We recently came across a statistic in a 2016 poll that 52% of Britons believed the Moon landings were faked(and an astonishing 73 percent of Brits aged 25-34 believe the entire thing was a hoax). Seeing as we are about to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this ‘faked’ event we wanted to explain why we think they were not 🙂
“It would have been harder to fake it than to do it,” astronaut Neil Armstrong once said. On July 20, 1969, Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. — two of NASA’s Apollo 11 astronauts. This is so true…i think what people dont realise is the sheer number of people that would have to keep this quiet. 400,000 people worked on the Moon landings so did not one of them behind the scenes intentionally or unintentionally pulls back the curtain.??
Oxford University physicist and cancer biologist David Robert Grimes who is also a journalist, has published a new mathematical equation in the journal PLOS ONE that estimates how long a large-scale conspiracy can last before someone behind the scenes intentionally or unintentionally pulls back the curtain.
For the moon-landing conspiracy to stay quiet, it would require an estimated 411,000 people — the number of NASA employees in 1965 — to keep mum. Grimes estimates this hoax should have broken down within 3.68 years, decades before a conspiracy theorist met the business end of a former astronaut’s fist.
A recent Popular Mechanics article said “It’s understandable that many people over the years have questioned the validity of the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing. It was an incredible, unprecedented triumph for NASA and a monumental achievement for humanity in general—and one we haven’t bothered to repeat since the end of Apollo.
The general idea behind most moon landing conspiracy theories is that the landing was faked on a sound stage with actors, a set, and professional lighting taking the place of the real deal. There are all kinds of article and YouTube videos dedicated to this argument—and plenty dedicated to debunking it, too. This new video from TruTV’s Adam Ruins Everything is a quick distillation of the case against the hoax theory. It would’ve been harder to fake the landing on Earth than it would have been to actually go to the moon. In fact, in 1969 it would have been impossible.
There are a few key reasons for this. On reason is the shadows, which are the result of parallel sun rays with no diffusion. The only way to recreate this on Earth would be to light the scene with millions of super-bright lasers. Lasers were incredibly expensive in 1969, and the only color they came in was red. In modern times, we could just change the color with CG, but back then, altering images with computers wasn’t possible.”
So here are ten of the most common theories on why it was fake and the counter (scientific) theory By Richard Holt on The Telegraph Newspaper
1) The flag is waving in the wind…there is no wind on The Moon!
The flag is held up by a horizontal bar and simply moves when it is unfurled and as the pole is being fixed into position by the astronauts. The flagpole is light, flexible aluminium and continues to vibrate after the astronauts let go, giving the impression of blowing in the wind.
2) No stars are visible in the pictures taken by the Apollo astronauts from the surface of the Moon.
The Apollo landing takes place during lunar mornings, with the Sun shining brightly. The stars are not bright enough in this light to be captured in the photographs.
3) No blast crater is visible in the pictures taken of the lunar landing module.
The landing module touches down on solid rock, covered in a layer of fine lunar dust, so there is no reason why it would create a blast crater. Even if the ground were less solid, the amount of thrust being produced by the engines at the point of landing and take off is very low in comparison to a landing on Earth because of the relative lack of gravitational pull.
4) The landing module weighs 17 tons and yet sits on top of the sand making no impression. Next to it astronauts’ footprints can be seen in the sand.
The layer of lunar dust is fairly thin, so the landing module sits on the solid rock. The dust, whilst blown away by the blast from the descent engines, quickly settles back on the ground and is under the astronauts when they begin their moonwalk.
5) The footprints in the fine lunar dust, with no moisture or atmosphere or strong gravity, are unexpectedly well preserved, as if made in wet sand.
The lack of wind on the moon means the footprints in fine, dry lunar dust aren’t blown away in the way they would be if made in a similar substance on Earth.
6) When the landing module takes off from the Moon’s surface there is no visible flame from the rocket.
The rockets in the landing module are powered by fuel containing a combination of hydrazine and dinitrogen tetroxide, which burn with no visible flame.
7) If you speed up the film of the astronauts walking on the Moon’s surface they look like they were filmed on Earth and slowed down.
The best you can say is: yes, a bit, but not really.
8) The astronauts could not have survived the trip because of exposure to radiation from the Van Allen radiation belt.
This claim is largely based on a claim from a Russian cosmonaut. The short time it takes to pass through the belt, combined with the protection from the spacecraft, means any exposure to radiation would be very low.
9) The rocks brought back from the Moon are identical to rocks collected by scientific expeditions to Antarctica.
Some Moon rocks have been found on Earth, but they are all scorched and oxidised from their entry into the Earth’s atmosphere as asteroids. Geologists have confirmed with complete certainty that the Apollo rocks must have been brought from the Moon by man.
10) All six Moon landings happened during the Nixon administration. No other national leader has claimed to have landed astronauts on the Moon, despite 40 years of rapid technological development.
This is a favourite among conspiracy theorists because it needs no evidence but points the finger at the presidency of Richard Nixon. The fact is that after the Apollo landings, the race had been won and the money dried up. The USSR has no interest in coming second, and politicians on both side realised that lower-orbit missions had much greater commercial and military potential.
The moon landing isn’t fake. So relax. We have plenty of real problems to worry about.