Can someone please debunk this video suggesting that SpaceX is using fx?

The video is called “Space X (a closer look)”, it features three videos of booster rockets exploding as they hit the ground.

The creator of the video shows the video of these explosions and points out visual anomalies which suggest that SpaceX is using special effects but of course that is impossible.

I don’t know that much about video stuff, so can someone who is an expert put this to rest so that more idiots don’t catch on to this retarded idea.

The first bit, with the smoke cloud, looks just like cloud with lightning in it, i.e., a cloud with flashes of light behind/inside it as you might have with an explosion.

If they’re saying it’s all a fake, like the moon landings, tell them to go stand on the landing platform for the next test and let us know how it turns out.

HAHAHAHAHA, if only Elon Musk would let them!

But seriously though, I’m looking for in-depth counter-analysis from someone who knows this stuff.

I don’t understand what he finds suspicious about these video clips. The caption for the first video clip just says “What an amazing cloud, how did Elon Musk get a cloud to do that?” Er, do what? If he’s referring to the “cloud” changing shape just before it catches fire, it’s probably just vapor from the ruptured tanks.

In the second and third footage, the caption says something about a “fade out” - seems like this is a reference to the vapor/smoke enveloping the camera. This too is just a mix of rocket engine exhaust and the fuel/oxidizer vapor from the ruptured tanks.

Also, something I didn’t notice before: the rocket appears to have thrusters at the top, firing sideways to help keep the rocket upright. This probably contributed to the “fade out” seen in the 2nd video clip.

I work in professional video and have worked as a visual effects artist on films.
First, the cloud self illuminating is completely natural. Five minutes on google will find shots of clouds lit up by lightning like that.

Second his “wavy camera and layer fades”. Wavy camera is rolling shutter artefacts, which happen which a camera is moved quickly in between frames. Eg just like a camera thats been hit by an explosion. The “layer fades” are also exactly what you’d expect to happen when a camera thats shooting 30 frames a second is moving extremely rapidly and spinning after being hit by an explosion. The camera is not scanning the entire frame at once, its scanning top to bottom extremely rapidly so it can’t capture a full image before its in a radically different position.

Nothing to see here.

An “in-depth counter-analysis” of a vague suggestion that SpaceX (or perhaps just Elon Musk personally) is altering or faking videos to show returning Falcon 9 stage 1 vehicles exploding or fading out of existence for some unknown reason? I’m not even sure where to start. This is more ridiculous than the crank who argued that [THREAD=533623]the Chinese were faking a crewed space launch[/THREAD] by filming it in a tank of water even though the arguments for doing so were patent nonsense and it would have been easier to ‘fake’ the supposed video in a parabolic flight with a CGI backdrop. This joker won’t even do more than post up slow motion of video feed with a chillwave soundtrack and some pointless annotation.

To address the supposed critiques in the video, in the first segment, the flash in the cloud is the shockwave from the explosion. If you watch video of an explosion in any dusty or humid environment you will see a similar opacity occur at the shockwave front, which is similar in concept to the shock collar you see form around aircraft as they enter the transonic range. In the second, the camera has clearly from free from its mount and is tumbling. The reason that the images are “layered” is because the change of orientation happens so quickly that the sensor is still registering the previous image when it is reoriented; at slower speeds this causes images to be blurred, but at high rates you end up with overlaid images. On the third segment (from the most recent landing attempt) the image goes from a solid stage to a cloud of propellant to explosion because that is literally what is happening; the stage falls over and ruptures, the residual propellants escape, the LOx flashes to vapor, and the energy from the release ignites the propellants creating the equivalent of a small thermobaric bomb. I don’t see anything suspicious except the way the presenter has obviously altered the video to emphasize his “point”.

This supposed conspiracy literally makes no sense. It would be one thing if the videos were showing perfect landing after perfect landing, with the stage dancing a little victory jig each time; then there might be cause for suspicion. But to show the stage approaching and the failing, not once but repeatedly? What would be the point of a conspiracy? Elon Musk makes plenty of questionable claims about what SpaceX is going to do and how cheap they are going to make access to space (and don’t even get me started on the Hyperloop). Why he would fake a landing failure defies conception.

I award this conspiracy theory one Oliver Stone bobble head doll on the grassy knoll out of a possible ten.


Actually looking at his “layered fades” more closely its the artefact of the way he is slowing down the video. If you slow down a video in premiere pro, the default is to dissolve between frames, exactly like he shows in this you tube video.

