OK, this is probably not one of the most important discussions in life; it doesn’t affect our salvation, our walk with God, or our day-to-day lives. But, it is one of the biggest and most important events in our modern history; and as someone who has (at different times) been on BOTH sides and done heaps of research on it, I feel confident in defending the reality of this historical event.
OK, I’ll back up: mankind first stepped foot on the moon (in modern times, anyway! I highly recommend the book Dead Men’s Secrets by Jonathan Gray) on July 20th, 1969. Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon, followed by Buzz Aldrin. 5 subsequent manned moon missions followed, the last in 1972.
There are fairly popular conspiracy theories that these moon landings were fake; I myself and my entire family (including my grandfather – not the biggest conspiracy theorist) once believed it (Grandad still does; not sure about Dad). I most certainly will not go labeling skeptics of the moon landings as “dumb” and “idiots”, as some proponents of the official story do; but, I intend to share my reasons for believing that the official story is true.
The claim usually goes that they filmed the moon landings in a sound stage. Or maybe in the desert. And maybe the footage taken on the way to the moon was done in low earth orbit.
Flat-Earthers are particularly strong proponents of the Moon Landing Hoax Theory, because if authentic, the moon landings single-handedly disprove their theory.
This video – by a guy experience in photography and filmmaking – addresses some of the claims:
The moon landings were, in short, IMPOSSIBLE to fake!
In addition, satellite photos seem to confirm the American flags placed by all the missions – except for Apollo 11, consistent with Buzz Aldrin’s account that the flag was accidentally knocked over by the rocket’s exhaust.
Not only do we have photographic evidence that the moon landings occurred, there is much independent confirmation of most of the Apollo missions:
In this section are only those observations that are completely independent of NASA—no NASA facilities were used, and there was no NASA funding. Each of the countries mentioned in this section (Soviet Union, Japan, China, and India) has its own space program, builds its own space probes which are launched on their own launch vehicles, and has its own deep space communication network.
In 2008, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) SELENE lunar probe obtained several photographs showing evidence of Moon landings. On the left are two photos taken on the lunar surface by the Apollo 15 astronauts August 2, 1971 during EVA 3 at station 9A near Hadley Rille. On the right is a 2008 reconstruction from images taken by the SELENE terrain camera and 3D projected to the same vantage point as the surface photos. The terrain is a close match within the SELENE camera resolution of 10 metres.
The light-colored area of blown lunar surface dust created by the lunar module engine blast at the Apollo 15 landing site was photographed and confirmed by comparative analysis of photographs in May 2008. They correspond well to photographs taken from the Apollo 15 Command/Service Module showing a change in surface reflectivity due to the plume. This was the first visible trace of crewed landings on the Moon seen from space since the close of the Apollo program.
As with SELENE, the Terrain Mapping Camera of India’s Chandrayaan-1 probe did not have enough resolution to record Apollo hardware. Nevertheless, as with SELENE, Chandrayaan-1 independently recorded evidence of lighter, disturbed soil around the Apollo 15 site.
China’s second lunar probe, Chang’e 2, which was launched in 2010 is capable of capturing lunar surface images with a resolution of up to 1.3 metres. It claims to have spotted traces of the Apollo landings and the lunar Rover, though the relevant imagery has not been publicly identified.
Apollo missions tracked by independent parties
Aside from NASA, a number of entities and individuals observed, through various means, the Apollo missions as they took place. On later missions, NASA released information to the public explaining where third party observers could expect to see the various craft at specific times according to scheduled launch times and planned trajectories.
Observers of all missions
The Soviet Union monitored the missions at their Space Transmissions Corps, which was “fully equipped with the latest intelligence-gathering and surveillance equipment”. Vasily Mishin, in an interview for the article “The Moon Programme That Faltered”, describes how the Soviet Moon programme dwindled after the Apollo landing.
The missions were tracked by radar from several countries on the way to the Moon and back.
Kettering Grammar School
A group at Kettering Grammar School, using simple radio equipment, monitored Soviet and U.S. spacecraft and calculated their orbits. According to the group, in December 1972 a member “picks up Apollo 17 on its way to the Moon”.
Apollo 8 was the first crewed mission to orbit the Moon, but did not land.
- On December 21, 1968, at 18:00 UT, amateur astronomers (H. R. Hatfield, M. J. Hendrie, F. Kent, Alan Heath, and M. J. Oates) in the UK photographed a fuel dump from the jettisoned S-IVB third rocket stage.
- Pic du Midi Observatory (in the French Pyrenees); the Catalina Station of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (University of Arizona); Corralitos Observatory, New Mexico, then operated by Northwestern University; McDonald Observatory of the University of Texas; and Lick Observatory of the University of California all filed reports of observations.
- Dr. Michael Moutsoulas at Pic du Midi Observatory reported an initial sighting around 17:10 UT on December 21 with the 1.1-metre reflector as an object (magnitude near 10, through clouds) moving eastward near the predicted location of Apollo 8. He used a 60 cm refractor telescope to observe a cluster of objects which were obscured by the appearance of a nebulous cloud at a time which matches a firing of the service module engine to assure adequate separation from the S-IVB. This event can be traced with the Apollo 8 Flight Journal, noting that launch was at 0751 EST or 12:51 UT on December 21.
- Justus Dunlap and others at Corralitos Observatory (then operated by Northwestern University) obtained over 400 short-exposure intensified images, giving very accurate locations for the spacecraft.
- The 2.1 m Otto Struve Telescope at McDonald Observatory, from 01:50 to 2:37 UT on December 23, observed the brightest object flashing as bright as magnitude 15, with the flash pattern recurring about once a minute.
- The Lick Observatory observations during the return coast to Earth produced live television pictures broadcast to United States west coast viewers via KQED-TV in San Francisco.
- An article in the March 1969 issue of Sky & Telescope contained many reports of optical tracking of Apollo 8.
- The first post-launch sightings were from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) station on Maui. Many in Hawaii observed the trans-lunar injection burn near 15:44 UT on December 21.
Like Apollo 8, Apollo 10 orbited the Moon but did not land.
- A list of sightings of Apollo 10 were reported in “Apollo 10 Optical Tracking” by Sky & Telescope magazine, July 1969, pp. 62–63.
- During the Apollo 10 mission The Corralitos Observatory was linked with the CBS news network. Images of the spacecraft going to the Moon were broadcast live. :p. 17
- The Bochum Observatory director (Professor Heinz Kaminski) was able to provide confirmation of events and data independent of both the Russian and U.S. space agencies.
- A compilation of sightings appeared in “Observations of Apollo 11” by Sky and Telescope magazine, November 1969.
