NASA Admits to Sitcom-Worthy Goof

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
July 17 2009 9:07 AM

NASA Admits to Sitcom-Worthy Goof

/blogs/xx_factor/2009/07/17/nasa_admits_to_sitcomworthy_goof_taping_over_the_original_moon_landing_footage/jcr:content/body/slate_image

It’s a scene you’ve watched in countless sitcoms. The dude plops on the couch to see a tape of that incredible sports game he missed, and has been talking about watching for days. And just when it’s getting to the good part, the tape cuts out, and, curses! , it seems that the pesky sister-in-law who has already overstayed her welcome taped over it with her aerobics lesson!

Advertisement

Well, apparently such mishaps affect multi-billion-dollar organizations, too. In a goof that seems hilariously amateur for an operation with a yearly budget of $17.6 billion-and one that is sure to make conspiracy theorists absolutely giddy-NASA has admitted that they accidentally taped over the original footage of the moon landing . Um, oops. The tapes, which NASA confessed to losing track of in 2006, were recently discovered to be "part of a batch of 200,000 tapes that were degaussed-magnetically erased-and re-used to save money."

Man, it’s tough to be NASA right now. Endeavor’s finally off , but it took a month and five failed attempts-delays that could hurt the goal of finishing the space station by 2010 . And now this? It would be funny, if it weren’t taxpayer money funding such "D’oh"-inspiring slip-ups ... and if this weren't sure to lead to another 40 years of fanatical speculations about what really happened on July 20, 1969.

Photograph by Getty Images.

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Dear Prudence
Oct. 23 2014 6:00 AM Monster Kids from poorer neighborhoods keep coming to trick-or-treat in mine. Do I have to give them candy?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Culturebox
Oct. 22 2014 11:54 PM The Actual World “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.