How Do We Know the Moon Landing Isn’t Fake?

by Fraser Cain on April 14, 2014

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There’s a conspiracy theory that astronauts never landed on the Moon. Is it all a conspiracy? Were the Moon landings faked? What is the evidence that we actually went to the Moon?

Apparently, there’s an organization called “NASA”, who’s done a remarkable job of sticking to their story. They say Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon on July 20, 1969, and set foot on the surface 6 hours later.This same organization claims there were 5 additional missions which successfully landed on the Moon, and an alleged total of 12 people went for a walk there.

Can you imagine? According to them, they spent $24 billion, which is more than $150 billion in inflation adjusted dollars. Their so-called “Apollo” program allegedly employed 400,000 people, supported by more than 20,000 companies and research institutions. I say “alleged”, as some people choose to think the Moon landings were acts of cinematic chicanery.

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin plant the US flag on the Lunar Surface during 1st human moonwalk in history - exactly 44 years ago on July 20, 1969 during Apollo 1l mission. Credit: NASA

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin plant the US flag on the Lunar Surface during 1st human moonwalk in history on July 20, 1969 during Apollo 11 mission. Credit: NASA

More than 10 years ago, Fox popularized the Moon landing conspiracy with a show called “Did We Land On The Moon?”. They revealed several pieces of evidence about the hoax and cover-up citing incorrect shadows on the Moon, lack of background stars, and more. Each of the pieces of evidence they present is wrong and easily explained once you understand the underlying science.… Or at least, that’s what they would have us believe.

Phil Plait successfully brings a NASA supporting voice to this story, explaining how the evidence against moon landings is at best, fantasy and misunderstanding. A more cynical view might be to suggest it’s a deliberate manipulation created to maintain an anti-scientific narrative to foster ignorance, mistrust and uphold a larger political agenda. Do a little search for “Phil Plait moon landing” and you’ll see him present even-handed science over any one of the arguments. In fact, if you buy into that whole “evidence” idea, he appears to successfully tear apart the conspiracy arguments.

Some still, are not convinced, possibly including you. “NASA and Phil, they’re in cahoots. Phil’s a PhD astronomer, which means he studies space, one of the letters in NASA stands for SPACE, I think it’s the A.” Coincidence? I think not. There’s collusion going on there.

The main pillar of any conspiracy requires a few select people keeping a really, really, really big secret. Looking at the numbers, the select group required to successfully fabricate the appearance of hurling metal capsules containing humans at our orbiting neighbor and then retrieving them, additionally keep their story straight for at best 45 years, and never, ever slip up… is about 400,000 humans.

Was the Moon Landing Real

Neil Armstrong on the Lunar Surface

So, there are really two sides to this story, the NASA side which is… They went to the Moon. and everyone is telling the truth. OR, they never went to the Moon, and somehow 400,000 people have never, ever, ever, ever let it slip that they made a bunch of fake moon rocks, or the rockets shot up didn’t really go anywhere. It’s all a big ruse. The thought 400,000 people have managed to keep their mouths shut is definitely the more romantic perspective. Seeing people come together to screw with everyone, and then never blabbing. This truly is a triumph of the human spirit.

When something big does happen, like the Chelyabinsk meteor, we see the evidence everywhere – for example captured on Russian dashboard cameras. For the lunar landing, NASA suggests something similar. There are independent astronomers who tracked the rockets escape from Earth’s gravity, and are either providing unsolicited, nonpartisan unfunded support of the events, or they’re in on the whole thing. The Russians, who were in a race with the Americans to be the first to set foot on the Moon, allegedly tracked the missions in horror and disappointment.

NASA just keeps sticking to this story that they sent people to the moon. In fact, they just keep on producing more of their “evidence”. They recently published high resolution images of the surface of the Moon captured by their own Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Adding a whole new generation of secret keepers, who now know the secret handshake and get participate in the rigging of Oscar nights.

