The astronauts from the NASA faked Mars landing movie, Capricorn One, 1978. From left to right: Sam Waterston, James Brolin, and O.J. Simpson.
Some people believe the Apollo moon landings were faked. In fact some polls taken indicate as many as 6% of Americans believe this conspiracy. I know that's hard to believe especially since humans landed on the moon six (6) times and a total of twelve (12) astronauts did actual moon walks. For this conspiracy theory to be true it would mean that all the Apollo astronauts, along with thousands of other NASA personnel, including scientists, technicians, various support personnel, and private contractors have kept quiet for over 40 years. Such an elaborate hoax would actually be harder to accomplish than just going to the moon legitimately--maybe even going to the moon 20 times legitimately. People can't keep secrets like this. Just look at a recent example like the Navy Seal that killed Bin Laden in May 2011. He wrote a book that was published in September 2012, No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden. An elite soldier trained to shut-up, didn't shut-up. In fact, looking at the time-line it would appear he must have started this book when the information still contained highly sensitive, classified material. That's just one example but there are countless cases throughout history. So it's astonishing that people would believe our government could systematically orchestrate something so elaborate starting with Apollo 11 and then repeat the process five more times in complete secrecy. That's a scheme too absurd even for the writers of cheesy sci-fi B-movie stuff. Speaking of movies, a faked landing was depicted in the 1978 science fiction thriller Capricorn One, but the planet Mars was the subject for this NASA faked landing conspiracy. What's ironic is that in the film they only tried to fake the landing one time, and did so unsuccessfully. So even in fiction the conspirators tend to fail miserably.
A series of photos were taken of the moon's surface by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in 2009, showing clear evidence of astronaut footpaths and Apollo Mission debris. This again debunks conspiracy theories claiming the moon landings were faked.
In 2009 the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) showed man-made debris present on the moon (verified Apollo mission space debris) and the actual footpaths from the astronauts of the Apollo missions. I suppose that this space junk and the long paths of footprints were planted there? Was there a machine designed specifically to make footprints? Or are we to believe that the orbiter's photos are just fakes too? I'm certain that's what conspiracy theorists would tell us.
Conspiracy theorists claim to have legitimate arguments and unanswered questions that support claims that the moon landings were faked. The most commonly referenced motive for faking the moon landings all centers around the U.S. vs. Soviet Union, the Cold War, and the race to be the first to the moon. In the Space Race the Soviets beat us to the the first space walk with cosmonaut Alexey Leonov in 1965. In fact, the Soviets were clearly winning the race even before this time with Sputnik in 1957, and Soviet Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space in 1961. Also milestones were achieved with a series unmanned Soviet rockets that began probing the moon starting in 1958. The Soviets later achieved the first soft landing of an unmanned spacecraft on the moon with the Luna 9 in 1966, before the Americans. The United States appeared to be falling behind, and a motive for some grand conspiracy would seem to fit had we needed one, but we didn't. NASA had developed the technology to make a manned moon landing possible ahead of the Soviets. At the time, Russia still struggled with serious safety issues discovered within its Zond program.
But if the U.S. clearly had the capability of conducting manned moon missions ahead of the Soviets then why do some conspiracy theorists perpetuate the myth? The answer lies in the false notion that humans cannot survive passing through the Van Allen radiation belt. The Van Allen radiation belt is a collection of high-energy particle clouds (harmful radiation) astronauts would have to pass through on their way to the moon. What conspiracy theorists do not account for is that the travel time inside the radiation belt is rather short with a spacecraft traveling at approximately 25,000 km/hour. According to NASA, the total dosage for the trip is only 11.4 Rads in 52.8 minutes (the time it takes to pass through the Van Allen radiation belt). 300 Rads in one hour is considered to be lethal. According to radiation dosimeters carried by Apollo astronauts, their total dosage for the entire trip to the moon and return was not more than 2 Rads over 6 days.
So if we can discount the Space Race motive and we know the Van Allen radiation belt would not prevent astronauts from reaching the moon, then what's left to consider? Most of what conspiracy theorists base their evidence on are inconsistencies within the Apollo mission photographs taken on the moon. There are instances where shadows may look incorrect in relation to the position of the sun, reflections in the visors of astronauts' helmets showing indiscernible objects, stars not appearing above the horizon, the flag appearing to wave in a windless environment, or questions concerning the Lunar Rover's tire tracks. To them, all of this points to a studio-filmed mock-up, possibly in a U.S. Air Force warehouse somewhere, and not a real moon landing. It turns out most of these claims revolving around the photographs are easily explained. Below I give a few examples.
Photographs from the moon do not show any stars in the sky
It's difficult at certain camera exposures to pick up faint light sources, such as stars, especially when photographing bright subjects that are close by. Would you rather see the stars or the astronaut? The camera probably could have been adjusted to register the stars in the background but you would lose detail of anything close by. What I don't understand is if this were filmed in a secret studio it would be relatively easy to show stars in a fake backdrop by simply making the stars brighter to compensate for the exposure. So I guess the conspiracy theorists want us to believe that the conspirators forgot to put stars in the sky?
Astronaut helmet visors reflect indiscernible or suspicious objects that are part of a secret U.S. Air Force studio and not from the moon
The visors the astronauts wore on their helmets were dome-shaped and reflective. So various reflections in their visors as seen in photos are distortions of the normal equipment the astronauts used. If you have ever been inside a carnival fun house you may have noticed that there were mirrors of various shapes. These fun house mirrors distort whatever you are looking at almost beyond recognition sometimes. It's the same principle with the astronauts' helmet visors. Sometimes you can discern objects within the reflections. Other times it's distorted and abstract. For a conspiracy theorist or anyone else to make a determination about what they are seeing in a distorted reflection is laughable by almost any standard. This cannot be used alone to prove anything. It's the equivalent of using some random drunk guy as a witness for a trial. It's unreliable.
tr.v. dis·tort·ed, dis·tort·ing, dis·torts
1. To twist out of a proper or natural relation of parts; misshape.
2. To give a false or misleading account of; misrepresent.
3. To cause to work in a twisted or disorderly manner; pervert.
The Lunar Rover's tire tracks are faked and astronaut's footprints are faked -- they must have been made in a muddy surface to give that appearance
1. Again, no stars appearing in the photograph. Conspiracy theorists believe this is evidence the moon landings were filmed in a studio and do not consider photographic exposure or contrast. 2. The Lunar Rover's tire tracks could only have been made on muddy ground to give the appearance of deep impressions on the moon's surface. False.
Portions of the moon's surface are made up of a fine dirt almost like a dust or powder. It is called regolith. So it's impossible not to make tracks on the surface of the moon because of its powdery makeup. Wait...stop! I can't believe this is even an argument for a faked moon landing. I won't continue writing about dirt because I'll just end up sounding like a jackass. Dirt is dirt. You can make prints in it. Go play in the dirt and find out. It doesn't always require water or mud. Ask any 3 year old.
Flag appears to be rippling in a windless environment
Yes the flag does appear to be rippled or waving. The picture was taken as the flag was being setup so the waving effect is from inertia, not wind. The inertia is from the two astronauts having to manually set up the flag. Wind can make something move. Moving something with your hand will make something move as well. The top of the flag contained an additional horizontal rod or wire for reinforcement so that the flag would appear as if it was waving or fully revealed. That's the effect NASA wanted. Watch the video if you have any doubts. This is just one video but there are more that show the same thing.
Luna 9 (zarya.info)
Luna 9 (NASA)
Van Allen radiation (NASA)