Lunar Landing

Still Mythbusting

Article written: 28 Aug , 2008
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
by

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It seems fitting that today’s NASA “Image of the Day” is this wonderful image of the lunar lander from the Apollo 11 mission, the Eagle, on its way to land on the moon. Really, truthfully, can anyone really believe that a spectacular image like this can be fake? After last night’s “Mythbusters” show about the Apollo Moon Landing Hoax Myth, I’m cautiously hopeful that at least some people who believe(d) in this myth had their eyes opened and minds changed. Alas, there will always be folks out there who for some reason are set on not believing scientists, engineers or the government and won’t subscribe to any type of proof, be it scientific or television-ific. Perhaps the upcoming Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission will be able to take hi-resolution images of one of the Apollo sites.

But in the meantime, enjoy this great image, taken by the Columbia Command and Service Module Pilot for Apollo 11, Michael Collins. Inside the Eagle were Commander Neil A. Armstrong and Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin. The long rod-like protrusions under the landing pods are lunar surface sensing probes. Upon contact with the lunar surface, the probes sent a signal to the crew to shut down the descent engine. And then Armstrong said, “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”

And that’s the truth.

For more great NASA images, visit the Image of the Day site


36 Responses

  1. mark baard says

    it looks too good to be true!

  2. Marco Nulla says

    So this is news? You post a picture of something that happened 40 years ago, to prove your point? Your proof is the LRO image that has yet to be made?
    Looks like the writer of this article is equally obsessed as the hoax-believers.
    Please return to posting genuine news…

  3. Marco Nulla says

    “Really, truthfully, can anyone really believe that a spectacular image like this can be fake?”

    “only weirdos cant believe that we haven’t been back to the moon yet!”

    great arguments lads! cheers! …

  4. mandydax says

    @Adam: Which is more likely: NASA “commit[ed] itself to achieving the goal, before [the end of the 1960’s], of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth,” and did accomplish just that goal? -or- The US government spent quite a few millions of dollars creating a staged event to appear to accomplish that goal, and has been able to keep such a project secret from the American people and the Soviets/Russians for almost four decades and counting, when it can’t even keep secret illegal wire-tapping and Presidential trysts with interns? False dichotomies are fun; would you like to try again?

    @Jim: Michael Collins – Command Module Pilot. He remained in orbit while Buzz and Neil went to the surface.

  5. Chris says

    There will always be weirdo’s who believe the moon landing was a fake.
    I believe it was one of the most awe inspiring moments and can’t believe we haven’t been back yet !

  6. Tom says

    Just a few more months until the LRO is launched and can get photos of the stuff up there.
    That will give those hoaxers an “Aldrin punch” in the face!

  7. greg c says

    Chris, why can’t you believe we have never been back to the moon? do you think that NASA has secretly been sending humans to the moon since? it’s not a conspiracy to fool the public. it’s a known fact we haven’t been the moon since the first time. why is it so hard to believe?! only weirdos cant believe that we haven’t been back to the moon yet!

  8. Chris says

    Aldrin’s punch in the face was brilliant, I just finished reading Moondust the author was interviewing Buzz the day after this occured.

    Greg c, sorry to be passionate about the moon I didn’t mean to come across as if there was a conspiracy. I just used the wrong choice of words.
    I know there are numerous reasons why we haven’t been back yet.
    But I think the latest push might have something to do with Helium3.

  9. greg c says

    just having a laugh, Chris. that’s all.

  10. Chris says

    no probs

  11. Adam says

    The moon landing conspiracy is the best counter-argument to occam’s razor.

    Which is more likely:

    The US Government spent billions of dollars to create a super powerful spaceship that could fly to the moon with a manned crew, passing through deadly cosmic rays, land there, then come back safely, all using a computer less powerful than the average handheld calculator today.

    -or-

    The US Government spent a few million dollars (maybe less) to stage an event to appear to win a technology war.

    next time you suggest occam’s razor to someone, think about this.

  12. Jim says

    I believe that Neil and Buzz did land on the moon. But I don’t believe that is a real picture of the lander. If so, who took the picture?

