Has the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) developed a ‘rain cloud generating machine’, which will create artificial clouds that lead to precipitation? A message which has been circulated on social media claims so.
— JayasreeVijayan (@JayasreeVijayan) June 26, 2019
The above tweet has been retweeted over 3500 times since it was posted on June 26. Among those who have quote-tweeted it includes actor Amitabh Bachchan, with the words, “can we get one in India .. I mean right now .. RIGHT NOW .. PLEASE”.
… can we get one in India .. I mean right now .. RIGHT NOW .. PLEASE !!🇮🇳🇮🇳🙏🙏 https://t.co/pTRI8r4VsK
— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) June 26, 2019
Bachchan’s tweet has been ‘liked’ over 22,000 times. The video accompanying the message shows white fumes in large quantity, emanating from a machine. The video has also been posted on Facebook with the identical claim- that it shows a cloud generating machine.
The above post is not recent- it was posted on April 1, 2018 and has been viewed a staggering 43 million times since then, with a share count of over 930,000! Alt News found that this claim goes back to 2016, when a video making the same claim was uploaded on YouTube.
NO SUCH MACHINE DEVELOPED BY NASA
The claim that NASA has developed a ‘cloud generating machine’ is outrightly false. Moreover, the video shared along with this false assertion represents the testing of a rocket by the space agency. It is an extract from a video report by BBC on its programme Top Gear, in 2010. The video is posted below. The footage can be viewed from 1:46 minutes.
NASA had uploaded a video on YouTube which showed the testing of RS-25 rocket engine, in 2017.
An article written by a former research meteorologist at NASA, and published by Forbes in April 2018, has given a detailed scientific explanation of the vapour formed by the testing of the rocket.
It states, “The exhaust from the RS-25 is primarily water vapor because the engine burns liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. Oh…..guess what happens when they combine: You get H2O (also known as water). Therefore, the “clouds” that you see in the pictures or videos are a by-product of a very simple scientific process (see below). If the water vapor condenses, it actually may form drops large enough to fall as liquid or what appears as “rain.”
Insofar as creation of artificial clouds by NASA is concerned, it may be noted that the agency had conducted an experiment in 2017 to create these clouds by launching a short-range rocket. Information about artificial clouds can be accessed here.
It may be reiterated that the claim circulating on social media is false. The machine seen in the video is not a cloud generating machine, but a space rocket engine.
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