The claim: Video shows AOC suggesting a nighttime mission to the sun
An Oct. 30 Facebook post (direct link, archive link) includes a link to a video that appears to show Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez explaining her plan to study climate change by sending a spacecraft to the sun to retrieve samples from it.
“I suggest we go at night because it would probably be too hot during the day,” she says in the video.
It was shared more than 700 times in three days.
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Our rating: Altered
The video is a fabrication. A spokesperson for Ocasio-Cortez said the congresswoman has never made such a proposal. The doctored clip was posted to X, formerly Twitter, by an account that makes clear the clips it shares are not authentic.
Video showing AOC calling for a solar probe is doctored
Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, appeared on CBS News' “Face the Nation” on Sept. 24 and spent 16 minutes answering questions about topics ranging from organized labor to immigration reform.
But she didn’t say anything about a solar expedition. The video is a fabrication and the congresswoman has suggested “nothing of the sort,” spokesperson Lauren Hitt told USA TODAY in an email.
The altered video originated in an Oct. 27 post on X, formerly Twitter, by a social media user whose bio makes clear that footage shared by the account is doctored.
The fabricated 31-second clip shows Ocasio-Cortez suggesting, “Maybe we can study the effects of global warming from the main source of all the heat in our solar system – the sun.” She then floats the idea of convincing SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to charter a mission to collect samples from the sun – but nocturnally, because “it would probably be too hot during the day.”
A closer look at the video shows it is a fabrication.
The graphic in the lower left corner of the screen reads “Fake the Nation,” instead of the actual name of the CBS show airing on Sunday mornings. The doctored video includes a watermark of the X user’s name vertically oriented near the right side of the frame. The clip’s audio is also not in sync with the video of Ocasio-Cortez speaking.
NASA already has a spacecraft flying near the sun. The Parker Solar Probe launched in 2018 and crossed into the sun’s atmosphere three years later, passing in and out of the corona several times and collecting particles from its magnetic fields. It completed its 17th and most recent fly-by on Sept. 27, according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.
USA TODAY reached out to the social media user who shared the video but did not immediately receive a response.
Lead Stories also debunked the claim.
Our fact-check sources:
Lauren Hitt, Nov. 1, Email exchange with USA TODAY
Face the Nation (YouTube), Sept. 24, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on “Face the Nation” | full interview
NASA, April 28, 2015, Strong Evidence For Coronal Heating Theory Presented at 2015 TESS Meeting
NASA, Dec. 14, 2021, NASA Enters the Solar Atmosphere for the First Time, Bringing New Discoveries
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Sept. 28, For the Record: Parker Solar Probe Sets Distance, Speed Marks on 17th Swing by the Sun
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Doctored clip shows AOC suggesting nighttime trip to sun | Fact check