  13. Gerry says

    Oh my gosh,

    Reading the insipid posts by Adam and Jim leave me wanting to take Occam’s razor to my throat!

  14. Adam says

    exactly mandy. people that use occam’s razor are always commitign false dichotomies. no two things are equal, so the premise of the idea is flawed, but people try to use it anyway.

  15. Cowboy John says

    Let me see… The era of the SPACE RACE. The Soviet Union and the USA. The Soviet Union beat us to orbit and by no means did we want that to happen but it did and we were able to verify that through observation and radar. The race then took a turn towards the moon and we had the same competitor’s, The Soviet Union and the USA. According to history, we beat the Soviet Union there which was something, by no means, did they want that to happen and they also submitted that we did. Now this seems simple to me but if you are in any race, especially with an arch foe, I don’t think that you are going to verify something that is not true and admit to being the loser. Remember that these were two nations vying for the top super power position with a lot to lose. Additionally, they were not the only two spectators. There were quite a few nations that were able to look up at the time.

  16. Yael Dragwyla says

    Those who create, cherish, collect,, embellish, and pass on conspiracy theories may be in states of denial. That is, they cling to conspiracy theories rather than learn how to analyze data under legitimate rules of evidence and decide objectively what really went on. But not because the former course is easier or less expensive than the latter in a practical sense. Rather, belief in such theories shield them from having to accept that the world and its workings are far more complex than they can handle, and that they have no real control over any of it. They become frankly addicted to conspiracy-theory collecting because doing so generates endorphin production via the adrenaline rushes they get contemplating their theories and working themselves into a state of self-righteous anger over the targets of those theories. Denial keeps them from ever re-examining their assumptions and the evidence to see whether they just might be wrong, because otherwise they might have to give up conspiratology, and what a cold, uncaring, unfeeling, and uncontrollable place they’d find the world then. Especially uncontrollable. That which cannot be controlled is therefore a threat, even when it isn’t, and it’s simple terror that makes them cling to conspiratology pastimes. There are ways to shut down that sort of denial, but they involve a sort of logic that has little to do with the objective and the rational. An artist, for example, could find a way, but many engineers and scientists could not. I suggest having a talk with several writers, musicians, painters, and other types of artists about this, to see what they suggest. They’d probably love to get in on the project of busting the conspiracy theories, including and especially in the minds of the conspiratologists. Maybe Ozzy Osbourne — he’d probably love it.

  17. ed says

    Im no conspiracy theorist at all. Neither I know much about pictures besides the obvious. However, that pic seems too fancy and my inspire doubts? no?

  18. alandee says

    To Quote Professor Hubert Farnsworth .. “Say wha?”

    I’ve never been up the top of Mt Everest either, but hey, I’ve seen the photo’s, heard the stories, and read the books as evidence they climbed it .. I’ve never dived the Titanic, but blow me down, if I didn’t take the photographic images and recovered relics as evidence that they found it .. Gee, now I feel so foolish for having believed such solid evidence, after all, there is more radiation atop Mt Everest, there isn’t much oxygen and it’s difficult, so no one could have possibly made it, and the Titanic pictures, all murky .. they could have just ‘after effects’ manipulated it and found some old crockery, and whats all this hoohar I hear about people actually being able to be operated on and stitched up, hollywood fantasy i tell ya, then theres this story i hear about ……
    Again Farnsworth ” Sweet Zombie Jesus.”

  19. Philip from Australia says

    Would someone who believes the moon hoax watch Mythbusters?

    I know we went there. But I do not think the technology was ready. NASA pushed it just a tad too far, but got lucky. I know, no guts no glory. But it has not been cost effective to go back.

    I hope that is changing. Helium 3 may do it.

    An ad in 1999 for some cheese company gave a good reason (saw it while in the USA for a visit). Went along the lines of:

    For millions of years mankind thought the moon was made of cheese. Then we went there, and found that it wasn’t. We never went back.

