The studio behind 'Apollo 18' really really wants us to believe that there was a secret mission to the moon after the official Apollo trips ended -- one that NASA doesn't want us to know about because it involved aliens and ghosts and goblins and transformers and who knows what else. (Earlier this week, we addressed what happened to the real Apollo 18 -- it was scheduled, but eventually canceled.)

Other than wondering if this mission actually happened, this does bring up an interesting question: What does NASA think about all this Apollo 18 hubub? That answer can be found in today's LA Times, where Rebecca Keegan looks at the space program's involvement with Hollywood.

In the past, NASA has assisted studios with space-related films, essentially to help promote the cause of NASA and, as Burt Ulrich, the organization's liaison for multimedia, film and television collaborations, told the Times, "instruct people about what space exploration is all about." NASA has even held workshops in the past where scientists speak to filmmakers about topics like Mars and robotics.

However, as far as 'Apollo 18' is concerned, they are staying far away from the 'Paranormal Activity'-in-space-type movie.

"Apollo 18 is not a documentary ... The film is a work of fiction, and we always knew that. We were minimally involved with this picture. We never even saw a rough cut. The idea of portraying the Apollo 18 mission as authentic is simply a marketing ploy," Ulrich told the Times.

The entire article is a pretty fascinating read (that is, if you are into the whole sci-fi genre) about NASA's involvement in Hollywood, and you can check out the whole thing here.

As for 'Apollo 18,' you can find out the "truth" about the mission when it opens this weekend.

[via LA Times]