Unmasking the Cosmic Mirage: Exposing the Fictions of Space Exploration

Unmasking the Cosmic Mirage: Exposing the Fictions of Space Exploration

In the ever-evolving realm of space exploration, where private ventures and “global” competition intermingle, the United States clings to its self-proclaimed role as a space leader, according to the recent Pew Research Center survey. Space skeptics see through the cosmic mirage, and have done more than just question the authenticity of this quest – they have unequivocally proven it to be fake, beyond any doubt. The work cannot be credited to any one individual. It is a collective endeavor and exercise, which anyone can do on their own. The question ‘how do you know that you know it,’ the most basic epistemological premise, serves as a sure guide. The general public, however, may take years to catch up, if ever, captured as they are by the illusions of the colonial state and its tales.



The survey on what people want from space agencies is a form of propaganda designed to direct the public’s views on space exploration, restrict choices and extract potential storylines. The strategy of giving the people a few choices to pick from, keeping them in the dark regarding all other options, is a classic propaganda and manipulation technique.

Such surveys fuel the imaginary role of the United States and other imperial states in so-called space exploration. This charade perpetuates the illusion of states that guide humanity in a quest of cosmic conquest. The majority of Americans, according to the survey, still believes in the significance of maintaining a leadership role in space whether they identify as Republicans or Democrats. Here, we run into another curiosity regarding how the public mind is regimented in the United States. They believe they are either Republican or Democrats, the two heads of the same beast. The system divides the population into clans led by liars that they are compelled to idolize, also known as politicians. These simple facts alone prove that governments as we have them now are obsolete. What is by nature corrupted will always corrupt. Humans have historically come up with many other ways of arranging their lives in the world that show we do not have to live under the fictions of the state, especially if it lies so much to its populations.

What would be like to live in a place governed by ethical rules that prevent such lies from spreading and where people with responsibilities are honest? It seems like this generation will never know. yet, if we all share a feeling, the need to pursue the happiness of all beings as a form of supreme intelligence,

The survey gives the impression to those unversed in how statistics are misleading that common folk are lively debating whether they want fictional asteroid protection or another lame Moon landing production. Such surveys are so tendentious they should never taken seriously so they could vanish into the blackholes of exploitation. Their effects have no value for people. They use people’s free feedback in order to exploit them. On behalf of STEM, NASA constantly procures feedback from regular people and especially children. They ask what they would like to see next. This is a way to extract ideas from the unsuspecting public, and exploit their imagination.

After they identify popular lines, crafting the next fictions becomes elementary. To pursue the objective of continuously crafting and controlling public opinion, preference surveys become an essential tool. Social media platforms have now taken this to a whole new level. Corporations call this market research. In this case, it is used for creating new storylines and planning future space exploration productions.

The believers who consume them are easier to fool the more they are unversed in production techniques and critical thinking regarding grand narratives. In the case of academics who should know better but insist on being believers, peer-pressure and stereotypes, cognitive dissonance, the cult of authority, seems to be enough to make their critical sense vanish regarding cosmology and space exploration tales.

Whereas space agencies promote so-called Moon and Mars missions as triumphant achievements, critical voices emerge to expose such missions as theatrical spectacles.

The survey gives the impression that public opinion is increasingly drawn towards projects like DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) for asteroid deflection. Yet, DART revealed its reliance on a Hollywood-style plot that exploits fears of a catastrophic mega-asteroid threatening humanity’s existence. It is a mission based on bogus boogieman-style propaganda and its spokespersons sounds like poor actors. Anyone who can live through the insufferable live presentation showing DART allegedly hitting an asteroid would have to agree. The fact is that even most staunch believers do not have the time or interest in close analysis. Projects like DART give people the illusion that the world is at risk at every moment, creating a sense of urgency, the need for protectors and heroes (the State), and instilling fear where none truly exists. The evidence NASA presented on behalf of DART is surprisingly weak and flimsy. The universe looks like a cheap, low resolution, grey-scale video-game.

So why do such storylines persist even if exposing them as fictions is so elementary? Mostly ignorance about production techniques and critical intellectual tools, paired with the lack of time, leave a lot of room for the imagination and peer-pressure to work their convincing, fiction based magic.

This cosmic stage, like a puppet opera, depends on manufactured stories and propaganda. The intent of maintaining public engagement and perpetuating the illusion of space exploration triumphs. The resulting inversion is well established – While truth is dismissed as fiction, fiction is celebrated as truth.

The fact some hype surrounding the Moon landing productions still lingers is remarkable after so long and given how poorly the so-called evidence has aged. They were simply dull spectacles produced with basic film making techniques, an assortment of special effects and scripted narratives, woven together. The result is a hollow narrative of cosmic exploration full of holes and inconsistencies.

With poor memories and low attention spans in a world dominated by social media, most people are unable to see the huge inventory of blunders, mistakes and impossibilities. For true believers, some actor saying so wearing an emblem of NASA authority is more than good enough. They are completely vulnerable, ignorant and unaware.

It is so easy to debunk the space narrative that anyone who is well informed, in an actual public debate, would humiliate NASA actors in public, making them look so silly that the whole narrative could crumble. Still, nowadays it is possible for people in power of social media networks to bury the truth with propaganda after it has come out. The will to believe and to dismiss critiques that should be devastating otherwise remains alive as one of fiction’s powers.

For space agencies and believers, the only way to fight the evidence is propaganda, and promoting stereotypical straw-men caricatures of critics and their arguments. In addition, following public relations principles, they steer as far away  as possible from well-informed critics who might question their fictions in a serious manner.


1. Pew Research Center. (2023, July 20). Americans’ Views of Space: U.S. Role, NASA Priorities, and Impact of Private Companies. https://www.pewresearch.org/science/2023/07/20/americans-views-of-space-u-s-role-nasa-priorities-and-impact-of-private-companies/

2. Gizmodo Australia. (2023, July). Most People Would Rather NASA Focus on Deflecting Asteroids Than Going to the Moon. https://gizmodo.com.au/2023/07/most-people-would-rather-nasa-focus-on-deflecting-asteroids-than-going-to-the-moon/

Rodrigo Ferrari Nunes

Rodrigo Ferrari-Nunes, Ph.D, is a social and cultural anthropologist, independent consultant, music producer, composer, multi-instrumentalist, artist, public intellectual and communicator.

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