One of the biggest conspiracy theories of the modern age has been that NASA faked the moon landings.
It’s hardly surprising that people do doubt the NASA landed men on the moon when you consider that the feat was achieved way back in 1969. After all, the first astronauts to step foot on the moon, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, were shot into space in what amounted to little more than a big firework that had less computing power on board than you probably have in your mobile telephone.
You can understand why people would believe that the moon landings were faked. At the time, America was in a constant battle with the then Soviet Union in just about every field that there was, especially anything that might provide the either of them with a military advantage. Dominance in space, then, was a high priority for both nations and, as America had been beaten in the race to get a man into space by the Russians with Yuri Gagarin orbiting the earth in 1961, the pressure was on the American administration to hit back with a space first of their very own.
The pressure was on and President John F Kennedy put Americas’ pride on the line when he declared in his 1961 speech that America should ‘commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth’.
So, did Americas finest rocket scientists sit around a table in a hastily arranged meeting and in a moment of panic, decide that the safest option was to fake the moon landings? Or did they really send men to the moon in little more than a rocket propelled tin can?
Despite the fact that, if NASA did fake the moon landings, they have managed to keep their subterfuge under wraps for nearly 50 years, some people still insist the moon landings were faked and that all the photographic evidence to the contrary was actually shot in a film studio.
Here are some of the moon landings conspiracy theorist claims and the counterclaims to dispute them.
|Why are there no stars in the sky?|
Where are all the stars?
Exhibit A, in the conspiracy theorist’s portfolio of evidence is the apparent lack of stars in the NASA photographs that were taken on the moon. This does seem a little odd, but it is easily explained by the fact that the light reflected from the moon’s surface would have made the stairs very difficult to see. This and the fact the astronauts used very fast exposure film in their cameras which would not have captured the background light.
In any event, would NASA really have overlooked the stars, if the moon landings were faked? Even a five year old child would draw stars in the background of a picture of the moon!
|Was the flag waving in the wind?|
Why is that flag waving!
It does look like that the American flag, planted by the astronaut’s on the moon, flaps in a breeze. However, what the conspiracy theorists seem to ignore is that, once something has been set in motion on the moon, there is little to stop it. There is no atmosphere and only 17% of the gravity that we experience on earth. The fact is that the flag is moving because the astronaut, who placed in the ground, twisted it as he was pushing it in and the momentum kept it moving, from side to side, as if it was blowing in a wind. The low gravity and lack of resistance from any atmosphere, meant the flag kept on moving, far longer than it would have done on earth. It is also believed that the astronauts accidentally bent the horizontal pole that holds the flag, which accounts for its ruffled appearance
|No sign of a crater?|
Where is the crater?
Another piece of evidence that is often given to back up the claims that the Apollo missions were faked is the complete lack of any crater underneath the lunar landing craft. Surely, claim the conspiracy theorists’ the rockets used to slow the descent of the craft would have created a huge cater beneath it. But they forgot that low gravity again. The rockets were throttled back, just prior to the craft touching down, and it coasted to its final touchdown on the moon.
|Who took the photograph?|
Aha! Look, no photographers in the reflection
In this picture you can clearly see astronaut, Neil Armstrong and, in the reflection of his visor, you can also see Buzz Aldrin and neither of them is holding a camera, so who took the photograph, if only two astronauts landed on the moon; David Bailey?
Sorry, conspiracy theorists, but the cameras were all mounted on the body of the lunar landing craft and on the chests of the astronauts themselves. Nobody had to be holding a camera, to take a photograph.
|Why does the lighting look so artificial?|
Yeah, but what about the lighting that comes from many different angles?
So, why in this photograph, is Buzz Aldrin beautifully lit up in his white space suit yet he is standing in the shadow of the lunar landing craft? And, why do some of the shadows appear to be cast in different directions. That’s got to be because the light was coming from different sources or, in other words, different lighting rigs in the film studio!
Well the truth is that there are different light sources. There is light from the sun, but there is also reflected light from the lunar surface and reflected light from the spacecraft itself. And, as for the different angles of shadows, just as here on earth, when shadows are cast across uneven ground, they do appear at different angles.
|Are those studio lights you can see?|
What about those weird lights in the lunar sky then?
Claims that strange lights in some of the photographs are evidence of studio lighting are also often bandied around. Come on guys, this really is scraping the bottom of the barrel! They were using 1969 camera technology and you can get lens flare effects like this with a modern day camera. And anyway, I think that someone on a multimillion dollar cover up operation like faking the moon landings would have spotted such an obvious error, don’t you?
Were the Apollo missions to the moon faked?
What NASA did in the 1970s with the Apollo missions was incredible, even unbelievable, so it’s easy to see how some people think it was actually impossible. But then so did some people used to think that flying faster than the speed of sound, sailing around the world or a black man becoming the president of the USA was impossible. That’s what makes the human spirit of adventure so exciting; pretty much anything’s possible, when we put our minds to it.
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