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.

Stars and Stripes Forever? Note the horizontal rod supporting the flag. (Image credit: NASA)

 

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.)

 

Eugene Cernan with US flag (with support rod), Earth but no stars. (Image credit: NASA)

 

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.

 

The International Space Station with docked Shuttle and Soyuz but no stars. (Image credit: NASA)

 

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.

 

Apollo 11’s trajectory avoiding most of the van Allen Belts (image credit: http://www.braeunig.us/apollo/apollo11-TLI.htm)

 

 

Who shot the movie? (Image credit: NASA)

 

On the side of the Lunar module was the Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly with a camera (image credit: NASA)

 

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.

 

Apollo17’s Lunar Module Ascent Stage Challenger. You can just see the face of Eugene Cernan at the window. (image credit: NASA)

 

Beneath the skin (Image credit: NASA)

 

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.

 

Many spacecraft like the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter are covered in sheets of multi-layer insulation material (Image credit: NASA)

Many spacecraft like the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter are covered in sheets of multi-layer insulation material (Image credit: NASA)

 

This Gemini spacecraft has extensive foil-like insulation material lining its equipment module but no one thinks this is a sign of fakery. (Also there are no stars visible!) This is Gemini 7 as seen from Gemini 6 during their rendezvous in space. (Image credit: NASA)

This Gemini spacecraft has extensive foil-like insulation material lining its Equipment Module but no one thinks this is a sign of fakery. (Also there are no stars visible!) This is Gemini 7 as seen from Gemini 6 during their rendezvous in space. (Image credit: NASA)

 

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)!”

 

 

 

Charles Duke and the Lunar Rover. Can you spot the C Rock? (Image credit: NASA)

 

Where’s the C gone? This is cropped from the original image. (Image credit: NASA)

 

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.

 

For more on the Moon Hoax theory see 15 Questions about the Moon Landings and the website www.clavius.org.

(Article by Colin Johnston, Armagh Planetarium)


104 Comments

TMark · July 14, 2019 at 13:32

For 50 years skeptics pushed allegations about the moon landings while NASA and its supporters admirably fielded questions as if catching and de-fusing grenades. But imagine if the roles were reversed and hoax theorists became the new ‘authorities’ facing the scrutinizing glare, pressure and skeptical questions. Imagine it’s now our turn to “question authority.” But what questions would we ask them?

This new authoritative hoax view implicates Cold War government conspiracists secretly enlisting multimedia professionals to fabricate and advance propaganda to uphold American superiority in science, technology, economics and global goodwill. The immediate problem is that such conspirators (if they existed) kept contradicting themselves by scripting, broadcasting and confessing examples of the opposite: American fallibility.

You see, it’s the flaws, not the achievements, that prove the moon landings indeed occurred. Imagine hoax ‘authorities’ forced to explain the following:

1. NASA waiting 21 months after the Apollo 1 Fire before launching the first crewed mission. After all, if hoaxers claim the dead crew was “murdered” by a staged fire, not by a fire-prone capsule design, then no lengthy delays would be needed, true?
2. The Apollo 7 ‘mutiny’ in which all three astronauts refused Mission Control’s demand to wear their pressure helmets for the first ever Apollo reentry. NASA ensured they never flew again. What propagandist would embarrass NASA by admitting this breakdown of command?
3. Apollo 8’s commander, Frank Borman, becoming extremely ill in transit to the moon, debunking any propagandist claim of the astronauts’ impervious health and fortitude.
4. Apollo 10’s ascent module rolling eight times out of control 47,000 feet above the lunar surface, recovering just two seconds before doom. Conspirators planned that?
5. Apollo 10’s lunar pilot Gene Cernan shouting profanity on live TV during the above roll. What, Hollywood couldn’t do a re-take? (CBS anchor Walter Cronkite’s expression on live TV is priceless.)
6. Apollo 11 landing over 4 miles off-target, plus program alarms and reported data interruptions. Really? NASA scripted that?
7. Apollo 12’s Alan Bean mistakenly pointing the first color TV camera at the sun during setup on the moon, thus disabling it and canceling all color broadcasts. Hollywood had only one camera? They couldn’t do a re-shoot?
8. Apollo 13’s explosion, crippling and aborted mission, nearly prompting cancellation of subsequent Apollo missions. So NASA propagandists deliberately embarrassed America?
9. Apollo 13’s Fred Haise suffered a urinary tract infection during the flight. But hoaxers say propagandists claimed America’s astronauts were the picture of perfect health. Explanation?
10. Apollo 14’s two moonwalkers were to hike to the summit of Cone Crater, but came 20 steps short before turning back. Why would NASA admit that? Why not script fake success?
11. The Apollo 15 signature profit scandal. The crew was caught selling signed memorabilia that accompanied the flight. Why would propagandists confess this moral lapse of their model citizens?
12. Apollo 16’s Charlie Duke is seen permanently disabling surface experiments by tripping over and severing wires. Again, Hollywood couldn’t do a re-shoot?
13. Apollo 17’s commander publicly disagreeing about a crewman substitution. What, NASA can silence 400,000 workers but not a mission commander?
14. NASA allowing the Soviets to accomplish the first spacewalk and first unmanned lunar probe landings. Well, shoot, if we faked the moon landings, why didn’t we fake those two firsts?
15. The need for rehearsal flights including Gemini missions and early Apollo missions. After all, if we didn’t actually go to the moon, there’d be no need for rehearsals, true?
16. The production of ugly and ungainly looking lunar lander’s held together with foil, industrial tape, visible welds and dents. What propagandist would approve, especially when Hollywood can produce a sleek, colorful, roomy and patriotic design like they do for sci-fi movies?

No government conspirator would tolerate fabricating or scripting all these accounts, as they each undermine a propaganda objective. Yet NASA reported these true events as they occurred. If roles were reversed, hoax theorists could not explain this.

Tom Chambers · July 10, 2019 at 16:35

This “Apollo Moon landings hoax” phenomenon has gained momentum over the years, and now presents a real threat in terms of falsehoods and misinformation for the masses via social networking (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) … not to mention its influence in the classroom as it pertains to the dilution of the STEM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) educational process resulting in less student interest and the weakening of the job/work base in these fields.

The “Moon hoaxers” are a menace to society, and again, to the educational process that caters to the STEM fields. They have no regard for that wonderful era that saw incredible technological advancement, and they tear down the hope and will of the people back then that put people on the Moon. They are ignorant of the facts, and have no desire to learn and become knowledgeable of the goings-on. They ignore documentation and incontestable proof of Project Apollo that missions indeed landed on the Moon, and that the astronauts brought back rocks and soil samples for analysis.

Charlatans are usually harmless, but these charlatans/”Moon Hoaxers” … who are flamboyant deceivers, and attract followers with tricks or jokes … are hurting our youth and society as a whole.

