A new deepfake art installation reimagines the story of the moon landings, revealing threats to both democracy and history,


It has been 50 years since man set foot on the moon – a moment of triumph, technology and staggering engineering. But what if things hadn’t gone to plan? At the time of the landing, then US president Richard Nixon had prepared a statement to read in case things went wrong, and astronauts Neil Armstrong or Buzz Aldrin were left stranded on the lunar surface.


Decades later, a new art installation has used the latest deepfake technology to reimagine the story of the moon landing.

The undelivered speech, written by presidential speechwriter William Safire, was stored in the National Archives and finally made public in 1999 during the 30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing.


“In Event of Moon Disaster’’, which opened Friday at the International Documentary Festival (IDFA) in Amsterdam, was produced at the MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality and directed by Francesca Panetta, the centre’s creative director, and Halsey Burgund, an MIT research affiliate.


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NASA new Mars rover, Perseverance, is on a mission to search for signs of ancient life on the Red Planet. It’s the agency’s largest and most autonomous Martian explorer yet. It’s also the first to be powered entirely with American plutonium.

At the heart of Perseverance is a small “nuclear battery” the size of a beer keg called a radioisotope thermoelectric generator, or RTG. Unlike the nuclear reactors that create electricity on Earth, RTGs don’t have to initiate or sustain a fission reaction to generate power. They don’t even have any moving parts. Instead, they passively harvest the natural heat produced by the decay of plutonium-238 and convert it into electricity. They can reliably provide energy and heat to a spacecraft for decades—the two plutonium-powered Voyager probes launched in the late 1970s are still transmitting from interstellar space—and have been NASA’s go-to power source for more than two dozen deep-space missions.

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