That is the cold gas attitude (GN[SUB]2[/SUB]) control system which is used to orient the vehicle for the return burn and help control orientation during descent. Grid fins were added to the stage after that attempt in order to provide greater control authority and force propellants to the bottom of the tank, which can be seen in the next segment. (They’re also on the last segment but you never see the top of the stage.) The ACS doesn’t put out enough gas to materially affect the opacity of the ambient atmosphere; the gaseous nitrogen is actually transparent and the white plume is water vapor condensing because of the cold temperature of the rapidly expanding gas. The “fade out” is escaping LOx, which does exactly what you would expect liquid oxygen under pressure to do when suddenly released by mass rupture of the tank.

The maker of the video is either an imbecile or terminally dishonest. He should probably be nominated for elective office.


There are several clear manipulations of the video; in the third segment he applies a jigsaw image mask on the final frame before cutting away. I wouldn’t trust anything in this video without directly comparing it to the source.


I sent this to my friend who works at SpaceX.

Me: The jig is up, bro.

So, there ya go. Official insider response.

One of the reasons smoke and fire sometimes look like visual effects is because the goal of visual effects is to look like real fire and smoke.

The first WTF cloud is a shock wave in the cloud.

The second ‘wavy camera’ is not inconsistent with what happens when a camera is subjected to vibration (such as when a shock wave hits it). The ‘fades’ will certainly be an artifact of converting very high framerate video to a framerate suitable for publishing.

The author of the video is probably a troll. It asks ‘can anyone explain this’, but the comments are disabled.

I don’t know, perhaps the OP has something here.

I heard that Musk built a set of fully operational, 1:1 models of the rockets, satellites, take-off and landing facilities just so that the videos would be easier to fake.

After all, the man has money to energetically oxidise on such fanciful falsehoods.

In the old days we used to have people standing on street corners (on soap boxes) shouting to anyone who would listen (and if they were plausible, people did listen), about their latest hobby horse - The guvmint are all alien lizards; the world is really run by a secret society; the end of the world is nigh…

These same people, or rather their descendants, now sit at computer keyboards spouting the same of rubbish.

I don’t know if this is some kind of attempt at a “whoosh” or you are being serious. SpaceX does, of course, have “a set of fully operational, 1:1 models of the rockets”; several, in fact, because they are in the business of (trying to) build rockets on a rapid production scale and have spend the last six months of time after the CRS-7 failure building up an inventory in anticipation of catching up on their manifest backlog. The stages are close to identical, but moving them around and manipulating them requires the coordination of dozens of people. Given the regular firing sweeps and other aggressive management tactics at SpaceX, it seems surprising that if sham launches were occurring some disgruntled employee wouldn’t speak up with clear evidence of conspiracy.

SpaceX are also building a launch facility in Boca Chica Village near Brownsville, TX. I have not been to that facility (and don’t believe they are far into construction) but I have been to both LC-40 at CCAFS and SLC-4E at VAFB (albeit the latter before the SpaceX refit) and am familiar with the characteristics of both sites. SLE-4E, and VAFB in general, is very distinct, being the only launch site in North America other than Kodiak Launch Complex that is both on a coast and has mountains in the background; it would be impossible to “fake” this site in Brownsville or, frankly, anywhere else except the California or Oregon coast. LC-40 is less distinct, given that CCAFS is basically a low-laying swamp with few distinct landmarks but both that facility and LC-13 (the “Landing Zone 1” that the F9-20 Stage 1 flew back to) are visible to anyone with a base pass, so to “fake” the landing SpaceX would have to bribe or bully thousands of people who observed the launch and landing to lie.

SpaceX does have a small fleet of autonomous spaceport drone ships (“landing barges”); I have kayaked within sight of the MV Just Read The Instructions at San Pedro, just outside of the Watchon basin. Since they attempt landings in broad ocean area and away from shipping lanes there are likely few if any independent observers, but that begs the question of why, if SpaceX were faking a landing, they would show a failed attempt rather than a success?

The video is poorly manipulated bunk; the maker of the video is disingenuous; the suggestion that SpaceX is faking launches or landing attempts is patently ridiculous given the public access to launch and landing sites. Like virtually all grandiose conspiracy theories, this is without any factual basis or real merit.


They must be fake, that is clearly not the surface of the moon.

I find it suspicious that carboncopy registered just to ask people to “debunk” the CT.

When I first saw the video yesterday, I thought that the effect was due to the smoke cloud being lit up by a bright explosion behind it, but I think you’re right that it was the shock wave passing through the cloud.

How does faking the SpaceX launches help the Illuminati … I don’t see it … which is very suspicious IMEIO …