Fact Check: Post Does NOT Show Hubble Telescope And A Satellite

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: Post Does NOT Show Hubble Telescope And A Satellite Up up and away

Do two images in a social media post show the Hubble Telescope and a satellite? No, that's not true: The Instagram post shows a NASA observatory plane, and a balloon that was used to provide mobile Internet service in Africa.

The claim appeared in an Instagram post on October 20, 2021, with a picture of a NASA plane and an internet balloon. It opens:

Globetards be like 'But they told me the "G" in GPS means Global, so earth must be a spinning space ball' ... 'Why would they lie to me!'

This is what the post looked like on Instagram on October 20, 2021:

hubble and parachute final.jpg

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Oct 21 2021 13:37:55 UTC 2021)

The top image in the post isn't the Hubble Telescope; it's a modified Boeing 747 used by NASA to study the solar system from high in the atmosphere. It's called SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy:

sofiaoversierra.jpg

(Source: NASA/Jim Ross)

This is what the Hubble Telescope looks like as it orbits the Earth:

hubble_faq_image final.jpg

(Source: NASA)

The second image in the post isn't a satellite; it's a giant balloon, one of many that were used to bring internet service to remote areas of Kenya. It was a joint venture between Kenya TelKom and Google sister company Loon that shut down in early 2021.

_102609616_loon2.jpg

(Source: Loon)

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:


  Ed Payne

Ed Payne is a writer and fact-checker at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.” 

Read more about or contact Ed Payne

About us

International Fact-Checking Organization

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Follow us on social media

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion