Fact Check: NO Marine Officer Said 'I Have Spent Over 15 Years On Mars In Secret Space Program' -- NO Humans Have Set Foot On Mars As Of March 2024

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: NO Marine Officer Said 'I Have Spent Over 15 Years On Mars In Secret Space Program' -- NO Humans Have Set Foot On Mars As Of March 2024 NASA: Nope

Did a U.S. Marine Officer spend over 15 years on Mars in a secret space program? No, that's not true: A NASA spokesperson told Lead Stories that NASA has "not yet sent humans to Mars" and has a goal of "having astronauts walk on Mars by 2040." A Pentagon duty officer confirmed to Lead Stories that this claim is "100% false."

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) on Facebook on March 17, 2024. The post displays an image of what seems to be two astronauts stepping out of a spacecraft with the caption:

Marine Officer: I Have Spent Over 15 Years On Mars In Secret Space Program

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Mar 21 16:12:30 2024 UTC)

The image in the post is a link that leads to a "World News" article (archived here) titled "Marine Officer: I Have Spent Over 15 Years On Mars In Secret Space Program," located on the newstangail24.com website. However, this is not a credible news website.

In a March 20, 2024, email, Rachel Kraft, a NASA Office of Communications spokesperson, told Lead Stories:

At NASA, we are excited about our human exploration plans for the Moon and Mars. The agency is working to understand and overcome the challenges with landing, living, and leaving Mars but we have not yet sent humans to Mars. Within funding availability, we are refining our plans with the goal of having astronauts walk on Mars by 2040.

In a March 20, 2024, email, a Pentagon duty officer told Lead Stories:

[This claim is] 100% false.

A search (archived here) of the Google News index of thousands of reliable information sources, using the keywords "Marine Officer," "Spent Over 15 Years On Mars" and "Space Program" produced no matching reports to substantiate the claim.

A Google Lens search (archived here) for the first image seen in the article, which displays astronauts exiting a spacecraft, led to a movie database website that shows that the image originated from a 1995 movie titled, "Space: Above And Beyond."

A Google Lens search (archived here) for the second image seen in the article, which displays an astronaut kneeling, led to a June 4, 2023, Business Insider article titled, "Zapping a rodent's brain can put it into suspended animation. Scientists want to one day use the same technique for humans traveling to Mars."

The exact image from the article is seen with a caption that reads, "An artist's impression of what an astronaut might look like on Mars." Next to the caption, the image is attributed to "peepo" at Getty Images.

NASA uses robotic vehicles known as rovers to do physical research on Mars. Perseverance and Curiosity are the rovers currently collecting data on Mars.

Additional Lead Stories fact checks about NASA can be read here and about Marines can be read here.

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  Kaiyah Clarke

Kaiyah Clarke is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Journalism. When she is not fact-checking or researching counter-narratives in society, she is often found reading a book on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Read more about or contact Kaiyah Clarke

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