Tom R. Chambers (former research analyst, Lunar Receiving Laboratory, Project Apollo, 1969-1972)

    Denise · August 12, 2019 at 05:15

    I was watching “First Man” (2018). I love the stories of the brave men that went to places no human had ever been before. I have a theory as to why this ignorant rumors still persist. Since 2015 democracies and free elections are becoming scarce while around the world plutocracies, autocracies and just plain banana republics are growing at an alarming rate. It suits a narrative where they control the message with their information and more importantly spreading false information about America and the choices that we have always had the right of freedom of the press. The biggest adversary at the time was USSR. It was a space race. I have often thought that a theory for these malicious tin foil hat theories that the moon landing was faked etc…originated with Russia (USSR) but it really exploded when the world got smaller because of technology via the internet. It’s easier to spread discord among those that view facts and science and conspiracy theories as opinions.
    From female black mathematicians working with NASA to the space shuttle missions these are the true accounts of the scientists and pilots, and their quest to go beyond. I instilled in my child a sense of wonder about space, the bravery of those first astronauts has never been questioned in my home because we know the facts.
    It is easier to sow discord among those more amenable to believe that kind of stuff not to mention faster and more efficient to those that would trade critical thought for half baked conspiracy theories. Thank you so much for the facts, even if they need to be repeated time and again to fight for the truth.

Mick wait · December 8, 2018 at 23:01

I maybe picking up on something has already said but if you land a module on moon dust using boosters to slow your decent won’t that kick dust up in the air, possibly leaving a crater to land in and at the very least you’d have dust on top of the landing pads once the dust settles as there is gravity on the moon, not as much as earth but enough to bring the dust back down?

Garden Flag Stoppers · August 26, 2018 at 07:12

What a wonderful information you shared with us. Great, thanks for sharing!

Jack Condon · November 23, 2017 at 13:54

The missions were faked. Do a YouTube search on “Apollo 15 flag waving”.

    admin · November 30, 2017 at 15:43

    Please read the first point of this article in regards to the flag waving 🙂

    Casey S. · November 13, 2018 at 01:48

    Maybe. I believe NASA created the footage in a studio somewhere, but eventually landed on the moon at some later stage than what we are led to believe.

    (No disrespect meant- I’m merely stating what I believe. Also, Admin, I may be wrong about the simple physics of space, but shouldn’t there be at least a dent in the earth where the Apollo landed?)

    -anonymous thirteen-year-old child

    Cj · February 6, 2019 at 20:25

    The only people who believe in moon landing hoax have only a couple brain cells.

Stefan A.(not Armstrong ;-) · October 22, 2017 at 23:31

sorry…

they VISITED…ShruggIng…RussiAn…

I should go 2 bed now, it´s 0:30 here

Stefan A.(not Armstrong ;-) · October 22, 2017 at 23:28

Maybe you describe(d) it elsewhere, however, I remember some “documentation” about the pros and cons of conspiracy-theories including everything that ist mentioned above. Finally they vivited some guys who since the moon landings care for the Lunar-Laser-Ranging-Experiment which had been left there; they show how their earth-bound Laser targets the device on the lunar surface and measures by the delay in “responding” time the distance and also the growing distance between earth & moon. Shruggung they say, during all the NEVER appeared someone who wanted to learn about this FACTS…Furthermore I remember the (recording of) the coverage in German TV back in 1969, when a Russion moon satelite arrived there in parallel which caused some concern about the reason or the possibility of a collision. Never heard about this later, but I guess Big RED brother was watching them – and would have cried “foul” if possible…

Roger Smith · September 11, 2017 at 06:30

Really enjoyed reading this blog and very helpful information.

Christopher Soboleski · March 14, 2017 at 10:52

My father made the camera mount. It is a particular point of pride for me and deniers really upset me. It’s not much, but it’s on the moon. And that’s pretty cool.

tacy kneale · January 2, 2017 at 11:56

Dear Admin, Thank you for a wonderful and informative site. You have provided all the information I have been looking for. I admire your patience!

Bryan · October 20, 2016 at 23:41

There is footage of Apollo 11 landing in the moons surface. Who took that picture if the camara is attached to the ship

    admin · October 24, 2016 at 08:53

    Dear Bryan, thank you for your question. As you say, there was no one on the Moon to film the Lunar Module from outside as it landed. I am not aware of any footage that claims to be this, could you have seen a special effects recreation made for a Hollywood movie?

      Jeremy · November 28, 2018 at 05:24

      DO NOT QUESTION HIS LOGIC, HE IS CORRECT, THE MOON LANDING WAS FAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :0 WHY ARE PEOPLE SOOOOO BLIND.

Bulletproof · October 4, 2016 at 19:49

I’d like to add to the response regarding the question of so little dust being visualized on launch with the consideration that much of the loose soil had been already displaced on landing.

Also, it is a consideration that there is a necessary paranoia that inherently develops in a culture that is both led to suspect its own government of evil (viz, by way of the Media on almost any screen) and at the same time experience political, social, financial and moral betrayal there from. And one can be both savant and an idiot at the same time, MIT or no, true?

    Illusions · March 31, 2018 at 10:01

    There was enough dust left for an immense deep footprint next to the lander!

    Something doesn’t rhyme here.

Pete McGill · September 5, 2016 at 04:20

Admin, you have the patience of a saint. You’re able to wade through this ridiculous assertions without any sarcasm. More strength to your arm.

I’ve read a few times ‘because we do not have the ability to return to the moon today, means the landings were faked’ and shows the standard of the argument. We can’t build another supersonic passenger plane, either, but that doesn’t mean Concorde was faked. Well, at least I don’t think so.

    admin · September 5, 2016 at 09:37

    Thanks! It’s nice to be appreciated!

Nostro · May 27, 2016 at 01:11

(Comment not posted because of its unnecessarily confrontational tone, please do not do this again – ADMIN)

    Nostro · May 27, 2016 at 01:19

    I laugh at all this idiocy, As a supremely wealthy oligarch I have now made several (unpublicised) trips to the moon in my private craft and can confirm the undisputed genuininess of the erstwhile NASA trips. So long suckers!

      JC · July 21, 2019 at 11:22

      Nostro laughs at all his idiocy; as it should be.

      Thank you, admin, for keeping the lights on here, and taking out the trash.

Man Utd · April 20, 2016 at 11:30

Thank you very much for your answer and for the very informative links you provided.
would you and everybody else tell me why we never went back to the moon? we had 12 people who walked on the moon, 9 of them still alive…does that mean the moon chapter was closed and forgotten!!

    admin · April 20, 2016 at 11:58

    Dear Man Utd, thanks, I am glad I was able to help.

    For why the Apollo missions ended, please see the first few paragraphs of the article Apollo 18: the truth about the lost Moon missions (link). No nation has sent people back to the Moon since then because of the cost and lack of political and public interest in paying for it. The last serious attempt to do this was Project Constellation (link) about ten years ago, but the US government was unwilling to pay for it.

Man Utd · April 17, 2016 at 08:10

I personally believe that we have landed on the moon, but i think it is time for NASA to come out and clearly answer questions. Some questions do make sense and need good answers.
Admin!! one question i have and i would like to get your answer. The rover battery specifications said it can work in a certain temperature range, can’t remember what was the range exactly but definitely not up to 107 C of the moon surface. how did the rover operate with its battery under such high temp.

    admin · April 18, 2016 at 09:54

    Dear Man Utd, thank you for your question. I am happy to say the information you are seeking is in the public domain and easily found.

    One source for this material is a detailed presentation by an engineer who worked on the thermal management of the Rover. You can read it at this link. The temperature limitations of various components including the batteries are on p10. On p16 of this document there is a example of how the temperature at the landing site for each EVA for the Apollo 17 mission was calculated. The peak expected temperature was about 160 deg F (about 71 deg C), which does not agree with your quoted 107 deg C, which sounds more like a noontime (rather than a morning) temperature. Where did you hear this temperature quoted?

    The gist of the presentation is that the LRV was carefully designed to prevent solar radiation or waste heat from components causing temperatures to go outside specification.

    By the way, batteries have used been used on satellites and spacecraft for decades, why do you think the LRV batteries deserve special scrutiny?

      Man Utd · April 19, 2016 at 09:09

      I didn’t say that the LVR batteries deserve any special scrutiny, i only said that i read/watched some materiel stating the data i mentioned.
      “RICHPLANET TV – Apollo Conspiracy – Full Movie – Jan 2015” on you tube claiming that the average (not max) temperature on the moon is 107 c, also the show claimed that the official nasa document for the LVR mentioned the following specs for the LVR battery:

      max operating temp limit: 125 f/ 52 c
      survival upper temp limit : 140 f/ 60 c
      min operating temp limit: 40 f/ 4 c
      min survival temp limit: -15f / -17c

      again mr. admin i am a true believer of the moon landing and i do believe that it was one of the greatest achievements of mankind. My questions always will be to clear some smoke about this great achievement.

        admin · April 19, 2016 at 10:38

        Dear Man Utd, I’ve been to the richplanet.net website (a couple of years ago after a chap wrote me a long letter asking if I could examine it). However I looked over the only articles I feel qualified to comment on, the space and astronomy related ones, and I am sorry to say I found little but nonsense. I suspect it may not be easy to find truth about the fields I am knowledgeable about at the richplanet.net website.

        The temperature of 107 deg C on the Moon seems to be sourced to a press release (link) about the LRO mission. There is extensive data on lunar temperatures at this link, the values for average temperatures at the Moon’s equator are quoted as “~206K (390K at noon; ~95 K at midnight)”. The noon temperature corresponds to 117 deg C. The idea that it is 107 deg c everywhere on the Moon is not correct. Remember the Apollo missions landed in the local morning to avoid high noon heat.

        Those battery temperature specifications are quoted in the LRV temperature regulation document I linked to in my previous response. The whole point of it is to describe how the equipment was designed to prevent the batteries (and other gear) from overheating, it doesn’t seem that any smoke needs to be cleared, it’s all in plain sight.

        TMark · May 1, 2016 at 21:32

        Man Utd: “…claiming that the average (not max) temperature on the moon is 107 c, also the show claimed that the official nasa document for the LVR mentioned the following specs for the LVR battery: max operating temp limit: 125 f/ 52 c…”
        .
        Here on Earth we measure the highs and lows based on air temperature in the shade. That would be AIR, and SHADE. Mass is required to measure temperature, including air mass. The moon’s surface has mass and is therefore heated by direct sunlight during lunar daylight (lasting 14.8 Earth days) and cools during an equally long lunar night. But there is no measuring of the moon’s air temperature because the moon’s atmosphere (called an exosphere) is an almost perfect vacuum, like space. No mass, no heat. The Earth’s atmosphere is one billion times more dense than the moon’s, according to Space.com, which states that the entire lunar exosphere’s molecules, if collected, could fit in a dump truck.

        The rover’s batteries were not in direct contact with the moon’s surface. The batteries were also covered and not exposed to direct sunlight, though minor conductive warmth may have passed through the white reflective cover. Otherwise the batteries were in the mass-less vacuum of space and not the warm air of an earthbound summer day. So we should discount the effects of the moon’s surface temperature. Solar heating would be a concern only if the batteries were uncovered and had enough surface area directly exposed to the sun.

Timothy S. Kraus · March 8, 2016 at 19:14

Herr TMark is absolutely correct. Those who spout loudly ‘we didn’t land on the moon’ are basically empty, shallow and have never been kissed. They also attend Star Trek conventions-a colossal waste of time. (I quote William Shatner when he was on Saturday Night Live.)

Another question for the conspiracy folks, if the pictures show ‘the shadows are all wrong’ just how should shadows look on the moon? If we’ve never been there, how can we make them look wrong or make them look right to fake the landings?

It’s like saying God doesn’t exist because there is no evidence. So what does the evidence look like?

I hope for clear skies and open Kraus observatory.

Be safe everybody.

Kraus

Timothy S. Kraus · March 8, 2016 at 18:58

I was twelve years old when Apollo 11 landed on the moon.

My question to the conspiracy folks is, why would the U.S. government find need to lie to a twelve year old?

    Kelli Owen · July 21, 2018 at 23:23

    Your government lied because they were competing with Russia’s military abilities.

TMark · February 11, 2016 at 20:50

Having read these conspiracy arguments I find the tactics and reasoning of conspiracy theorists to be amusing. They reveal insecurities, a grasping for control and a profound blindness to the limits of large organizations like governments. A few considerations:
.
1. Conspiracy theories will always be cool, hip, avant-garde, and “piece de resistance,” while formal government accounts are always discounted as naive boilerplate scripted by old men in gray suits. The clean-cut guy at the party who says the moon landings were real just won’t score a date or new buddies that night. He won’t get an ‘A’ in Poli-Sci 101 for his term paper confirming Oswald killed Kennedy. And so the embrace of unfounded conspiracy theories is largely based on an insecure fear of being ostracized as a naive “true believer.” In this era, people prefer a personal image of fashionably skeptical than factually accurate.
.
2. Conspiracy theorists believe they have more rights and fewer responsibilities than others do. They get to ask questions but are exempt from answering counter-questions. (Like why have a million certified geologists spanning 47 years NOT challenged the origin of returned moon rocks? Or why would NASA’s propaganda machine fake Apollo 13’s crippled and aborted mission? Or why are stars also missing in photos of satellites and the space station?) Instead they shrug their shoulders and throw up their arms (surrender-like) and insist they’re “just say’n.”
.
As citizens they assert an extra-powerful claim to demand answers from their government for events that haven’t happened and for which there is no government functionary paid to answer such claims. To them, the U.S. government must prove negatives: prove there was no Apollo 18; prove there were no moon aliens; prove there was no fabricated moon surface with 1/6th earth’s gravity engineered somehow; prove 400,000 government and contractor employees weren’t each paid millions of dollars to keep quiet. And any conspiratorial claim that’s disproven will receive a follow-up claim (“but, but, but”) instead of an honest thank you.
.
3. Conspiracy theories are easy while major events and accomplishments are hard. Government explanations and investigations cannot spell out 100% of everything to the uninitiated layman, can’t answer every question and can’t plug every hole. Not so with conspiracy theorists who apply intellectual laziness. If a hole is found in a conspiracy theory, the theorist just fills it with a sidecar conspiracy: “Oh somebody got paid off, the government covered that up.” (It certainly doesn’t help when political scandals are concealed until revealed, but a $25 billion project, a Saturn rocket, moon lander and hundreds of pounds of moon rocks are hard to hide on a computer server.) In many ways conspiracy theories are comforting. They explain everything with ease and command. Aerospace engineers don’t have the luxury of doing anything easy, and they don’t make good progagandists anyway.
.
4. Similar to #1 above (conspiracies being cool), the conspiracy theorist considers himself to be an all-seeing intellectual, and yet most are of low accomplishment. Here’s an interesting observation: If you peruse the authors of various conspiracy theory books, or a list of speakers at conspiracy conventions (they exist), you will find nearly all of them are white males between 35 and 70, from the left and right, have some higher education, but have thin bios with few or no accomplishments, and they rarely marry or hold a long-term relationship. Almost none are women or minorities and we see no esteemed household names among them.
.
Thus conspiracy theorists share traits with that genius uncle in the attic, or intellectual 40-something wonderboy still living in his mother’s basement. As boys they grew up enamored with Hollywood movies and TV dramas in which the hero or genius was always a white leading man, as was the quarterback of their favorite teams. They therefore expected life would be easy and the world would beat a path to their door. But the world changed and ignored their intellectual heft. Armed with a handful of college credits and $40,000 in student debt, they insist they’re too smart to find a starter job, will only accept employment deserving of their self-image, all while they bad-mouth the rest of us as mere ‘Lemmings’ and ‘Lumpenworkers’ and while claiming Sept 11th was a government plot (“and why won’t anyone listen to me?!!!”).
.
Conspiracy theorists can’t match their surrounding society and peers, so they scream in an attempt to diminish both. Ever meet an overachiever or proud mother who was a conspiracy theorist? Neither have I. The most outspoken conspiracy theorists are slacker white men who fake intellectualism to compensate for their failed lives. Their unwritten motto: “You may have done more, but I know more.”

