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No, NASA isn’t a film studio
If Your Time is short
- NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans has rented space to film companies to shoot movies there. But Rockets are also built there.
Harnessing unfounded conspiracy theories that space isn’t real, the moon landing was faked and the Earth is flat, a recent Instagram post claims that a NASA facility in Louisiana is better suited for a Hollywood studio lot.
"I wonder why does NASA, a space agency, have one of the world’s largest film set studios among its facilities," reads the text around an image of an aerial photo of the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. "Maybe cause, as their name indicates, not a space agency, they are just a film studio, and all they do are movies?"
A Facebook post sharing the photo used hashtags including #earthisflat, #nasasecrets and #globaldeception.
This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
We asked NASA about the post but didn’t hear back.
However, the Michoud Assembly Facility is, in NASA’s words, "the nation’s premiere site for manufacturing and assembling of large-scale space structures and systems."
The site is big — 829 acres with 43 acres of manufacturing space — and houses commercial companies and NASA contractors. Current tenants include BK Aerospace, Boeing Co., Lockheed Martin Corp. and the U.S. Coast Guard. Notably, no film companies are listed.
"Today, Michoud is manufacturing and assembling the core stages for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) — the world’s most powerful rocket that will send the Orion spacecraft, astronauts, and supplies on bold explorations to the moon and beyond, the Orion spacecraft’s pressure vessel and launch abort system, and has begun production on SLS’s block 1B configuration Exploration Upper Stage," NASA says on the facility’s website.
Photos of that work were published in August on Nola.com.
NASA has rented space at the site to film companies, and movies such as "Ender’s Game" have been shot there.
But that doesn’t make the case that NASA is a film studio that only makes movies.
We rate that claim False.
Facebook post, May 8, 2023
Collider, ENDER’S GAME Set Visit, Part Two: The surreality of meeting Harrison Ford, Oct. 30, 2013
Nola.com, Where was 'Jack Reacher: Never Go Back' filmed? A rundown of New Orleans shooting locations, Oct. 18, 2016
Baton Rouge Business Report, NASA defends deal with N.O. film studio, Sept. 17, 2012
IMDB, Filming Location Matching "Michoud Assembly Facility - 13800 Old Gentilly Road, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA" (Sorted by Popularity Ascending), visited May 10, 2023
Nola.com, Photos: NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans builds rockets to return to the moon, Aug. 18, 2022
NASA, History of Michoud Assembly Facility, visited May 10, 2023
NASA, NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility, visited May 10, 2023
NASA, Orion Overview, visited May 10, 2023
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No, NASA isn’t a film studio
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