If there is anything that makes a less-than-impressive product an easy sell, it is by associating it with astronauts. For instance, Tang is gross and there is literally no way that so many of us would have been drinking it as children were it not... the drink of the astronauts.
See also, freeze-dried ice cream. Which is actually kind of delicious but probably would not have been a thing if it were not made for astronauts to eat in space. Over at Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle blog/rich lady shop Goop, they are hocking a new kind of astronaut-related product: a pack of "Body Vibes" bio-frequency stickers, which will run you $120.
Or at least they were, until an actual NASA scientist publicly laughed his ass off about it. Goop's initial post called "Wearable Stickers that Promote Healing — Really!" (still available in cache) claimed that the stickers were made with the same technology as NASA space suits:
The concept: Human bodies operate at an ideal energetic frequency, but everyday stresses and anxiety can throw off our internal balance, depleting our energy reserves and weakening our immune systems. Body Vibes stickers (made with the same conductive carbon material NASA uses to line space suits so they can monitor an astronaut' vitals during wear) come pre-programmed to an ideal frequency, allowing them to target imbalances. While you're wearing them -- close to your heart, on your left shoulder or arm -- they'll fill in the deficiencies in your reserves, creating a calming effect, smoothing out both physical tension and anxiety. The founders, both aestheticians, also say they help clear skin by reducing inflammation and boosting cell turnover.
If that sounds fishy to you, you are not alone. Goop's post has since been edited to remove all reference to astronauts following an article published at Gizmodo, in which they checked in on what Mark Shelhamer, former chief scientist at NASA’s human research division, had to say about the magic astronaut stickers:
“Wow,” he told Gizmodo. “What a load of BS this is.” Shelhamer reiterated that space suits are not lined with carbon material, and that even if they were, it would be for adding strength to the suit—not for monitoring vital signs. “Not only is the whole premise like snake oil, the logic doesn’t even hold up,” he said. “If they promote healing, why do they leave marks on the skin when they are removed?”
Goop removed all references to astronaut magic, but is still recommending the very expensive stickers, which claim to do things like cure your hangover, relieve pain and give you "unicorn skin" (???) using “Bio Energy Synthesis Technology.” Which Rae Paoletta at Gizmodo points out is not so much an actual science thing as it is the not-at-all-legit-seeming invention of a company called AlphaBioCentrix, which also markets "energetic products" magic pendants, energy cards and all manner of other snake-oily products.
But hey! If you want to spend $60-$120 bucks on some stickers, whether or not they are infused with space-suit magic, I'm not gonna stop you. But if all you want is some unicorn skin, you can probably get those stickers for a lot cheaper from Lisa Frank.