    mike · March 6, 2016 at 20:47

    Stereotype and project much? My opinion’s are of little importance…but having questions and a healthy skepticism regarding a historic narrative is in fact, a good thing. So is a little humility.

      TMark · March 18, 2016 at 00:48

      Questions, healthy skepticism and humility all point in the same direction: careful study. I’ve carefully studied the moon missions and I’ve carefully studied the characteristics of conspiracy theorists. Was there not even a specific point in my post you wished to contest?

    JD · March 19, 2016 at 02:07

    Well said!

    specguy · April 25, 2016 at 02:02

    and the best thing is, you don’t let it bother you!

julius birch · October 31, 2015 at 02:20

Gentlemen,

Anyway, I have compiled my analysis of some of the evidence NASA
presented in support of their claim that they landed on the Moon in my
report at http://www.vixra.org/abs/1510.0323

I even asked some people of NASA what they think of it. Their response
was condescending but hilarious.
Anyway, you and your readers might be interested in it.

Cheers,
jb.-

    admin · November 3, 2015 at 12:59

    Dear Julius, thanks for your comments. Before you submit your document to a peer-reviewed engineering journal, you might want to do some additional research. Here are a couple of NASA reports on the landing gear you might find useful
    APOLLO LUNAR MODULE LANDING GEAR
    APOLLO EXPERIENCE REPORT -LUNAR MODULE LANDING GEAR SUBSYSTEM

    I am sorry that you feel the NASA personnel you contacted failed to treat your document with the respect you believe it deserves, but I am unsurprised that you received this response.

      Richard X · September 13, 2016 at 03:37

      I also wanted to mention that as far as keeping a secret is concerned, NASA personnel easily could keep a secret. However, most don’t know about the secretive side to NASA. There are things that are on a need to know basis. If you think it is impossible to keep a secret well, it isn’t, more than 100,000 people worked on the Manhattan project and it was kept secret until the bomb was dropped. Some didn’t even know what exactly they were working on. so keeping a secret even among thousands of people is very easy.

        admin · September 13, 2016 at 08:33

        Dear Richard, thank you for your comment but I do not see the Manhattan project and the Apollo project as comparable at all.
        The atomic bomb development effort was a tightly-controlled military project conducted under wartime security rules (which actively prevented investigation by the media). Research and manufacture were carried out in remote areas by personnel living in isolated communities.

        Apollo was a civilian project carried out openly, and scrutinised and investigated by the media and politicians as it happened. NASA sought world-wide publicity and shared results to the world-wide scientific community. You are not comparing like for like at all.

    Richard X · September 13, 2016 at 03:30

    @julius birch

    Greetings and salutations! My name is Richard and i hold a PhD from MIT and a Master’s in Aeronautics & Astronautics from Standford and i read your paper and it holds validity in my opinion. I am a believer as well that man could not have landed on the moon simply because we just didn’t have the technology available in 1969. My father told me how my grandfather worked in NASA during the fifties and sixties. My grandfather would tell my dad about a base of some kind there and that we have technology that will help us get to the moon but it has to be done in secret. My father told me that at first he didn’t understood what his father meant by that but further conversations and time of course made it clear to him. NASA has two parts one that puts on a show for the world and a secret part that already has people on Mars.

      admin · September 13, 2016 at 08:18

      Dear Richard, thank you for your comments in which you say

      I am a believer as well that man could not have landed on the moon simply because we just didn’t have the technology available in 1969.

      but you also say

      My grandfather would tell my dad about a base of some kind there and that we have technology that will help us get to the moon

      You do not seem sure of your own story.

        Neil · July 19, 2019 at 06:23

        “Standford”??

        JC · July 21, 2019 at 11:34

        “[…] we just did not have the technology available in 1969.” -Richard X

        Sir, ROFL.

Nathan · October 25, 2015 at 06:58

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxEV6H7Shpc

Look at the flag at 0:34…then 0:37 to 0:38. Edits? Really?

    admin · October 28, 2015 at 10:32

    Dear Nathan, I am afraid that you do not seem to understand my point.The flag only moves when the astronaut moves it, at one point he is screwing the upper pole into the lower pole so the flag moves. There is a longer video of the same event from two cameras at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLeLGkq3ZVk . Note how the flag is stationary in the sequences where no one is touching it. Why do think this is not shown in the video you have linked to?

    The mission in question is Apollo 14, by the way not Apollo 17.

Nathan · October 25, 2015 at 06:51

Do you have evidence of such edits to make the flag appear to move in the wind? No? Then this isn’t really journalism is it? Just you clinging to your own beliefs.

    admin · October 28, 2015 at 10:18

    Dear Nathan, thank you for your comment. In the Fox TV production Did We Land on the Moon? (2001) to the best of my recall every shot where the the narration claimed the flag was moving suspiciously was filmed while an astronaut was working at the flag. They did not show the flag ten minutes after the had astronauts moved on. A scriptwriter was paid to write this sequence to mislead people!

guyl · October 9, 2015 at 17:30

Thinking the whole thing was faked? Then please explain over 830 lbs of moon rocks that have been examined by thousands of geologists who have never doubted their origin. Add to that the samples obtained by the USSR from their three Luna sample return missions (many people don’t know about these) whose properties were very similar to the Apollo mission rocks. The USSR would have been the first to decry anything fake. Enough said…

Jack · September 13, 2015 at 13:26

I find the lack of logical evidence more convincing that the U.S. engaged in fakery. What photographs of the Earth was taken by Armstrong, Aldrin, even Collins? No pictures of Earth from lunar surface? I’d think that seeing the Earth would be as thrilling of a sight as the moon itself.

Also, Collins allegedly took some famous photos, but on the dark side of the moon he couldn’t take a single photo of the Milky Way? In fact, during the infamous press conference he said he didn’t remember seeing any stars. What else did he have to do while waiting? Very odd.

Finally, we will see if after 60 years, 75 years, 100 years?? if we will ever become suspicious about our true space abilities. Sure, funding a voyage across the ocean was expensive 500 years ago but Colombus wasn’t the last explorer to cross the Atlantic.

    admin · September 15, 2015 at 10:48

    Dear Jack, the Apollo missions are among the most well -documented events in history, so there is no lack of evidence. On most Apollo missions the Earth was high in the sky so doesn’t appear in images showing the landscape but Apollo 11 one of the astronauts (probably Armstrong) leaned back to picture Earth over the LM.

    Earth over LM (Apollo 11)

    Link to image of Earth over LM taken on Apollo 11

    Note that the Earth seen from the Moon is far smaller than people think, movies and artist’s impressions tend to make it far too big! The most interesting Apollo images of the Earth tended to be taken on outward or return journeys as the Earth was large enough to show as a disc with recognisable detail.

    Photographing the Milky Way cannot have been a priority on Apollo missions. Why do you think it should have been? Photographing it from the Earth’s surface needs a long exposure (thirty seconds plus) and I think any image would be blurred by the spacecraft’s motion.

    At the press conference you mentiion Armstrong discussed photography of the Sun’s corona by the three astronauts from the CSM on the outward journey. Patrick Moore, the British TV astronomer, asked:
    “I have two brief questions that I would like to ask, if I may. When you were carrying out that incredible Moon walk, did you find that the surface was equally firm everywhere or were there harder and softer spots that you could detect? And secondly, when you looked up at the sky, could you actually see the stars in the solar corona in spite of the glare?” (My emphasis)
    Aldrin responded to the first part. Then Armstrong responded to the second part.
    “We were never able to see stars from the lunar surface or on the daylight side of the Moon by eye without looking through the optics . I don’t recall during the period of time that we were photographing the solar corona what stars we could see.” (“Optics” refers to the LM’s navigation telescope.)
    Collins then said “I saw none” (ie stars in the solar corona)

    Collins could indeed see stars from the Command Module. Here is a quote from his book Carrying the Fire describing the view from lunar orbit as he passed over the unlit regions of the Moon:

    Outside my window I can see stars – and that is all. Where I know the moon to be, there is simply a black void; the moon’s presence is defined solely by the absence of stars.

    As for further human exploration of the Moon, while I would personally love to see it, it is utterly impossible to imagine it being funded in the foreseeable future.

Morgan · August 17, 2015 at 21:14

How come no other mission has been made since then??

    admin · August 18, 2015 at 07:07

    Dear Morgan, I suggest you read our article on why the Apollo missions ended (link) for the full story, but briefly sending people to the Moon is far more expensive than going into Earth orbit and no one wants to spend the money doing this. Several nations have sent numerous robotic probes to the Moon since then.

    Brad · September 14, 2015 at 16:51

    Morgan, There have been 42 manned missions to the moon since Apollo with several gipping on right now, and more are planned. Why unmanned? Safer, cheaper, and 99% of space missions are unmanned. We have made huge advances in computers and robotics since Apollo. Rockets and life support? Very little has changed.

    And to a large degree, the space race was a political one. When the USA made it to the moon first, the USSR shifted to low Earth orbit space stations. They had MIR, we had skylab etc. But the cold war also eased with the end of the vietnam war and space exploration just was not the national priority it was for Apollo.

      Brad · September 14, 2015 at 16:58

      Whoops. 42 unmanned missions. Auto-correct strikes again.

    Stuart · October 11, 2015 at 23:36

    When Kennedy commited us to the moon shot, he had no idea it would be so expensive. Nasa planned missions through Apollo 20, but congress and the Nixon white house repeatedly cut the budget once Apollo 11 fullfilled Kennedy’s pledge. What many people didn’t notice is that many in congress we fearful that talk of a Mars landing might further extend the costly space race. For this reason, NERVA, te nuclear rocket, was cancelled after a very successful development effort.

    Personally, I think that’s for the best, because while an atomic rocket is not at all the crazy idea most people today think it is, the NERVA design was primitive, not powerful enough to be worth the risks (in my opinion) and designed with inadequate safeguards.

    At any rate, we were fighting a war in Vietnam and a high-tech cold war with the USSR. We we also at the start of what became a decade-long recession. The program was cut to trim the budget.

    TMark · February 2, 2016 at 22:47

    It would be misleading to just say the economy and budget cuts ended Project Apollo, which cancelled missions 18, 19 and 20 despite all the Saturn stages and modules already in the pipeline. After all, the ongoing Great Depression didn’t discourage America from responding to the Pearl Harbor attack and the Nazis. We’ve pursued great leaps before regardless of the economy. And this wasn’t about pessimistic politicians discounting the moon landing achievement.
    .
    Rather, it was a national socio-political process, starting with extreme exuberance and national purpose (a space race at all costs and risks), followed by the engineering glory of Apollo 11’s landing and follow-on discoveries of Apollo 12 and 14, and finally a point of diminishing returns and competing priorities. It wasn’t just politicians; the broader public was beginning to tune out. TV ratings dropped. Geologists wanted more missions, but the public grew bored of the lifeless, colorless dust, hills and rocks. We climb a mountain because “it’s there,” but the highest mountain peaks are dry, sterile and within minutes can’t match the view of the earth below.
    .
    Risk was revisited. Having won the race and reached the moon several times, nobody wanted a repeat of the Apollo 1 fire and lost crew, the crippled Apollo 13 and its rescue mission, and lightning striking Apollo 12 during lift-off. By Apollo 17, NASA was paranoid of going out with a, um, “bang.” Apollo 17’s Gene Cernan said that NASA bureaucrats “just wanted me to come back alive.” Imagine a disastrous mission becoming Apollo’s final epitaph.
    .
    Mars was too far away in the 1970s to make our moon a reasonable stepping stone at the time. Space “diplomacy” with joint U.S.-Soviet missions (Apollo-Soyuz docking) and Skylab become more sexy. The Space Shuttle’s development needed the NASA budget’s funding. The first Earth Day in 1973 turned our attention to our own vibrant planet and environmental consciousness. Forget the politicians. Collectively, America deemed the moon to be “been there, done that.” But what a “been there!”

Bill · May 22, 2015 at 02:07

You say they didn’t fake the moon landings, but one major piece of evidence suggests otherwise. If you want to fully debate an issue, do the research and cover all angles. Seems you took a few easy points and stopped without fully acknowledging all aspects of this modern day snafu.

One piece of damning evidence is the , halfway to the moon(classified video) video which was recorded and was time and date stamped. They could not have possibly landed on the moon judging by the NASA log if they were clearly within low earth orbit as made painfully obvious in the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4UVDdUX1IA

    admin · May 22, 2015 at 09:30

    Dear Bill, thanks for your comments. As to the video you link to, I don’t see why you think the spacecraft was “clearly within low earth orbit” when it was made. The entire disc of the Earth is visible and low Earth orbit images can not show the entire disc like this (compare it to movies made on the International Space Station). Full disc images have to be made from satellites in high Earth orbit, more than 35 000 km up, I certainly cannot see anything that is not consistent with this movie being made between the Earth and Moon.

    Why do you think this image was made in low Earth orbit? I am genuinely interested to know your reasoning. Also why do you refer to it as being “classified video”? This is clearly one of the recordings made for media use on the way to the Moon, there is no reason for it to have been classified.

      Mike · July 4, 2015 at 20:59

      Hi, is it true that the Lunar Rover was left on the moon? Surely if we can see it from Earth (obviously via a telecscope) that will disprove any conspiracy! Thanks

        admin · July 14, 2015 at 10:25

        Dear Mike, the Lunar Rovers were indeed left behind on the Moon (you might enjoy NASA’s Lunar Rover: Everything You Need to Know). We cannot resolve them (or even the larger LM Descent Stages) from Earth by telescope as this would need a telescope hundred of metres across and no such telescope exists or is planned. The Lunar Rovers have been imaged from space by the camera of the LRO mission.

