of the 1998 whammy film Armageddon in which the Space Shuttle Atlantis is destroyed by the leading edge of debris from a comet-enclosed asteroid, thereby alerting NASA to the problem that an Earth-bound doomsday asteroid is a mere
Even if these images were not recognizable as still frames from a theatrical movie, they could still be dismissed as “actual photographs of the Columbia‘s destruction” because:
- The Columbia did not “explode” all at once as depicted here. It disintegrated over hundreds of miles as it
re-enteredEarth’s atmosphere and traveled across the western United States on approach to its scheduled landing site in Florida.
- The images shown here depict a shuttle in orbit. The Columbia disaster occurred when the ship broke up while it was streaking through the atmosphere at
12,000 MPHduring re-entry,well after it had left orbit.
- There was no photographic instrument in space (on an “Israeli satellite” or elsewhere) trained on the shuttle at the right moment to capture the type of images shown here.
Last updated: 20 September 2006
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