- At Jodrell Bank Observatory in the UK, the telescope was used to observe the mission, as it was used years previously for Sputnik. At the same time, Jodrell Bank scientists were tracking the uncrewed Soviet spacecraft Luna 15, which was trying to land on the Moon. In July 2009, Jodrell released some recordings they made.
- Larry Baysinger, a technician for WHAS radio in Louisville, Kentucky, independently detected and recorded transmissions between the Apollo 11 astronauts on the lunar surface and the Lunar Module. Recordings made by Baysinger share certain characteristics with recordings made at Bochum Observatory by Kaminski, in that both Kaminski’s and Baysinger’s recordings do not include the Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) in Houston, Texas, and the associated Quindar tones heard in NASA audio and seen on NASA Apollo 11 transcripts. Kaminski and Baysinger could only hear the transmissions from the Moon, and not transmissions to the Moon from the Earth.
Paul Maley reports several sightings of the Apollo 12 Command Module.
Sky and Telescope magazine published reports of the optical sighting of this mission.
Apollo 13 was intended to land on the Moon, but an oxygen tank explosion resulted in the mission being aborted after trans-lunar injection. It flew by the Moon but did not orbit or land.
Chabot Observatory calendar records an application of optical tracking during the final phases of Apollo 13, on April 17, 1970:
Rachel, Chabot Observatory’s 20-inch refracting telescope, helps bring Apollo 13 and its crew home. One last burn of the lunar lander engines was needed before the crippled spacecraft’s re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. In order to compute that last burn, NASA needed a precise position of the spacecraft, obtainable only by telescopic observation. All the observatories that could have done this were clouded over, except Oakland’s Chabot Observatory, where members of the Eastbay Astronomical Society had been tracking the Moon flights. EAS members received an urgent call from NASA Ames Research Station, which had ties with Chabot’s educational program since the 60s, and they put the Observatory’s historic 20-inch refractor to work. They were able to send the needed data to Ames, and the Apollo crew was able to make the needed correction and to return safely to Earth on this date in 1970.
Sky and Telescope magazine published reports of the optical sighting of this mission.
Paul Wilson and Richard T. Knadle, Jr. received voice transmissions from the Command/Service Module in lunar orbit on the morning of August 1, 1971. In an article for QST magazine they provide a detailed description of their work, with photographs.
Bochum Observatory tracked the astronauts and intercepted the television signals from Apollo 16. The image was re-recorded in black and white in the 625 lines, 25 frames/s television standard onto 2-inch videotape using their sole quad machine. The transmissions are only of the astronauts and do not contain any voice from Houston, as the signal received came from the Moon only. The videotapes are held in storage at the observatory.
Independent research consistent with NASA claims
In this section is evidence, by independent researchers, that NASA’s account is correct. However, at least somewhere in the investigation, there was some NASA involvement, or use of US government resources.
Existence and age of Moon rocks
A total of 382 kilograms (842 lb) of Moon rocks and dust were collected during the Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17 missions. Some 10 kg (22 lb) of the Moon rocks have been used in hundreds of experiments performed by both NASA researchers and planetary scientists at research institutions unaffiliated with NASA. These experiments have confirmed the age and origin of the rocks as lunar, and were used to identify lunar meteorites collected later from Antarctica. The oldest Moon rocks are up to 4.5 billion years old, making them 200 million years older than the oldest Earth rocks, which are from the Hadean eon and dated 3.8 to 4.3 billion years ago. The rocks returned by Apollo are very close in composition to the samples returned by the independent Soviet Luna programme. A rock brought back by Apollo 17 was dated to be 4.417 billion years old, with a margin of error of plus or minus 6 million years. The test was done by a group of researchers headed by Alexander Nemchin at Curtin University of Technology in Bentley, Australia.
The detection on Earth of reflections from laser ranging retro-reflectors (LRRRs, or mirrors used as targets for Earth-based tracking lasers) on Lunar Laser Ranging experiments left on the Moon is evidence of landings.
For those few misguided souls who still cling to the belief that the Moon landings never happened, examination of the results of five decades of LRRR experiments should evidence how delusional their rejection of the Moon landing really is.
The NASA-independent Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, McDonald, Apache Point, and Haleakalā observatories regularly use the Apollo LRRR. Lick Observatory attempted to detect from Apollo 11’s retroreflector while Armstrong and Aldrin were still on the Moon but did not succeed until August 1, 1969. The Apollo 14 astronauts deployed a retroreflector on February 5, 1971, and McDonald Observatory detected it the same day. The Apollo 15 retroreflector was deployed on July 31, 1971, and was detected by McDonald Observatory within a few days.
The image on the left shows what is considered some of the most unambiguous evidence. This experiment repeatedly fires a laser at the Moon, at the spots where the Apollo landings were reported. The dots show when photons are received from the Moon. The dark line shows that a large number come back at a specific time, and hence were reflected by something quite small (well under a metre in size). Photons reflected from the surface come back over a much broader range of times (the whole vertical range of the plot corresponds to only 30 metres or so in range). The concentration of photons at a specific time appears when the laser is aimed at the Apollos 11, 14 or 15 landing sites; otherwise the expected featureless distribution is observed. The Apollo reflectors are still in use.
Strictly speaking, although retroreflectors left by Apollo astronauts are strong evidence that human-manufactured artifacts currently exist on the Moon and that human visitors left them there, they are not, on their own, conclusive evidence. Uncrewed missions are known to have placed such objects on the Moon as early as 1970. Smaller retroreflectors were carried by the uncrewed landers Lunokhod 1 and Lunokhod 2 in 1970 and 1973, respectively. The location of Lunokhod 1 was unknown for nearly 40 years but it was rediscovered in 2010 in photographs by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and its retroreflector is now in use. Both the United States and the USSR had the capability to soft-land objects on the surface of the Moon for several years before that. The USSR successfully landed its first uncrewed probe (Luna 9) on the Moon in February 1966, and the United States followed with Surveyor 1 in June 1966, but no uncrewed landers carried retroreflectors before Lunokhod 1 in November 1970.
New lunar missions
Post-Apollo lunar exploration missions have located and imaged artifacts of the Apollo program remaining on the Moon’s surface.
Images taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission beginning in July 2009 show the six Apollo Lunar Module descent stages, Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package (ALSEP) science experiments, astronaut footpaths, and lunar rover tire tracks. These images are the most effective proof to date to rebut the “landing hoax” theories. Although this probe was indeed launched by NASA, the camera and the interpretation of the images are under the control of an academic group — the LROC Science Operations Center at Arizona State University, along with many other academic groups. At least some of these groups, such as German Aerospace Center, Berlin, are not located in the US, and are not funded by the US government.
After the images shown here were taken, the LRO mission moved into a lower orbit for higher resolution camera work. All of the sites have since been re-imaged at higher resolution. Comparison of the original 16 mm Apollo 17 LM camera footage during ascent to the 2011 LRO photos of the landing site show an almost exact match of the rover tracks.