        Stuart · October 11, 2015 at 23:29

        At the distance to the moon, even the Hubble space telescope cannot resolve a 12.7 foot diameter object (the size of the descant stages). The rover was even smaller. Several recent orbiters have photographs the landing sights, and can see the disturbed soil and shadows. A few have been from low enough to resolve the descant stages.

    Andrew Morganelli · December 27, 2015 at 03:32

    Bill, if the moon landings were fake, where did the moon rocks come from?

Robert Spanyard · April 11, 2015 at 04:12

I knew it was fake the moment Walter Cronkite was handed the news bulletin and forced to read the part where it says we will now see the three technicians leaving the capsule. Three men went in and three men came oout. (Rudeness removed-ADMIN)

    admin · April 14, 2015 at 07:42

    Dear Robert, as it stands your Cronkite anecdote is rather difficult to understand. Can you add more explanatory detail? (But please without the unnecessary rudeness I had to remove from your original post.)

anton · February 16, 2015 at 13:09

Hi – I am just a curious office worker from cape town – want to know why no dust is visible with the landing/ departure on the dusty moon surface!!!!

    admin · February 17, 2015 at 08:00

    Dear Anton, thanks for your question. In movies taken from the LM dust can be seen being blasted away by the descent engine, for example if you watch this video of Apollo 11 (link) you will see this happening at the 8 minute mark. As soon as the engine is cut off the dust drops, there is no atmosphere to support billowing clouds of dust as would happen on Earth. By the way,the Moon’s surface was actually less dusty than expected, the crew trained to land the LM “blind” using radar data alone if their view was obscured by dust, but this was never necessary.

    On take off less dust is thrown up because the Ascent Stage engine is smaller, much higher off the surface at ignition and the Descent Stage is blocking most of its thrust from directly reaching the surface. See this video of Apollo 15 (link) taking off for the difference.

    I hope you found this useful.

    Stuart · October 11, 2015 at 23:25

    Dust is clearly visible, it’s just doing what it does on the moon, not what you might expect from your experience on earth. On earth, if you blast dust outward, it impacts air molecules, created air currents, and quickly forms into billowing clouds. This cannot happen in a vacumn. On the moon, each particle of dust arcs straight out and falls to the surface just like a baseball would.

    In fact, dust was thrown up onto the footpads and can clearly be seen in some pictures. NASA was very concerned that the descent engine might through up debirs with enough force to damage the fragile lander, so each foot pad had a six-foot contact prove. When the probes hit the surface, the engine cut out, and the lander fell the last six feet (in the weak lunar gravity) without power.

    On liftoff, the ascent engine exhaust did not strike the lunar surface until it cleared the cavity in the descent stage in which it had been stowed.

Curiosity1 · May 24, 2014 at 02:57

Why are there mudguards over the wheels of the rover?
Doesn’t this just add unnecessary weight or did NASA miss this in the critical analysis of the payload weight before they lifted off from earth?
Also what material are the mudguards made out of?
And what makes the colour of the mudguards appear to be a shiny golden brown? Is it a surface coating (paint) or an additive during manufacture (composite eg plastic).

Danka · May 9, 2014 at 19:45

Also you can watch this video:
(Link to video removed-ADMIN)
and realized that moon landing was a hoax. Is interesting video.

(Dear Danka, I’ve had a quick look at this video and it is full of the same old assertions, misstatements and distortions of fact all “Apollo hoax” videos repeat. Please let us know what you found so convincing and I’ll restore the link- ADMIN)

Ace · March 6, 2014 at 09:02

Why is the moon buggy covering part of the crosses that are on the photograph

    admin · March 6, 2014 at 09:22

    Hi, thanks for the question.

    The crosses aren’t covered by any part of the rover, it’s just the white antenna component is overexposed and is reflecting back so much light it has bleed over into the surrounding image, obscuring some of the thin black line.

paulinsantineer · February 25, 2014 at 07:31

is moon landing really a fake theory of satelite launching

    admin · February 25, 2014 at 09:33

    I’m sorry, I don’t understand your question. Can you ask it again in a different way?

      Muhammad Zohaib · January 16, 2016 at 21:00

      Sir/madam,
      i have a Question and i did not get its answer from anywhere. If there is no air on moon . . .how can we get back from earth?????? answer me (email address removed – ADMIN)
      i’ll w8

        admin · January 18, 2016 at 09:42

        Dear Muhammad, thank you for your question. As you correctly say there is no air on the Moon so I assume that you are wondering how the rocket engine’s fuel could burn. This is straightforward to answer. The rocket motor used to blast off from the Moon, the Lunar Module’s Ascent Propulsion System was a typical liquid propellant rocket engine, so it used a fuel (Aerozine 50: a mix of hydrazine and unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine) and an oxidiser (nitrogen tetroxide) to enable combustion. I hope this has helped you, but if it hasn’t please try asking your question in a different way.

spacegen1 · December 8, 2013 at 08:11

Thanks. That clears up some of my questions for me. I also forget the fact that everything is built lightweight and compact to meet payload requirements. I’m sure it’s something allot of anti moonlanding nuts forget when they think that there’s no way that a 1969 Saturn 5 rocket could handle the apollo mission payloads. Also wanted to ask, durring the trip did they spend the entire voyage to the moon in the three seats in the command module/capsule? If they did that would have had to been one hellish uncomfortable claustrophobic nightmare of a road trip if you ask me. And was there any reports amongst the crew from space madness on the trip to the moon in any of the apollo lunar missions? I’d emmagine ther would have been at least one or two cases out of the six moon missions. And did any of the astronauts in any of the lunar missions experience space sickness? Most astronauts (around 90% I believe) experience space sickness the first two days of being in space when the human body adjusts to the zero G environment. That I’d emmagine that could cause complications durring the journey to the moon.

    admin · December 9, 2013 at 10:29

    durring the trip did they spend the entire voyage to the moon in the three seats in the command module/capsule

    No, the crew were free to leave their seats and move around.

    And was there any reports amongst the crew from space madness on the trip to the moon in any of the apollo lunar missions

    There are no reports of Apollo astronauts experiencing mental illness during their flights. You can read complete transcripts of all the astronauts’ communications with mission control at this site.

    and did any of the astronauts in any of the lunar missions experience space sickness?

    Yes, and in at least one case, Frank Borman on Apollo 8, the illness was so severe for a while it seemed the mission would have to be called off.

    To fully answer your questions you really ought to read some of these to start your research:

    Chaikin, Andrew, A man on the moon: the voyages of the Apollo astronauts, Penguin, London, 1994
    Riley, Christopher and Dolling, Phil, Apollo 11 Owners’ Workshop Manual, Haynes, 2009
    Shayler, David J, Apollo 11 Moonlanding, Ian Allan Ltd, Surrey, 1989
    Smith, Andrew, Moondust: in search of the men who fell to Earth, Bloomsbury, London, 2005

    Stuart · October 11, 2015 at 23:17

    No. Once the S-IVB third stage performed the translunar injection burn, the CSM seperated and turned around to dock with and extract the LM. Once this was done, the crew could enter the LM at will, though I believe it remained in a minimal power mode. The couches in the CM folder up, and the crew reported having a surprising amount of space given the freedom of zero gee.

    Most of the astronauts experiences space sickness as a result of this freedom of movement. It had been rare in Mercury and Gemini, where the whole trip was spend strapped in. For most astronauts then and now, this subsides after a few days.

    No Apollo astronauts had any mental problems during their flights. They were all professional test pilots. One astronaut did catch some heat for complaining about flatulence over a hot mike during a lunar EVA, joking that once he got home he wasn’t eating any more F–ing fruit for a while. The fruit had been added to the low residue diet to add potassium after one astronaut developed a mild heart arrythmia on an earlier mission.

      TMark · June 28, 2018 at 17:08

      Regarding flatulence, I read about the smell in the command module in one of the astronauts biographies. It was said that, upon splashdown, navy rescue frogmen would open the hatch and immediately turn their noses away in reaction to what they smelled. It wasn’t just flatulence but the acidic scent of vomit that remained in the CM after 8-10 days in space (and over 5 days after astronauts regained their ‘space legs’). Over time the astronauts simply became accustomed to the odor that shocked the frogmen.

      Alternatively, when that hatch opened, the astronauts recalled rejoicing upon smelling the sweet, dense, moist, fresh, unprocessed and natural air that filled the CM. Even though the rest of us would detect salty air in the middle of the ocean, it was sweet compared to the stale odors of the CM’s air.

Spacegen1 · December 7, 2013 at 22:24

I think allot of people who believe the moon landing wasn’t possible is they sometimes forget that everything was made to be light weight and very compact. I know I forget about that sometimes. That would make carrying enough oxygen and other consumables possible to fit payload weight/size qualifications for lunar missions. In fact, wasn’t the heaviest things on the mission the space craft itself and the lunar lander and crew? Even those items were designed to be very light weight. Also have you been following the development of the orion space craft being developed by NASA with the help of the ESA? They are even testing a new lander similar to the apolo lunar lander. They just did a first tethered rocket motor test at Johnson space center testing facility this week. They plan on capturing an asteroid in the 2020’s with an unmanned drone, placing it in lunar orbit, then they want to deploy a manned trip to land on the asteroid using orion. I just hope they film everything from A to B on that trip and keep all footage this time. I honestly don’t understand why NASA deleted almost all the recordings of one of the most historical events out of budgetary concerns for storing it when Hollywood archives keep a reel of just about every film ever made. They could have backed up all the apollo footage digitally when the tech became avalable to store film digitally. My question there is why did nasa feel the need to delete almost all of the apollo 11 footage??? They have the money to keep something like that and it’s of great enough historical value to keep forever. It’s like throwing away the Declaration of Independence because it’s taking up room in the museum to me.

(Edited slightly for language-ADMIN)

    admin · December 9, 2013 at 10:08

    My question there is why did nasa feel the need to delete almost all of the apollo 11 footage???

    No one at NASA deleted any of the Apollo 11 footage, in the sense of destroying all records of it. Every second of film and video footage made during all of the Apollo missions is archived. As far as I know the legend of the missing tapes is a garbled version of the historical fact that after re-recording the imagery of the first moonwalk, so none of it is missing, the original tapes were re-used. Apparently this was a common practise back then.

    Brian Fuggle · January 10, 2015 at 04:17

    That’s a great point!

Spacegen1 · December 6, 2013 at 09:50

The only things I have a hard time believing is how they were able to send a command module, servace module, lunar lander, a moon rover, 8 days worth of oxygen, fuel, food and water, 3 men and extras like cameras and the tools, mission payload, and other things all in one launch! I just have a hard time believing the saturn 5 was able to carry all of that sucessfully into space 6 times without any reported malfunctions. I also can’t find any information on how much oxygen they carried on the apollo missions or the ammount of food and watter needed for the journey to the moon. The avrage person consumes around 500 to 600 litters a day of oxygen so they would have needed around 600 litters for 8 days in space! Not to mention you would need allot of food and watter to function flawlessly and focus hard on a mission like apollo 11 or 12. Unless they just sleept through the whole trip before reaching lunar orbit to conserve consumables but there’s no record of how they rationed out food, water, and oxygen. The only way I can think of them rationing out everything is if they had been sleeping throughout half the mission. So I ask, how much food (in lbs) water (in litters) and oxygen (in litters) did they consume on the mission and was the spacecraft technology able to handle it at the time? When I try to find statitcs to prove we were able to go to the moon in 1969-72 I come up with more questions than proof.

    admin · December 6, 2013 at 13:58

    I also can’t find any information on how much oxygen they carried on the apollo missions or the ammount of food and watter needed for the journey to the moon. The avrage person consumes around 500 to 600 litters a day of oxygen so they would have needed around 600 litters for 8 days in space!

    According to a NASA document, you’re right that an astronaut consumes approximately 0.8 kg (560 l) of oxygen per day. Apollo 17 spent 12.5 days roughly in space and had a crew of three, so that’s a minimum of 30 kg, which doesn’t seem that much. In practice they would have had a reserve, plus additional supply to cover the atmosphere lost every time the cabin was depressurised for an EVA. According to a NASA presentation (re the ISS), daily astronauts need 0.62 kg of freeze dried food and 3.56 kg water for drinking and food preparation (hygiene on Apollo missions was a wipe with a damp sponge, so I’m ignoring washing, flushing etc). So again for Apollo 17, the crew needed a minimum of 313 kg of these, so that’s hardly a showstopper. Rationing or the more drastic measures you suggest were not necessary. By the way, water was made inflight as a by-product of the CSM’s fuel cells.

    Note, I have estimated these values. Here is a document which may have useful information for you: Apollo Experience Report: Food Systems. For example, it says 1.7 lb/man/day of food (that’s 0.77 kg per day per person) was budgeted for. I have not looked over it in detail, but I think it ought to answer your questions, plus see the other documents at the same source.

      TMark · June 28, 2018 at 17:31

      It’s true that the weight of 8-10 days worth of food was not a show-stopper. Another factor was astronaut appetites, which were greatly reduced in space. The most significant factor in burning calories is, well, gravity. Whether it’s our movements or even the involuntary work of our hearts and lungs, our calorie burning on Earth mostly serves the eternal fight against gravity. But the weightlessness of space and the 1/6th gravity of the moon significantly reduced calorie burning, and appetites with it. NASA expected the appetites of astronauts to be lower in space than on earth, so they didn’t require as much food, and this saved launch weight.

      This is further confirmed by long-term ISS crews who have no choice but to exercise with resistance machines while in orbit to maintain muscle mass or they would suffer debilitating weakness upon return to Earth. In the weightless environment, they were neither burning calories nor maintaining mass.

    Brian Fuggle · January 10, 2015 at 04:10

    Do you not have spell check? And by the way… 500 – 600 litres a day per person equals 4000 – 4800 litres per person for 8 days in space.

      admin · January 12, 2015 at 10:07

      Dear Brian, please let me know the spelling problem you have identified and I will fix it.

    Ken Clement · July 14, 2016 at 23:27

    One thing to bear in mind about the supply of oxygen. Both the Command and Lunar modules were equipped with lithium hydroxide rebreathers (long duration divers use similar technology) that permits the recycling of CO2 rich air by stripping the carbon and recycling the O2 back into the cabin atmosphere. This stretches out the oxygen supply considerably. Of course the lithium hydroxide filters become saturated with carbon after awhile and have to be replaced.