Apollo moon landing sites

Apollo moon landing sites

They imaged all of the alleged Apollo landing sites, and they haven’t missed any detail. You can see the landers, rovers, and even the astronauts’ footsteps. The images show that all the flags planted are still standing, except Apollo 11, which was blown over by the exhaust from the ascent engine. Or alleged exhaust from an alleged ascent engine, if you’re still thinking 400,000 people are continuing to punk the triumphs of mankind. Some might suggest that a big paycheck was sent on over to China and Japan, to have them verify the landing sites by photographing them with their own spacecraft.

According to NASA the astronauts placed retro-reflectors during their missions which reflect light directly back to Earth. Apparently these can be used this to calculate the distance to the Moon with 1 cm accuracy. So, if you want to confirm that humans went to the Moon for yourself, you could just point a high-power laser at the landing sites. Sure, there are many large independent institutions which have verified the existence of these retro-reflectors, but who knows, maybe they’re some how pawns of our silent and vigilant 400,000 co-conspirators.

What do you think? Make up a conspiracy theory for your favorite triumph of human innovation and exploration! Post it in the comments below.

About 

Fraser Cain is the publisher of Universe Today. He's also the co-host of Astronomy Cast with Dr. Pamela Gay.

eSpace April 14, 2014 at 3:09 PM

So how can we be sure that you really ARE Fraser Cain and not some NASA agent perpetuating the myth of Moon landings? Hmm?

Fun article! Oh-oh. Gotta go. I think I hear a helicopter or maybe a NASA spy drone.

bdonohue April 14, 2014 at 3:33 PM

It’s obvious; NASA faked the Moon landings on the Moon.

Fraser Cain April 15, 2014 at 1:12 AM

It’s the only thing that makes sense.

Jason Major April 14, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Moon is hollow. Space is just a giant mirror. Government leaders are reptilians. Wake up sheeples.

Fraser Cain April 15, 2014 at 1:13 AM

WAKE UP!

Zoutsteen April 14, 2014 at 3:42 PM

if you want to hear my perceived hoax:
- its that time is a constant, even when measured that it isn’t. (C still is though.)
- which results in G being less accurate, due to its time component.
- which results in Darkmatter being a bit more hefty than needed, to compensate.

MOND for example indirectly uses this, but still treats time as a constant, while the effect would be the same as MOND if the time component of G changes.

Robert April 14, 2014 at 3:57 PM

To most people who understand much of anything about science this conspiracy is a total crock. I strongly suspect that for a substantial number of the conspiracy theorists, the problem has to do with symptoms of schizophrenia. If you have spent any amount of time dealing with schizophrenics you will be well aware that they can get fixed ideas that have little to do with other peoples versions of reality. Arguing with them is futile. They believe what they are saying and are not going to change their opinions.

dinophile April 15, 2014 at 11:47 AM

I obtained a B.A. from Cornell in physics, and so can be said to be qualified as a scientist–and that’s the reason why, unlike you, I have grave doubts that we ever put men on the moon. Why has NASA been unable to find the tapes? (Or, written over them, destroyed them, whatever its excuse was for this grossly irresponsible act.) Why did Wernher von Braun suddenly make a trip to Antarctica in 1967, when he was in the midst of planning for the great moon landing? (Hmm, this trip could explain why the “moon rocks” have been found to be chemically identical to meteorites from Antarctica.) And, most important, why have we never been back? Instead, we’ve had massive disasters just trying to put a shuttle into Earth orbit. Geez, how come the technology was so much better in 1968 than it is today? We saw, in “Apollo 13,” these engineers computing orbits with slide rules, by golly!

I suggest everyone read “Wagging the Moondoggie” by Dave McGowan, on his site, the Center for an Informed America. Also, here’s a movie which is billed as a “mockumentary,” because there are some obvious red herrings planted in it (such as Nixon being the governor of California)–but I think it may very well be the truth. There is a strong likelihood that the “moon landings” were, in fact, filmed by Stanley Kubrick in his studio. He had just finished “2001: A Space Odyssey.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ayzsj5oIUco

Olaf April 15, 2014 at 12:44 PM

“I obtained a B.A. from Cornell in physics, and so can be said to be qualified as a scientist”

So mr BA. First lets us determine if you really have a degree and not made it up. Show me your physics knowledge.

Maybe start with something simple:
What is the orbital velocity of a 10,000 tonnes space craft at 750 km from the Moon’s surface.

Olaf April 15, 2014 at 12:39 PM

For some it is a way to get attention.
When you have followers that are even dumber than you, then you feel being loved.

These people are fully aware what they say if not true, but their brain-dead followers doesn’t know that. So they get tons of attention.

timnoyb April 15, 2014 at 12:57 AM

Three people can keep a secret if two are dead, so how many are dead for 400,000 to keep a secret?

Michael Colby April 15, 2014 at 8:54 AM

Let’s see…. groundbreaking conspiracy that the MAN is totally hiding from us…. Gravity is a lie! Forfeit your false physics! It’s just a pretense to keep us on the ground!

rnsone April 15, 2014 at 12:34 PM

After one does extensive research it becomes more clear that we didn’t send men to the moon. There is a litany of evidence confirming this. The one that stands out the most to me is those dreaded Van Allen Radiation Belts. If we could transverse them with minimal exposure, then we would’ve had bases on the moon right now. No space program has attempted to pass the belts with a manned mission. Google Dave McGowan, Jay Weidner, and Jarrah White who have all done brilliant work in exposing the lunar landings as a complete fraud.

Olaf April 15, 2014 at 4:29 PM

Yeah right extensive research.

First the radiation belt is like a big donut, you can fly OVER that radiation belt.

Second the astronauts were inside the command module.
They were shielded by a big fat service module strapped to their ass and a Lunar module in font to them. That is a 8.5 meter huge radiation shield in front and back of them.

Third, the astronauts were shielded by the command module heat shield, outer structure, isolation, inner structure, and instrumentation panel.

Fourth On the moon astronauts were protected from radiation by a big fat moon when they were orbiting it or on the moon itself.

Fifth, no fool would stay in the radiation belt. They went through it very very very fast. The escape velocity is 40,000 km/hour! They only spend an hour when they went through the belt.

rnsone April 16, 2014 at 6:32 AM

Olaf, first you need to calm down, stop with the bloviating, you sound like a bully in the schoolyard. Second, get your facts straight, it’s not one VAB there are three, a third has since been discovered since the Apollo missions which means the astronauts were being exposed longer than previously thought. Third, I never said they sat in the VAB’s. If they were as easy to pass through as you state, other space agencies would’ve done it by now. As a technician who has worked in one of the premier astronomy institutions in the world, I know that it’s career suicide to come out against the Apollo missions. But believe you me when a few of my colleagues that were also my friends discussed this outside of work, we would all agree that Apollo was a hoax.

Olaf April 16, 2014 at 3:17 PM

Oh come on please.
The radiation belt is still a big donut.
Actually 3 donuts with different holes.
There is perfect trajectory over the 3 big donuts towards the moon that could have been taken if the belts were that dangerous. It is called a polar orbit, you fly through the donut holes skipping the radiation belt.

And you are ignoring the big fact. The fat ass big 8.5 meters service module that was strapped to the astronauts ass that is one giant radiation shield. And the instrumentation panels and heat shield that surrounded the astronauts.

rnsone April 17, 2014 at 11:00 PM

You’re ignoring one big glaring fact which is WE (or any other nation)HAVENT BEEN THROUGH THE VAB’S SINCE THE 70′S!!
If it was so easy as you claim there would be manned mission after mission passing through the belts!

Olaf April 19, 2014 at 12:43 PM

You are ignoring the fact that the asteroid capture mission is is at the distance of the Moon!

And I repeat, you DO NOT NEED to go through the VAB if you do now want to. The is a big hole that avoids the radiation belt via a polar orbit.

The radiation is called a BELT because it is NOT a sphere.
You can perfectly avoid the VAB by jumping over it.

Duncan Lunan April 15, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Two rather substantial points:

We saw the Saturn V take off, we saw the Apollo capsule come back. Where had it been in the meantime? If it remained in Earth orbit, it would have been the brightest thing up there, and thousands of amateur astronomers would have seen it.

Second: for a conspiracy of that size to be maintained, Wikileaks must full of references to it. Are there any? Repeat: are they any…?

Olaf April 15, 2014 at 4:57 PM

For those that are interested how they did it.
Every detail, nut and bolt is documented.

References:
Moon Lander: How We Developed the Apollo Lunar Module (Smithsonian History of Aviation and Spaceflight)

Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in Spaceflight

Apollo and America’s Moon Landing Program: Lunar Module (LM) Reference

Apollo and America’s Moon Landing Program: Command Module (CSM) Reference

Saturn V Flight Manual: Astronaut’s Guide to the Apollo Moon Rocket

“Digital Apollo” is actually interesting because it gives details in how they landed. How they tracked the space craft (within 10 meters and a speed of 0.5 ù/s accuracy), how it was connected to big huge ground computers that did all the calculations. How engineers at the ground knew more details of the space craft live than the astronauts themselves did. How the ground control fixed faulty systems behind the back of the astronauts remotely…..

Other books explains in detail why the Saturn clamps were needed (to gradually let the Saturn rocket accelerate).

Olaf April 15, 2014 at 5:03 PM

More very interesting Apollo overview are in these series of clips.
“1968 NASA Misson Planning and Development Project Apollo ”

e.g. steering the Command module during entry by just rotating it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW5ozq4Tqew

Orbit rendez vous.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOnKHX1p8s4

Launch Windows For Lunar Landing (1967)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzdjId224V0

jagoe99 April 16, 2014 at 1:48 AM

You’d be right if it weren’t for one thing, Fraser – the hoax DID NOT require that 400,000 people keep their mouths shut. NASA and mission control have so many specialized positions that as long as person A does what person A does, and B does his or her job, then only when you get to the top of project do a select few people – probably fewer than 100 – need to know the real deal. That’s true for ANY fabrication on a large scale. It happens all the time, in business, government, down to mom and pop shops – how do you think investment companies pull off Ponzi schemes? Does the receptionist know? Do ALL of the auditors know? Of course not. This is not a matter of science, it’s a matter of manipulating and controlling others. I beg you to examine the evidence with an unbiased eye and you will at least come away scratching your head. And not just the Fox TV Special – there are dozens if not hundreds of people who have done their homework. Read a few books on the subject. The motive was there. Use your head – if a modern day calculator has more computing power than did the lunar module…..and there are NASA scientists today who, if caught off guard, will say that we don’t have the technology to get through the Van Allen belts. Not now, not then. And tell me one good reason why the Russians never went. Just one. Adolf Hitler once said that if you tell a big enough lie for a long enough time, people will believe it. One day we will know the truth. But I fear that by then, no one will care.

rnsone April 16, 2014 at 6:20 AM

Well said.

Olaf April 17, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Again a lot of rubbish.

If the apollo stayed in earth orbit then it would be spotted by all people around just like the ISS can be spotted easily.

Second claim “Use your head – if a modern day calculator has more computing power than did the lunar module…..”

Again rubbish.
First of all the computer’s jobs was only to do a very simple task. Add 2 number and then multiply to give a new number. It is called vector maths, and it only had to do it 10 times a second or less.

The only job was to measure the angles (3 numbers), measure the acceleration (3 numbers). Multiply the acceleration by time in interval and compensate for an angle when the fuel shifts and changes the centre of gravity.

In the industrial world it is called a PLC.
Nuclear power plants are run with computers that have the power of a watch.

Second the Apollo computer was strapped to a big fat computer through telemetry on Earth. There were 4 disks on the apollo. 3 to transmit and one to receive. They could reconfigure this at will. Telemetry data was being transmitted towards Earth where powerful computers used that data to send new commands to the apollo computer.

The position and speed was determined from Earth. From Earth you could determine the speed to an accuracy of 0.5 m/s and a location within 10 meters.

Attitude was calibrated by pointing at a calibration star prior to firing of the engines. That was your 0.0.0 angle. The only thing the computer had to do was load the required delta V. The computer would then fire the engine until the accelerometer reached the desired delta V, then cut off. Negative feedback loop would then compensate the engine nozzle to keep the direction constant.

After the burn then Earth would measure the speed and position again to see if there was a need of corrective burn.

Note: Every single detail I am giving are found in the very well documented technical Apollo references I listed in another post here.

Olaf April 17, 2014 at 4:34 PM

“and there are NASA scientists today who, if caught off guard, will say that we don’t have the technology to get through the Van Allen belts. Not now, not then”

The radiation belts is a big fat donut. And a donut has holes!

Draw Earth on scale, then draw the moon at the correct distance and scale.
Now draw your number 8 figure and look for yourself that you can have a perfect trajectory towards the moon through the donut holes if that is needed.

rnsone April 17, 2014 at 11:03 PM

If that was true we would’ve been back!

Olaf April 19, 2014 at 1:19 PM

We are going back the astronaut capture mission for NASA.
At the distance of the moon.

And here is the Apollo 11 trajectory including the VAB locations.
Apollo 11′s Translunar Trajectory
http://braeunig.us/apollo/apollo11-TLI.htm

GET: 002:50:13.03
KSC Date: 16-Jul-1969
GMT Date: 16-Jul-1969
KSC Time: 12:22:13 PM
Time Zone: EDT
GMT Time: 16:22:13

Altitude (ft): 1,097,229
Altitude (n mi): 180.581
Earth-Fixed Velocity (ft/sec): 34,195.6
Space-Fixed Velocity (ft/sec): 35,545.6
Geocentric Latitude (deg N): 9.9204
Geodetic Latitude (deg N): 9.983
Longitude (deg E): -164.8373

Flight Path Angle (deg): 7.367
Heading Angle (deg E of N): 60.073
Inclination (deg): 31.383
Descending Node (deg): 121.847
Eccentricity: 0.97696
C3 (ft2/sec2): -14,979,133

Note the word; Inclination (deg): 31.383

Also the moon does not orbit in the planet of the geomagnetic equator where the radiation belts are located. From Earth point of view the moon is above or below the densest party of the VAB.

The far edge of the electron belt was reached in about 90 minutes, the inner zone was traversed in about 30 minutes, and the region of the most energetic particles was skirted in just about 10 minutes.

The Apollo 11 astronauts where safely inside a spacecraft having a multi-layer hull with a total thickness of several centimeters (see below) and a shielding rating of 7 to 8 g/cm2. This hull provided excellent shielding from the particulate radiation of the VARB, as it was constructed from materials ideal at stopping this type of radiation.

The speed that the apollo made closest to the densest part was 9,532 m/s that is 34,200 km/h

The only people that claim that NASA did not went to the moon are the ones that have an IQ below 100 or little kids.

rnsone April 19, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Olaf the only one calling people names is you. Enough with the cut and paste too BTW.

Olaf April 20, 2014 at 6:32 PM

I am just showing the facts.
The real facts that the apollo deniers either are not aware of or flat out hides it because it shoots down their claims.

Just one last note:
Meet the real computer that actually flew the apollo: The IBM System/360. The apollo computer received the data from these computers.

http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/ibm100/us/en/icons/apollo/breakthroughs/

“The IBM System/360 computer absorbed, translated, calculated, evaluated and relayed this information for display. It was one of five System/360 machines used by NASA for the Apollo 11 mission. The same System/360 computer that processed the data for the first lunar landing from 240,000 miles away in Houston, also calculated the liftoff data needed by astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin to rendezvous back with the command module piloted by Michael Collins for the flight back to Earth.”

All these details are publicly available on the internet.
Every nut and bolt of the Apollo is describer, so is the footage

Like this: “Apollo Spacecraft Status Report No 2 1966 NASA ”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SmE3A7qiq8

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