Further imaging in 2012 shows the shadows cast by the flags planted by the astronauts on all Apollo landing sites. The exception is that of Apollo 11, which matches Buzz Aldrin’s account of the flag being blown over by the lander’s rocket exhaust on leaving the Moon.
Higher resolution image of the Apollo 17 landing site showing the Challenger lunar module descent stage as photographed by the LRO
Comparison of the Apollo 17 landing site between the original 16 mm footage shot from the LM window during ascent in 1972, and the 2011 lunar reconnaissance orbiter image of the Apollo 17 landing site. From the EEVdiscover video.
Long-exposure photos were taken with the Far Ultraviolet Camera/Spectrograph by Apollo 16 on April 21, 1972, from the surface of the Moon. Some of these photos show the Earth with stars from the Capricornus and Aquarius constellations in the background. The European Space Research Organisation‘s TD-1A satellite later scanned the sky for stars that are bright in ultraviolet light. The TD-1A data obtained with the shortest passband is a close match for the Apollo 16 photographs.
Apollo missions tracked by non-NASA personnel
This section contains reports of the lunar missions from facilities that had significant numbers of non-NASA employees. This includes facilities such as the Deep Space Network, which employed (and still employs) many local citizens in Spain and Australia, and facilities such as the Parkes Observatory, which were hired by NASA for specific tasks, but staffed by non-NASA personnel.
Observers of all missions
The NASA Manned Space Flight Network (MSFN) was a worldwide network of stations that tracked the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Skylab missions. Most MSFN stations were only needed during the launch, Earth orbit and landing phases of the lunar missions, but three “deep space” sites with larger antennas provided continuous coverage during the trans-lunar, trans-Earth and lunar mission phases. Today, these three sites form the NASA Deep Space Network: the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex near Goldstone, California; the Madrid Deep Space Communication Complex near Madrid, Spain; and the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, adjacent to the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, near Canberra, Australia.
Although most MSFN stations were NASA-owned, they employed many local citizens. NASA also contracted the Parkes Observatory in New South Wales, Australia, to supplement the three deep space sites, most famously during the Apollo 11 EVA as documented by radio astronomer John Sarkissian and portrayed (humorously and not quite accurately) in the movie The Dish. The Parkes Observatory is not NASA-owned; it is, and always has been, owned and operated by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), a research agency of the Australian government. It would have been relatively easy for NASA to avoid using the Parkes Observatory to receive the Apollo 11 EVA television signals by scheduling the EVA at an earlier time when the Goldstone station could provide complete coverage.
- The Madrid Apollo Station, now part of the Deep Space Network, built in Fresnedillas, near Madrid, Spain, tracked Apollo 11. A large majority of the people working at this station were not employees of NASA, but of Spain’s Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial.
Wikipedia provides excellent rebuttals – verified elsewhere (easily) of many of the claimed “anomalies” in the moon landing photos and footage:
Photographic and film odditiesMoon-landing conspiracists focus heavily on NASA photos. They point to oddities in photos and films taken on the Moon. Photography experts (including those unrelated to NASA) have replied that the oddities are consistent with what should be expected from a real Moon landing, and are not consistent with tweaked or studio imagery. Some main arguments and counter-arguments are listed below.
1. In some photos, the crosshairs appear to be behind objects. The cameras were fitted with a Réseau plate (a clear glass plate with a reticle etched on), making it impossible for any photographed object to appear “in front” of the grid. Conspiracists often use this evidence to suggest that objects were “pasted” over the photographs, and hence obscure the reticle.
- This effect only appears in copied and scanned photos, not any originals. It is caused by overexposure: the bright white areas of the emulsion “bleed” over the thin black crosshairs. The crosshairs are only about 0.004 inches thick (0.1 mm) and emulsion would only have to bleed about half that much to fully obscure it. Furthermore, there are many photos where the middle of the crosshair is “washed-out” but the rest is intact. In some photos of the American flag, parts of one crosshair appear on the red stripes, but parts of the same crosshair are faded or invisible on the white stripes. There would have been no reason to “paste” white stripes onto the flag.
2. Crosshairs are sometimes rotated or in the wrong place.
- This is a result of popular photos being cropped and/or rotated for aesthetic impact.
3. The quality of the photographs is implausibly high.
4. There are no stars in any of the photos; the Apollo 11 astronauts also stated in post-mission press conferences that they did not remember seeing any stars during EVA. Conspiracists contend that NASA chose not to put the stars into the photos because astronomers would have been able to use them to determine whether the photos were taken from the Earth or the Moon, by means of identifying them and comparing their celestial position and parallax to what would be expected for either observation site.
- Stars are rarely seen in Space Shuttle, Mir, Earth observation photos, or even photos taken at sporting events held at night. The light from the Sun in outer space in the Earth-Moon system is at least as bright as the sunlight that reaches the Earth’s surface on a clear day at noon, so cameras used for imaging subjects illuminated by sunlight are set for a daylight exposure. The dim light of the stars simply does not provide enough exposure to record visible images. All crewed landings happened during the lunar daytime. Thus, the stars were outshone by the sun and by sunlight reflected off the Moon’s surface. The astronauts’ eyes were adapted to the sunlit landscape around them so that they could not see the relatively faint stars. The astronauts could see stars with the naked eye only when they were in the shadow of the Moon.
- Camera settings can turn a well-lit background to black when the foreground object is brightly lit, forcing the camera to increase shutter speed so that the foreground light does not wash out the image. A demonstration of this effect is here. The effect is similar to not being able to see stars from a brightly lit car park at night – the stars only become visible when the lights are turned off.
- A special far ultraviolet camera, the Far Ultraviolet Camera/Spectrograph, was taken to the lunar surface on Apollo 16 and operated in the shadow of the Apollo Lunar Module (LM). It took photos of Earth and of many stars, some of which are dim in visible light but bright in the ultraviolet. These observations were later matched with observations taken by orbiting ultraviolet telescopes. Furthermore, the positions of those stars with respect to Earth are correct for the time and location of the Apollo 16 photos.
Earth and Mir in June 1995 – an example of how sunlight can outshine the stars, making them invisible
Long-exposure photo (1.6 seconds at f/2.8, ISO 10000) from the ISS in July 2011 of Space Shuttle Atlantis re-entry in which some stars are visible. In this image, the Earth is lit by moonlight, not sunlight
5. The angle and color of shadows are inconsistent. This suggests that artificial lights were used.
- Shadows on the Moon are complicated by reflected light, uneven ground, wide-angle lens distortion, and lunar dust. There are several light sources: the Sun, sunlight reflected from the Earth, sunlight reflected from the Moon’s surface, and sunlight reflected from the astronauts and the Lunar Module. Light from these sources is scattered by lunar dust in many directions, including into shadows. Shadows falling into craters and hills may appear longer, shorter and distorted. Furthermore, shadows display the properties of vanishing point perspective, leading them to converge to a point on the horizon.