    The movie Apollo 13 gave as reasonably accurate depiction of how that caused the astronauts problems after the accident. All three astronauts were living off the environmental system in the Lunar Module since the Command Module was powered down. This meant that three astronauts were on the verge of exhausting their lithium hydroxide filters long before they would be safely back. The filters on the Lunar Module were cylindrical in shape, the ones on the Command Module were in the shape of a rectangular solid (roughly a cube). The CM filters simply would not fit in the LM air purification systems.

    NASA personnel had to devise a way for the astronauts to construct an adapter with nothing more than the materials on hand. The devised solution utilized the cover of their flight plan, a plastic bag, a sock, duct tape (no, I’m not kidding), and an air hose normally used to jack a space suited astronaut into the life support system of the LM so their backpacks could be removed and discarded after a moonwalk.

    It was the ultimate in redneck engineering. It worked brilliantly.

Kate · April 13, 2013 at 20:33

Doesn’t the unpredictability of the presence of alpha particles in the belt make you wonder about the common sense of sending any biological system, particularly at a time when the sun was reaching solar maximum? Unless I’m mistaken, they had no way of predicting solar eruptions and deadly flares? Even today, these events cannot be predicted with any real degree of accuracy.The fact that the astronauts spent only 30 minutes passing though the belt just doesn’t hold water as a safety measure. It takes much less time than that to do irreparable damage to human cells. Even if you run through a rain shower instead of walking, you still get wet. Not only that, but the nuclear device which the American’s exploded above the earth’s atmosphere during operation Starfish Prime in 1962 made the belt much more deadly.
Personally, I have absolutely no doubts at all that we have been to the moon and back but the public’s lack of trust is inevitable, given the corruption and perverse manipulations of the american administration of that era.
If intelligent answers were offered as a response to legitimate questions, which incidentally often come from the scientific community, and if the original photographs could be produced (I believe they are lost?) we could end the conspiracy theories overnight.
The aluminium alloys of which the spacecraft was constructed were inadequate protection in the event of a minor solar flare, let alone a massive M or X class eruption. Several feet of lead were not in fact required as shielding, however they might as well have been wrapped in Bacofoil for all the protection they had. As for the Saturn 5…..pleeeease!
Like I said, personally I believe we have been to the moon, so please give me something I can use to silence the unbelievers and stop rehashing the same tired irrelevant trivia. It’s impossible to claim that the “C” was not on the original if the original is no longer available to verify such a claim.
I sincerely wish that someone would do a professional investigation into the matter and end the speculation so that we can discuss ways in which we can move forward with the space program. I can’t help feeling a little bit cheated that they haven’t been back to explore further. There go my dreams of a lunar holiday!

    admin · April 16, 2013 at 13:09

    To the best of my knowledge alpha particles are not the dangerous components in the VA Belts, rather it’s the high energy electrons and protons that are hazardous, yet these are relatively easy to shield against (at least to reduce to a less dangerous dosage).

    Again to the best of my knowledge, Apollo Moon missions were scheduled for times when the chances of major solar events were low, forecasting these is an imperfect science but we can usually see them build up days in advance so we can do it to some extent. If there had been an warning signs before a mission it would have been delayed. You are correct in saying the spacecraft were not designed to protect the crew from a major solar eruption, the plan was to avoid them and this was successful.

    By shorting exposure to radiation, we lessen its effects. That is a fact, so your “wet or not wet” analogy does not hold up I’m afraid.

    The Starfish Prime radiation belt is a bit of a red herring. It was more extreme and long-lived than anyone expected but it was just an extra layer of high energy electrons about 400km up. That’s low Earth orbit and there were crewed spaceflights at that sort of altitude throughout the 1960s, so it certainly wasn’t lethal. I’m pretty sure too that the Starfish Prime belt was essentially gone with in five years.

    Every photograph taken on the Apollo missions is available (even the over-exposed/blurred/lightstruck ones) to the public at http://www.apolloarchive.com/apollo_gallery.html. I am not sure why you should think the original pictures are missing. The original masters are kept in cold storage in Houston.

    I simply do not understand your comment on the Saturn 5 rocket.

    There is no need for “a professional investigation” into the Apollo missions because they are a matter of fact. Professionals in the astronomy and space sciences are frankly baffled by the idea that there is anything to debate about this.

      Brian Fuggle · January 10, 2015 at 04:04

      I wish you would stop repeating the phrase “To the best of my knowledge” when you undoubtedly used internet or book research to back up your claims.

        admin · January 12, 2015 at 10:14

        Dear Brian, thanks for your comment. You’re right that I do overuse that phrase, but I tend to use it when I am speaking from memory and haven’t researched what I am saying!

      Matthew Johnson · August 14, 2016 at 20:37

      You are right. Alpha particles are not a concern. Not only are they pretty rare in the Van Allen Belts, where the primary hazards are high energy electrons and very high energy protons, but alpha particles are the very easiest to shield against: any Boy Scout with the Nuclear Badge knows that they are so easily stopped, even the layer of your skin consisting entirely of dead cells is enough to shield you.

      Alpha emitters are a risk only when they get inside you, such as when breathing in nuclear fallout.

      Another things the Boy Scouts could tell you is: there is this principle of radiation safety called ‘ALARA’ -= “as low as reasonably achievable”. The Apollo mission planners DID follow these principles, using distance, minimized time of exposure and shielding to keep the astronaut’s dosage down to about 1.2mSv, well within safe levels.

      BTW: I can’t remember where I read it, but what I read for the time of exposure was 15m in the Inner Van Allen Belt, where the major hazard is, and under an hour in the Outer Belts, where the radiation is less, and easily shielded by even the thin aluminium of the Command Module. For energetic electrons are just like beta particles, and that of rather medium energy. So again, from the Boy Scout materials, you can confirm that beta particles are easily shielded against by using thin layers of wood, plastic or metal. If metal, only a few millimeters are required. Except for exotic sources like P40, which are so energetic the beta particles produce Bremsstrahlung radiation when hitting metal. But the Outer Belt has very few such energetic particles.

        Chris · April 9, 2017 at 19:35

        One solar flare in that tin can and the astronauts would be toast. Today’s astronauts hide behind a bulk head of their water supply. We all know the landing was filmed in probably the Nevada desert where they used TNT to blast out an identical lunar landing site.

    Stuart · October 11, 2015 at 23:42

    Apollo trajectories were planned to minimize time spent passing through the Van Allen radiation belts and avoid the thicker parts. Be knew when previous probes that th astronaut’s exposure would be roughy equivilent to a chest X-ray (of the time) and they carried dosimeters which confirmed this was, in fact, the case.

    paddy · November 30, 2015 at 01:15

    alpha particles is just a fancy name for helium atoms. so what’s dangerous about something found in party balloons?. also the van Allen rad belts contain very low levels of radiation, about 1 rem, while the area around Chernobyl is at about eighty. Plus the original ‘C’ photo is available, I’ve seen it first hand. all the original moon photos are available from the NASA archive. several feet of lead would certainly not have been needed as one of the best rad shielding is a white or reflective material

      admin · November 30, 2015 at 09:54

      Dear Paddy, just to clarify the hazard from alpha particles is not from what they are (helium nuclei) but rather the energies they carry. Thankfully it is easy to shield against alpha particles, but alpha particle sources are highly dangerous if ingested into the body. This is all academic as it is mainly high energy protons and electrons that are the hazard in the Van Allen Belts. See this link for more the radiation hazard.

      White or reflective materials are used to control the effect of thermal radiation, but cannot be used to screen against ionising radiation.

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