NBA superstar Stephen Curry seems doubtful U.S. astronauts landed on the moon—and NASA is eager to prove him wrong.
During a recent interview on the Ringer’s Winging It podcast, when the conversation ranged from artificial intelligence to the sounds dinosaurs made, Curry asked, “We ever been to the moon?”
Others in the room quickly came to the consensus that no, the U.S. had not, prompting the Golden State Warriors’ point guard to warn, “They’re going to come get us.” Curry, whose team was named Sports Illustrated’s “Sportsperson of the Year” Monday, then added, “Sorry, I don’t want to start conspiracies.”
NASA and retired astronaut Scott Kelly quickly took notice and is offering to show Curry proof, including moon rocks.
“We’d love for Mr. Curry to tour the lunar lab at our Johnson Space Center in Houston, perhaps the next time the Warriors are in town to play the Rockets,” NASA spokesperson Allard Beutel told the New York Times. “We have hundreds of pounds of moon rocks stored there, and the Apollo mission control. During his visit, he can see firsthand what we did 50 years ago, as well as what we’re doing now to go back to the moon in the coming years, but this time to stay.”
Kelly, who currently holds the American record for most time spent in space, also offered to quash any question of a moon landing, tweeting “Steph, so much respect for you, but re the moon landing thing, let’s talk. DM me.”
Others who participated in the podcast included Curry’s teammates Andre Iguodala, as well as the show’s three hosts: Atlanta Hawks digital content coordinator Annie Finberg and Hawks’ players Vince Carter and Kent Bazemore.
It’s unclear who shared Curry’s skepticism.
Although Neil Armstrong definitely was the first to walk on the moon in 1969, followed by Buzz Aldrin in the same Apollo 11 mission, Curry isn’t the only one who’s asking for a fact check. (In total, there have been 12 U.S. astronauts over six missions to have set foot on the moon. The U.S. is the only country to have set foot on the moon.)
Just last month Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s space agency, tweeted a video saying they would be going to the moon to verify the U.S. had landed there. (It should be noted: since Rogozin on Twitter was answering someone’s question about a moon-landing conspiracy, his reply may have been in jest.)
In August, NASA Administer Jim Bridenstine said one of the agency’s goals was “to enhance the exposure of space activities in the popular culture.” While disproving conspiracy theories might not be what he meant, the social media chatter probably doesn’t hurt the mission.
And if Curry’s schedule doesn’t allow him to visit the Johnson Space Center in March when the Warriors play the Houston Rockets, perhaps NASA could offer him a ticket to visit the International Space Station to get a closer view of the moon.