- This theory was further debunked on the MythBusters episode “NASA Moon Landing“.
6. There are identical backgrounds in photos which, according to their captions, were taken miles apart. This suggests that a painted background was used.
- Backgrounds were not identical, just similar. What appear as nearby hills in some photos are actually mountains many miles away. On Earth, objects that are further away will appear fainter and less detailed. On the Moon, there is no atmosphere or haze to obscure faraway objects, thus they appear clearer and nearer. Furthermore, there are very few objects (such as trees) to help judge distance. One such case is debunked in “Who Mourns For Apollo?” by Mike Bara.
7. The number of photos taken is implausibly high. Up to one photo per 50 seconds.
- Simplified gear with fixed settings allowed two photos a second. Many were taken immediately after each other as stereo pairs or panorama sequences. The calculation (one per 50 seconds) was based on a lone astronaut on the surface, and does not take into account that there were two astronauts sharing the workload and simultaneously taking photographs during an Extra-vehicular activity (EVA).
8. The photos contain artifacts like the two seemingly matching ‘C’s on a rock and on the ground. These may be labeled studio props.
9. A resident of Perth, Western Australia, a woman named Una Ronald (a pseudonym created by the authors of the source), said that for two or three seconds she saw a Coca-Cola bottle roll across the lower right quadrant of her television screen that was displaying the live broadcast of the Apollo 11 EVA. She also said that several letters appeared in The West Australian discussing the Coca-Cola bottle incident within ten days of the lunar landing.
- No such newspaper reports or recordings have been found. Ronald’s claims have only been relayed by one source. There are also flaws in the story, e.g. the statement that she had to stay up late to watch the Moon landing live is easily discounted by many witnesses in Australia who watched the landing in the middle of their daytime.
- It was used instead of the only existing real images, from the TV monitor, which the editors seemingly felt were too grainy for their book. The book publishers did not work for NASA.
11. There appear to be “hot spots” in some photos that look like a large spotlight was used in place of the sun.
- Pits on the Moon’s surface focus and reflect light like the tiny glass spheres used in the coating of street signs, or dewdrops on wet grass. This creates a glow around the photographer’s own shadow when it appears in a photograph (see Heiligenschein).
- If the astronaut is standing in sunlight while photographing into shade, light reflected off his white spacesuit yields a similar effect to a spotlight.
- Some widely published Apollo photos were high-contrast copies. Scans of the original transparencies are generally much more evenly lit. An example is shown below:
Original photo of Buzz Aldrin during Apollo 11
12. Who filmed Neil Armstrong stepping onto the Moon?
- Cameras on the Lunar Module did. The Apollo TV camera mounted in the Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly (MESA) of the Apollo Lunar Module gave a view from the exterior. While still on the Module’s ladder steps, Armstrong deployed the MESA from the side of the Lunar Module, unpacking, amongst other things, the TV camera. The TV camera was then powered on and a signal transmitted back to Earth. This meant that upwards of 600 million people on Earth could watch the live feed with only a very slight delay. Similar technology was also used on subsequent Apollo missions. It was also filmed from an automatic 16mm movie camera mounted in a window of the Lunar Module.
1. The astronauts could not have survived the trip because of exposure to radiation from the Van Allen radiation belt and galactic ambient radiation (see radiation poisoning and health threat from cosmic rays). Some conspiracists have suggested that Starfish Prime (a high-altitude nuclear test in 1962) was a failed attempt to disrupt the Van Allen belts.
- There are two main Van Allen belts – the inner belt and the outer belt – and a transient third belt. The inner belt is the more dangerous one, containing energetic protons. The outer one has less-dangerous low-energy electrons (Beta particles). The Apollo spacecraft passed through the inner belt in a matter of minutes and the outer belt in about 1 1⁄2 hours. The astronauts were shielded from the ionizing radiation by the aluminum hulls of the spacecraft. Furthermore, the orbital transfer trajectory from Earth to the Moon through the belts was chosen to lessen radiation exposure. Even Dr. James Van Allen, the discoverer of the Van Allen radiation belts, rebutted the claims that radiation levels were too harmful for the Apollo missions. Philip Plait cited an average dose of less than 1 rem (10 mSv), which is equivalent to the ambient radiation received by living at sea level for three years. The total radiation received on the trip was about the same as allowed for workers in the nuclear energy field for a year and not much more than what Space Shuttle astronauts received.
2. Film in the cameras would have been fogged by this radiation.
3. The Moon’s surface during the daytime is so hot that camera film would have melted.
- There is no atmosphere to efficiently bind lunar surface heat to devices (such as cameras) that are not in direct contact with it. In a vacuum, only radiation remains as a heat transfer mechanism. The physics of radiative heat transfer are thoroughly understood, and the proper use of passive optical coatings and paints was enough to control the temperature of the film within the cameras; Lunar Module temperatures were controlled with similar coatings that gave them a gold color. Also, while the Moon’s surface does get very hot at lunar noon, every Apollo landing was made shortly after lunar sunrise at the landing site; the Moon’s day is about 29 1⁄2 Earth days long, meaning that one Moon day (dawn to dusk) lasts nearly fifteen Earth days. During the longer stays, the astronauts did notice increased cooling loads on their spacesuits as the sun and surface temperature continued to rise, but the effect was easily countered by the passive and active cooling systems. The film was not in direct sunlight, so it was not overheated.
4. The Apollo 16 crew could not have survived a big solar flare firing out when they were on their way to the Moon.
5. The flag placed on the surface by the astronauts fluttered despite there being no wind on the Moon. This suggests that it was filmed on Earth and a breeze caused the flag to flutter. Sibrel said that it may have been caused by indoor fans used to cool the astronauts since their spacesuit cooling systems would have been too heavy on Earth.
- The flag was fastened to a Г-shaped rod (see Lunar Flag Assembly) so that it did not hang down. The flag only seemed to flutter when the astronauts were moving it into position. Without air drag, these movements caused the free corner of the flag to swing like a pendulum for some time. The flag was rippled because it had been folded during storage – the ripples could be mistaken for movement in a still photo. Videos show that when the astronauts let go of the flagpole it vibrates briefly but then remains still.
- This theory was further debunked on the MythBusters episode “NASA Moon Landing“.
Cropped photo taken a few seconds later, Buzz Aldrin’s hand is down, head turned toward the camera, the flag is unchanged
6. Footprints in the Moondust are unexpectedly well preserved, despite the lack of moisture.
7. The alleged Moon landings used either a sound stage or were filmed outside in a remote desert with the astronauts either using harnesses or slow-motion photography to make it look like they were on the Moon.
- While the HBO miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon“, and a scene from the movie “Apollo 13” used the sound-stage and harness setup, it is clearly seen from those films that when dust rose it did not quickly settle; some dust briefly formed clouds. In the film footage from the Apollo missions, dust kicked up by the astronauts’ boots and the wheels of the Lunar Roving Vehicles rose quite high due to the lower lunar gravity, and settled quickly to the ground in an uninterrupted parabolic arc since there was no air to suspend the dust. Even if there had been a sound stage for hoax Moon landings that had the air pumped out, the dust would have reached nowhere near the height and trajectory as in the Apollo film footage because of Earth’s greater gravity.
- If the landings were filmed outside in a desert, heat waves would be present on the surface in mission videos, but no such heat waves exist in the footage. If the landings were filmed in a sound stage, several anomalies would occur, including a lack of parallax, and an increase or decrease in the size of the backdrop if the camera moved (footage was filmed while the rover was in motion, and yet no evidence of any change in the size of the background is present).
- This theory was further debunked on the MythBusters episode “NASA Moon Landing“.
David Scott drops a hammer and feather on the Moon
- No crater should be expected. The 10,000-pound (4,500 kg) thrust Descent Propulsion System was throttled very far down during the final landing. The Lunar Module was no longer quickly decelerating, so the descent engine only had to support the lander’s own weight, which was lessened by the Moon’s gravity and by the near exhaustion of the descent propellants. At landing, the engine thrust divided by the nozzle exit area is only about 10 kilopascals (1.5 PSI).
Beyond the engine nozzle, the plume spreads, and the pressure drops very quickly. Rocket exhaust gasses expand much more quickly after leaving the engine nozzle in a vacuum than in an atmosphere. The effect of an atmosphere on rocket plumes can be easily seen in launches from Earth; as the rocket rises through the thinning atmosphere, the exhaust plumes broaden very noticeably. To lessen this, rocket engines made for vacuums have longer bells than those made for use on Earth, but they still cannot stop this spreading. The lander’s exhaust gasses, therefore, expanded quickly well beyond the landing site. The descent engines did scatter a lot of very fine surface dust as seen in 16mm movies of each landing, and many mission commanders spoke of its effect on visibility. The landers were generally moving horizontally as well as vertically, and photos do show scouring of the surface along the final descent path. Finally, the lunar regolith is very compact below its surface dust layer, making it impossible for the descent engine to blast out a “crater”. A blast crater was measured under the Apollo 11 lander using shadow lengths of the descent engine bell and estimates of the amount that the landing gear had compressed and how deep the lander footpads had pressed into the lunar surface and it was found that the engine had eroded between 4 and 6 inches (100 and 150 mm) of regolith out from underneath the engine bell during the final descent and landing.
2. The second stage of the launch rocket and/or the Lunar Module ascent stage made no visible flame.
- The Lunar Modules used Aerozine 50 (fuel) and dinitrogen tetroxide (oxidizer) propellants, chosen for simplicity and reliability; they ignite hypergolically – upon contact – without the need for a spark. These propellants produce a nearly transparent exhaust. The same fuel was used by the core of the American Titan II rocket. The transparency of their plumes is apparent in many launch photos. The plumes of rocket engines fired in a vacuum spread out very quickly as they leave the engine nozzle (see above), further lessening their visibility. Finally, rocket engines often run “rich” to slow internal corrosion. On Earth, the excess fuel burns in contact with atmospheric oxygen, enhancing the visible flame. This cannot happen in a vacuum.
Bright flame from first stage of the Saturn V, burning RP-1
3. The Lunar Modules weighed 17 tons and made no mark on the Moondust, yet footprints can be seen beside them.
- On the surface of the Earth, Apollo 11’s fueled and crewed Lunar Module, Eagle, would have weighed approximately 17 short tons (15,000 kg). On the surface of the Moon, however, after expending fuel and oxidizer on its descent from lunar orbit, the lander weighed about 2,700 pounds (1,200 kg). The astronauts were much lighter than the lander, but their boots were much smaller than the lander’s approximately 3-foot (91 cm) diameter footpads. Pressure (or force per unit area) rather than mass determines the amount of regolith compression. In some photos, the footpads did press into the regolith, especially when they moved sideways at touchdown. (The bearing pressure under Apollo 11’s footpads, with the lander being about 44 times the weight of an EVA-configured astronaut, would have been of similar magnitude to the bearing pressure exerted by the astronauts’ boots.)
4. The air conditioning units that were part of the astronauts’ spacesuits could not have worked in an environment of no atmosphere.
- The cooling units could only work in a vacuum. Water from a tank in the backpack flowed out through tiny pores in a metal sublimator plate where it quickly vaporized into space. The loss of the heat of vaporization froze the remaining water, forming a layer of ice on the outside of the plate that also sublimated into space (turning from a solid directly into a gas). A separate water loop flowed through the LCG (Liquid Cooling Garment) worn by the astronaut, carrying his metabolic waste heat through the sublimator plate where it was cooled and returned to the LCG. Twelve pounds (5.4 kg) of feedwater gave about eight hours of cooling; because of its bulk, it was often the limiting consumable on the length of an EVA.
1. There should have been more than a two-second delay in communications between Earth and the Moon, at a distance of 400,000 km (250,000 mi).
- The round trip light travel time of more than two seconds is apparent in all the real-time recordings of the lunar audio, but this does not always appear as expected. There may also be some documentary films where the delay has been edited out. Reasons for editing the audio may be time constraints or in the interest of clarity.
2. Typical delays in communication were about 0.5 seconds.
- Claims that the delays were only half a second are untrue, as examination of the original recordings shows. Also, there should not be a consistent time delay between every response, as the conversation is being recorded at one end – Mission Control. Responses from Mission Control could be heard without any delay, as the recording is being made at the same time that Houston receives the transmission from the Moon.
3. The Parkes Observatory in Australia was billed to the world for weeks as the site that would be relaying communications from the first moonwalk. However, five hours before transmission they were told to stand down.
- The timing of the first moonwalk was changed after the landing. In fact, delays in getting the moonwalk started meant that Parkes did cover almost the entire Apollo 11 moonwalk.
4. Parkes supposedly had the clearest video feed from the Moon, but Australian media and all other known sources ran a live feed from the United States.
- While that was the original plan, and, according to some sources, the official policy, the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) did take the transmission direct from the Parkes and Honeysuckle Creekradio telescopes. These were converted to NTSC television at Paddington, in Sydney. This meant that Australian viewers saw the moonwalk several seconds before the rest of the world. See also Parkes radio astronomer John Sarkissian’s article, “On Eagle’s Wings: The Parkes Observatory’s Support of the Apollo 11 Mission” The events surrounding the Parkes Observatory’s role in relaying the live television of the moonwalk were portrayed in a slightly fictionalized Australian film comedy “The Dish” (2000).
5. Better signal was supposedly received at Parkes Observatory when the Moon was on the opposite side of the planet.
Blueprints and design and development drawings of the machines involved are missing. Apollo 11 data tapes containing telemetry and the high-quality video (before scan conversion from slow-scan TV to standard TV) of the first moonwalk are also missing.
Dr. David R. Williams (NASA archivist at Goddard Space Flight Center) and Apollo 11 flight director Eugene F. Kranz both acknowledged that the original high-quality Apollo 11 telemetry data tapes are missing. Conspiracists see this as evidence that they never existed. The Apollo 11 telemetry tapes were different from the telemetry tapes of the other Moon landings because they contained the raw television broadcast. For technical reasons, the Apollo 11 lander carried a slow-scan television (SSTV) camera (see Apollo TV camera). To broadcast the pictures to regular television, a scan conversion had to be done. The radio telescope at Parkes Observatory in Australia was able to receive the telemetry from the Moon at the time of the Apollo 11 moonwalk. Parkes had a bigger antenna than NASA’s antenna in Australia at the Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station, so it received a better picture. It also received a better picture than NASA’s antenna at Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex. This direct TV signal, along with telemetry data, was recorded onto one-inch fourteen-track analog tape at Parkes. The original SSTV transmission had better detail and contrast than the scan-converted pictures, and it is this original tape that is missing. A crude, real-time scan conversion of the SSTV signal was done in Australia before it was broadcast worldwide. However, still photos of the original SSTV image are available (see photos). About fifteen minutes of it were filmed by an amateur 8 mm film camera and these are also available. Later Apollo missions did not use SSTV. At least some of the telemetry tapes from the ALSEP scientific experiments left on the Moon (which ran until 1977) still exist, according to Dr. Williams. Copies of those tapes have been found.
Others are looking for the missing telemetry tapes for different reasons. The tapes contain the original and highest quality video feed from the Apollo 11 landing. Some former Apollo personnel want to find the tapes for posterity while NASA engineers looking towards future Moon missions believe the tapes may be useful for their design studies. They have found that the Apollo 11 tapes were sent for storage at the U.S. National Archives in 1970, but by 1984, all the Apollo 11 tapes had been returned to the Goddard Space Flight Center at their request. The tapes are believed to have been stored rather than re-used. Goddard was storing 35,000 new tapes per year in 1967, even before the Moon landings.
In November 2006, COSMOS Online reported that about 100 data tapes recorded in Australia during the Apollo 11 mission had been found in a small marine science laboratory in the main physics building at the Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Australia. One of the old tapes has been sent to NASA for analysis. The slow-scan television images were not on the tape.
In July 2009, NASA indicated that it must have erased the original Apollo 11 Moon footage years ago so that it could re-use the tape. In December 2009 NASA issued a final report on the Apollo 11 telemetry tapes. Senior engineer Dick Nafzger, who was in charge of the live TV recordings during the Apollo missions, was put in charge of the restoration project. After a three-year search, the “inescapable conclusion” was that about 45 tapes (estimated 15 tapes recorded at each of the three tracking stations) of Apollo 11 video were erased and re-used, said Nafzger. In time for the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing, Lowry Digital had been tasked with restoring the surviving footage. Lowry Digital president Mike Inchalik said that, “this is by far and away the lowest quality” video the company has dealt with. Nafzger praised Lowry for restoring “crispness” to the Apollo video, which will remain in black and white and contains conservative digital enhancements. The US$230,000 restoration project took months to complete and did not include sound quality improvements. Some selections of restored footage in high-definition have been made available on the NASA website.
Four mission-worthy Lunar Roving Vehicles (LRV) were built by Boeing. Three of them were carried to the Moon on Apollos 15, 16, and 17, used by the astronauts for transportation once on the Moon, and left there. After Apollo 18 was canceled, the other LRV was used for spare parts for the Apollos 15 to 17 missions. The 221-page operation manual for the LRV contains some detailed drawings, although not the blueprints.
NASA technology compared to USSR
Bart Sibrel cites the relative level of the United States and USSR space technology as evidence that the Moon landings could not have happened. For much of the early stages of the Space Race, the USSR was ahead of the United States, yet in the end, the USSR was never able to fly a crewed craft to the Moon, let alone land one on the surface. It is argued that, because the USSR was unable to do this, the United States should have also been unable to develop the technology to do so.
For example, he claims that, during the Apollo program, the USSR had five times more crewed hours in space than the United States, and notes that the USSR was the first to achieve many of the early milestones in space: the first man-made satellite in orbit (October 1957, Sputnik 1);[d] the first living creature in orbit (a dog named Laika, November 1957, Sputnik 2); the first man in space and in orbit (Yuri Gagarin, April 1961, Vostok 1); the first woman in space (Valentina Tereshkova, June 1963, Vostok 6); and the first spacewalk (EVA) (Alexei Leonov in March 1965, Voskhod 2).
However, most of the Soviet gains listed above were matched by the United States within a year, and sometimes within weeks. In 1965, the United States started to achieve many firsts (such as the first successful space rendezvous), which were important steps in a mission to the Moon. Furthermore, NASA and others say that these gains by the Soviets are not as impressive as they seem; that a number of these firsts were mere stunts that did not advance the technology greatly, or at all, e.g., the first woman in space. In fact, by the time of the launch of the first crewed Earth-orbiting Apollo flight (Apollo 7), the USSR had made only nine spaceflights (seven with one cosmonaut, one with two, one with three) compared to 16 by the United States. In terms of spacecraft hours, the USSR had 460 hours of spaceflight; the United States had 1,024 hours. In terms of astronaut/cosmonaut time, the USSR had 534 hours of crewed spaceflight whereas the United States had 1,992 hours. By the time of Apollo 11, the United States had a lead much wider than that. (See List of human spaceflights, 1961–1970, and refer to individual flights for the length of time.)
Moreover, the USSR did not develop a successful rocket capable of a crewed lunar mission until the 1980s – their N1 rocket failed on all four launch attempts between 1969 and 1972. The Soviet LK lunar lander was tested in uncrewed low-Earth-orbit flights three times in 1970 and 1971.
Here’s a rebuttal of another prevalent theory – that Stanley Kubrick filmed it:
Alleged Stanley Kubrick involvement
Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick is accused of having produced much of the footage for Apollos 11 and 12, presumably because he had just directed 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is partly set on the Moon and featured advanced special effects. It has been claimed that when 2001 was in post-production in early 1968, NASA secretly approached Kubrick to direct the first three Moon landings. The launch and splashdown would be real but the spacecraft would stay in Earth orbit and fake footage broadcast as “live from the Moon.” No evidence was offered for this theory, which overlooks many facts. For example, 2001 was released before the first Apollo landing and Kubrick’s depiction of the Moon’s surface differs greatly from its appearance in the Apollo footage. The movement of characters on the Moon in 2001 differs from that of the filmed movement of Apollo astronauts, and does not resemble an environment with 1/6 the gravity of Earth. Several scenes in 2001 show dust billowing as spacecraft landed, something that would not happen in the vacuum environment of the Moon. Kubrick did hire Frederick Ordway and Harry Lange, both of whom had worked for NASA and major aerospace contractors, to work with him on 2001. Kubrick also used some 50 mm f/0.7 lenses that were left over from a batch made by Zeiss for NASA. However, Kubrick only got this lens for Barry Lyndon (1975). The lens was originally a still photo lens and needed changes to be used for motion filming.
The mockumentary based on this idea, Dark Side of the Moon, could have fueled the conspiracy theory. This French mockumentary, directed by William Karel, was originally aired on Arte channel in 2002 with the title Opération Lune. It parodies conspiracy theories with faked interviews, stories of assassinations of Stanley Kubrick’s assistants by the CIA, and a variety of conspicuous mistakes, puns, and references to old movie characters, inserted through the film as clues for the viewer. Nevertheless, Opération Lune is still taken at face value by some conspiracy believers.
An article titled “Stanley Kubrick and the Moon Hoax” appeared on Usenet in 1995, in the newsgroup “alt.humor.best-of-usenet”. One passage – on how Kubrick was supposedly coerced into the conspiracy – reads:
NASA further leveraged their position by threatening to publicly reveal the heavy involvement of Mr. Kubrick’s younger brother, Raul, with the American Communist Party. This would have been an intolerable embarrassment to Mr. Kubrick, especially since the release of Dr. Strangelove.
Kubrick had no such brother – the article was a spoof, complete with a giveaway sentence describing Kubrick shooting the moonwalk “on location” on the Moon. Nevertheless, the claim was taken up in earnest; Clyde Lewis used it almost word-for-word, whereas Jay Weidner gave the brother a more senior status within the party:
No one knows how the powers-that-be convinced Kubrick to direct the Apollo landings. Maybe they had compromised Kubrick in some way. The fact that his brother, Raul Kubrick, was the head of the American Communist Party may have been one of the avenues pursued by the government to get Stanley to cooperate.
In July 2009, Weidner posted on his webpage “Secrets of the Shining”, where he states that Kubrick’s The Shining (1980) is a veiled confession of his role in the scam project. This thesis was subject of refutation in an article published on Seeker nearly half a year later.
The 2015 movie Moonwalkers is a fictional account of a CIA agent’s claim of Kubrick’s involvement.
In December 2015, a video surfaced which allegedly shows Kubrick being interviewed shortly before his 1999 death; the video purportedly shows the director confessing to T. Patrick Murray that the Apollo Moon landings had been faked. Research quickly found, however, that the video was a hoax.
In addition, you’ve got the simple fact that Mr Kubrick was filming A Clockwork Orange in the months leading up to the 1972 landing (which like all the others, was supposedly filmed by him), right up until the landing. Proposing Kubrick as the maker is very strenuous.
Many will present NASA videos related to the Orion program, in which NASA seemingly admits to never having gone to the moon – they seem to say that Orion will be the very first craft to go beyond low earth orbit “for the very first time”. THESE VIDEOS ARE CROPPED – RIGHT BEFORE THE PHRASE “FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ____ YEARS”! WHOEVER FIRST CREATED AND DISTRIBUTED THESE CLIPS WAS A DISHONEST LIAR!
That said, NASA’s website does say that Orion is designed to take humans farther than ever before. Is this an admission that we never went to the moon? No – it’s designed for the eventual manned Mars missions for the 2030s.
Here’s an article to put conspiracy theorists at ease about the Orion videos:
A NASA video designed to promote the Orion space craft has accidentally whipped up Moon Landing Hoax theorists into a frenzy.
Which is a shame. Because the ‘Orion: Trial By Fire’ video is actually an interesting, if brief introduction into the test flights.
Presented by NASA engineer Kelly Smith, the video contains insights into how Orion might help humans get to Mars and how its systems are designed to cope with the difficulties of travelling in deep space.
But it also describes how the capsule will be lifted from an initial orbiting trajectory of around 100 miles above Earth, to more than 3,600 miles before the end of the mission.
And therein lies the issue. Because the aim of this test is to send Orion through the Van Allen belt — a thick ribbon of dense radioactive particles caused by the magnetic field of Earth which could be dangerous to human travellers.
“Radiation like this could harm the guidance systems, on-board computers or other electronics on Orion,” Smith says. “Shielding will be put to the test as the vehicle cuts through the waves of radiation… We must solve these challenges before we send people through this region of space.”
Aha! And that’s where the conspiracy theorists jump in. Because surely, they argue, NASA already sent people through this region for the Apollo missions to the Moon in the 1960s and 1970s?ADVERTISEMENT
So… hoax proved? Half-Life 3 confirmed?
One writes: “The way this video was explained is that just passing the Van Allen belt and coming back to earth is a very serious mission… If it were true, we should at least have landed on Mars by now and flown manned flights to one of Mars’ moons or even a fly by of Saturn or Jupiter.”
Another adds: “Didn’t NASA go to the moon? With very little shielding? Aren’t you guys basically saying you didn’t land on the moon? “
Yet another (there are lots of these people) says: “If the moon missions were real, then it seems the whole “punching through the Van Allen belt” problem should have been solved over 40 years ago.”
So? So, so? Can NASA explain that?
Yes. Yes they can.
The answer, simply, and which has been explained in detail elsewhere, is that the Apollo astronauts were not in the Van Allen belt for long enough to have to deal with dangerous levels of exposure to radiation.
The Apollo astronauts did return to Earth having been exposed to significant radiation – but not more than is allowed by US law for workers at nuclear power stations, for instance.
So what’s different with Orion EFT-1? Put simply, two things: equipment and time.
Above: Orion pictures in a computer-generated image separating above Earth, before heading up to the Van Allen belt
First, Orion contains much more complex and complicated electronic equipment than the Apollo systems, which could potentially be damaged by radiation and so has to be tested before humans are allowed to fly inside it.
Second, Orion isn’t just intended to go through the Van Allen belt and back in a few short days. It’s designed for missions up to 21 days long, and perhaps even longer if it forms part of a mission to Mars. As a result it would face exposure to vast amounts of radiation in space, for months on end, and so testing its shields and how much radiation gets through is prooobably a good idea.
So no, NASA did not accidentally leak that the Apollo missions were fake in its own promotional videos.
“Traveling 15 times farther into space than the International Space Station will take Orion beyond the radiation protection offered by Earth’s atmosphere and magnetic field. In fact, the majority of EFT-1 will take place inside the Van Allen Belts, clouds of heavy radiation that surround Earth.
No spacecraft built for humans has passed through the Van Allen Belts since the Apollo missions, and even those only passed through the belts – they didn’t linger.
Future crews don’t plan to spend more time than necessary inside the Van Allen Belts, either, but long missions to deep space will expose them to more radiation than astronauts have ever dealt with before. EFT-1’s extended stay in the Van Allen Belts offers a unique opportunity to see how Orion’s shielding will hold up to it. Sensors will record the peak radiation seen during the flight, as well as radiation levels throughout the flight, which can be mapped back to geographic hot spots.”
Some had a sensible idea: look at the materials satellites and spacecraft are made from, look at the temperatures they can withstand, and compare these with the temperature variances in the upper stratosphere and space. At a glance, you can see that they SHOULD melt. NASA hoax! Right?
Two things: first of all, it’s a pretty well-established fact that satellites exist. You can see them at night! And second, in space, there is no atmosphere to bind the heat/cold to the craft – and it thus has little to no effect on it.
The errors in the claims about the Van Allen Belt have been covered, but here’s a handy sheet that crunches the actual numbers involved:
The idea that the Apollo missions to the Moon were a hoax can be found in books, DVD documentaries and many websites. These claim that sending crews to the Moon was impossible so NASA faked the missions on Earth. Some put forward evidence to prove this. This conspiracy theory is popular, but no astronomers or space scientists take it seriously.
Here are some of the most common claims made to suggest that the missions were faked and our responses.
1.“There’s no wind on the Moon, so how come the flag was blowing in a breeze?”
It is absolutely correct to say there cannot be any wind on the Moon’s surface and a flag would just hang limply from its pole, so the nylon flags planted on the Moon were held out by a horizontal rod projecting from the pole. Once they were planted the flags hung motionless for the rest of the mission (apart from occasions when they were disturbed by an astronaut brushing past). There are hours of video tapes showing the flags remaining absolutely stationary. TV programmes and internet videos occasionally edit these to show just the flag flapping about as an astronaut plants it to make it look like it is fluttering in a breeze. TV shows and some internet videos are not often made by stupid people, so they know exactly what they were doing, setting out to lie to their audience. (Does that make you angry? It should.)
2. “The photographs taken on the Moon don’t show any stars in the sky!”
All the Apollo missions landed during the lunar day so the astronauts’ cameras exposure settings were set to photograph the Moon’s surface, the Lunar Module and the astronauts themselves as they were brightly illuminated by the Sun. The stars were simply too dim to register on the film under these settings. Look at photos taken in Earth orbit from say the International Space Station, you will not see any stars in them either.
3. “The astronauts should have been killed by the lethal radiation of the van Allen Belts! Their space ship would have needed six feet of lead shielding!”
The Apollo missions did indeed pass through the van Allen Belts, invisible ‘doughnuts’ of radiation surrounding our planet. If astronauts were to stay in the Belts, they would eventually be killed by the radiation. The mission planners were well aware of this hazard. However the Apollo missions passed through the fringes of the Belts where the radiation is not as intense and the spacecraft transited the Belts in less than 30 minutes. During this time the astronauts did not receive a dangerous dose of radiation. Lead shielding was not required. The radiation hazard to Apollo crews was carefully evaluated before the missions and medical examinations of the astronauts showed that as predicted there was no impact on their health.
3. “If Neil Armstrong was the first man on the Moon, who filmed him climbing down the ladder?”
This is so unmysterous that it is amazing that anyone makes a fuss about it! As he descended the ladder to the surface, Armstrong stopped to pull a cable which released a TV camera which swung out from the side of the Lunar Module. This was to broadcast his historic first steps worldwide. On recordings you can hear him asking mission control if they were getting a good picture before he continued climbing down.
4. “The Lunar Module was made of tinfoil and sticky tape and doesn’t look like a real spaceship!”
The Lunar Module was a unique vehicle, designed to fly just twice per mission in airless and low gravity conditions so it did not need a streamlined structure. Large areas of its exterior were covered in Kapton and Mylar foils (which were indeed taped and stapled together in places) to protect components from the Sun’s heat. This is quite common on satellites. The underlying structure including the crew’s cabin was much sturdier, constructed from aluminium alloys.
5. “There’s a letter C on on of the Moon rocks (movie props are numbered and lettered so the stagehands know where to place them)!”
This is another daft assertion, are Hollywood props really marked in this manner? The image in question is cropped from a much larger image taken during the Apollo 16 mission. In the original image, the rock is clearly visible but no “C” can be seen. In fact the “letter” can only be seen in one print and later generation copies of it. What is it? It is impossible to say, perhaps a tiny coiled hair or fibre was trapped in the scanner. If this is the best Moonhoax proponents can do, it is scarcely surprising no one takes them seriously.
Another piece of evidence:
Scientific equipment we’ve installed on the Moon. Did you know that we brought up a large amount of scientific equipment and installed it on the lunar surface during the Apollo missions?
- Lunar seismometers were installed by Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, and 16, with the most advanced ones transmitting data to Earth until 1977.
- Apollo 11 installed the lunar laser ranging retroreflector array, which is still operational today, allowing us to reflect lasers off of it and measure the Earth-Moon distance to ~centimeter precision. (We also use Apollo 14, 15, and the Soviet Lunokhud 2 rover for this.)
- The SWC experiment, to measure the solar wind composition from the Moon’s surface.
- The SWS experiment to measure the solar wind’s spectra from the Moon.
- The LSM experiment to measure the lunar magnetic field.
- The LDD to measure how lunar dust would settle on and pollute solar panels.
And many others. That we have the data from these experiments, and that the lunar retroreflectors are still in use today, represent some pretty strong evidence that we did, in fact, land on the Moon.
It’s often asked, if NASA had the technology to get to the moon 50 years ago, why don’t they today? When NASA actually provides an answer – that the old rocket model used was scrapped – they’re mocked. A cheap cop-out seems to be many’s opinion.
Except, it’s the literal truth! The Saturn V was used for the Apollo missions. It was extremely expensive – and could only be used once! So, every time a new mission rolled around, in addition to all the other expenses, they had to build a new craft from scratch. Around $5 billion in today’s money. Every time. For a piece of equipment that could only be used once.
Is it any wonder that, after sending 6 missions, having beaten the Soviet Union AND carrying out one of mankind’s biggest feats, they discontinued?
Here’s a good article on the subject:
I’m sure there’s more that can be discussed – these events have been picked apart countless times – but I think it safe to say that we really did go to the moon!
P.S. Remember the footage of the rover on the moon? It actually provides key evidence that it was indeed filmed on the moon.