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Tech & Science, Fact Check

Fact check: Does a NASA cloud-making machine cause floods?

A viral TikTok video has resurfaced a years-old claim that the space agency has a cloud generator.

7/27/2021 3:08:00 PM

A viral TikTok video has resurfaced a years-old claim that the space agency has a cloud generator.

A viral TikTok video has resurfaced a years-old claim that the space agency has a cloud generator.

The FactsThe TikTok video does not show a NASA cloud machine, as the hashtag and text on the video imply.The video is actually NASA footage of the space agency's RS-25 rocket engine being tested in October, 2017, at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. The original footage shared on NASA's YouTube channel can be seen below.

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The RS-25 is one of the engines that will be used on NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, due to make its first flight later this year.Contrary to the TikTok post's implication, the video footage does not show a NASA cloud machine deliberately influencing the weather.

The second part of the claim to be addressed is whether the rocket engine could create a flood.The RS-25 engine uses liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen as fuel. When these two are combined, it creates H2O as an exhaust product, also known as water.So it is not inaccurate to say that the RS-25 produces clouds. This effect is exaggerated in the video because NASA pumps

hundreds of thousands of gallons of waterinto the path of the exhaust plume in order to dampen the sound it produces, creating even more clouds of water vapor.An example of this water pump in action can be seen more clearly in the video below of an RS-25 engine test published by NASA in May, before the engine switches on.

It is also possible that the water vapor produced by the RS-25 engine tests could produce rain, NASA told Read more: Newsweek »

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