This Is The Actual Truth Behind The Gorilla In Space Prank

Space gorilla chase in progress. Image credit: NASA/Scott Kelly

Every now and then, and for obvious reasons, some footage of a man in a gorilla suit chasing fellow astronauts around the International Space Station (ISS) goes viral.

In the latest retelling of events, Spence Todd on Twitter wrote that "astronaut Mark Kelly once smuggled a full gorilla suit on board the International Space Station. He didn't tell anyone about it. One day, without anyone knowing, he put it on."


First up, the footage is 100 percent real, and was tweeted out by Scott Kelly in 2016.


However, the facts have been muddled a little over the years. The prank was the idea of Scott's brother Mark, who in 2015 rang Scott and told him he was sending a gorilla suit, as there had never been a gorilla in space before.

The first suit blew up on a SpaceX mission in 2015, but by now he was committed to the bit, and vacuum-packed a second gorilla suit the following year. This one made it, and Scott shot the video with Tim Peake, who was in on the idea.

"That's all staged," Scott told People. "That's why he's floating around, swimming in air, we wanted it to look funny."

As disappointing as it is to learn the footage isn't a genuine astronaut fleeing in fear of a space gorilla, it doesn't mean that he didn't scare the crap out of fellow astronauts using the suit. The two did not inform others that there was a gorilla suit on the space station, and Scott used the opportunity to hide in the sleeping quarters until a fellow crew member came in.

"When he went to open the door, I busted out of there," Scott said, adding, "afterwards I was a little worried that I could have given him a heart attack or something."

He later donned the gorilla suit and floated his way down to the Russian section of the station, who laughed instead of nearly having a heart attack. After a few gorilla-based shenanigans, and some educational videos presented by a space ape, the suit was trashed, in case others were not as responsible as he was with the powers of the space gorilla suit.


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