A British space tourism startup called Stellar Frontiers used a photo of the explosion of a Northrop Grumman Antares rocket on its website. To make matters worse, the image is additionally noted to be the launch of the SpaceX Starship spacecraft, which in fact has not even entered orbit yet. Such advertising was ridiculed by many experts in the space industry, marketers and enthusiasts.
“If I intend to go on a space adventure, I hardly want to watch the explosion of the Antares rocket. Be careful with space tourism companies who believe that an exploding rocket is a SpaceX spacecraft,” Jeff Faust, senior author of SpaceNews, wrote on Twitter, the first to notice this error.
Probably, according to the authors, such a funny mistake should calm down any potential space tourist. Safe space travel requires almost superhuman attention to detail — therefore, the publication of an image of a rocket exploding during launch somehow does not inspire confidence.
Catastrophic explosion as an advertisement
In fact, this photo was taken on October 28, 2014, when the Antares launch vehicle launched from the launch complex in Virginia. It was supposed to be a cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station. But a few seconds after the launch, the rocket exploded, destroying the precious cargo. The disastrous images 8 years later probably attracted the attention of Stellar Frontiers employees, who simply selected vivid photos without resorting to details.
The rocket shown in the photo also has nothing to do with SpaceX Starship – a huge spacecraft designed to deliver astronauts to the Moon, Mars and beyond. Over the past couple of years, the company under the leadership of Elon Musk has experienced launch failures during the development of the spacecraft. Several launch attempts really ended with massive explosions that engulfed the entire launch pad.
An image of these failed launches can easily be found on the internet, which makes one wonder why Stellar Frontiers has had to resort to an image showing NASA’s launch failure in 2014. By the way, by the time the news was published, the error on the official website had not been corrected.
Earlier we reported on how satellites filmed the consequences of an explosion at the Chinese cosmodrome.
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