    I liked it. 🙂

    Philip

  20. Philip from Australia says

    Some other things:

    1) Thousands of engineers were involved. If you tell engineers to build something they either build it, or say that it cannot be done. ALL of these people were paid off?

    2) Russia had the technology to track something going to the moon. So the NASA would have had to send SOMEthing. Otherwise the Russians would have screamed blue murder. THEY had some bloody good reasons NOT to play along.

    So NASA had to send something (they sure launched something). Why not put people in it? Automation was nothing like what we have today. So people would be the best to have along.

    Also, 2 people alone in the Oval Office couldn’t keep a sexual encounter secret. How do thousands keep this secret for 40 years?

  21. Feenixx says

    Hmmmm…
    I DO believe they landed on the moon. Always have done so.

    I work in movie post-production and special effects, and I know a fair bit about photography and computer graphics. I’ve always found the ignorant arguments presented by the hoax theorists somewhat upsetting and insulting.

    This picture, though…. it looks like an excellent modern computer graphic to me… lovely motion blur, while at the same time maintaining crisp detail. Compare it to the mock-up movie NASA made of the Phoenix landing (available at the iTunes store, for free). The quality is very similar.

    Just don’t show it to the hoax theorists – it’ll be more “proof” for them. Actually, if all the mission photos were like this, I myself might have become a hoax theorist…
    😉

  22. Pauly says

    From a guy who grew up in the Information Age and has a trained eye for computer generated imagery I would have to say that is definitely done in 3D Studio Max in about 1999 what ever version was out then.

    Just has that feel to it.

  23. Pauly says

    Sorry got chopped off but the only thing that some of us might not be taking into account is the fact that this photo was probably taken in a place that has no atmosphere thus making it sparkle some more?

  24. DaveM says

    Lovely picture – I have no doubt it’s real.

    (Some of the ‘authoritive’ analysis here almost beggars belief – paranoia is rife in the 21 Century!)

  25. Leon says

    You have to really look at the facts. It’s a bit hard to beleive we did this on our own. Let alone, at all. in the 1940’s we were still using prop planes. The end of WWII we just started using jets. 20 years later, were in space?? It’s a bit hard to believe. If anything, it’s alien tech. I still don’t beleive we went up there… the moon that is.

  26. Dennis Baer says

    One of my lead technicians at work is a die-hard believer that the moon missions were faked, and Yael Dragwyla’s analysis fits him to a “T”. When we asked him to explain how the “bounce-the-laser-off-the-apollo-reflector” evidence was faked, he harrumph that we were all idiots, it was obvious “to anyone with half a brain” that someone had just faked the laser results and the scientist that the Mythbusters were talking to was in on the conspiracy. I challenged him to explain the video of the “hammer-and-falcon-feather-drop”, and he claimed that it was well known that a vacuum chamber had been built into a giant transport aircraft and phony moon set had been built into the vacuum chamber. Then an actor in a vacuum-proof suit had stood on the set in front of a camera while the transport flew parabolic curves and released the hammer and falcon feather so they could be photographed falling in a vacuum and at 1/6 G , hitting the phoney lunar soil together.
    Just because it’s fun to play with his head, I’m going to get him to estimate the weight of his hypothetical vacuum chamber and see if there was a transport aircraft available at the time that could lift such a huge weight and fly parabolic curves without suffering structural damage.
    He spends half his days goofing off anyway, maybe this will at least sharpen up his math skills while he’s hiding out in the back of the shop office.

  27. Michael says

    Aren’t the Japanese taking hi-rez pictures of the moon now? Why are there no pictures of landing sites from them? That would be the proof needed.
    And pardon my stupid, but how did the astronauts avoid the solar radiation between here and there?
    I look for the FACTS of something before making a judgement. And all the facts are not in yet, IMHO.

  28. Chris says

    @michael
    when they do take photos of the landing sites people will just call them fakes too because they have nothing better to do with their lives.
    ……………………………..

    It does not matter what evidence comes out about the moon landings there will still be the crazy people who think they were not real.

  29. > when they do take photos of the landing sites people will just call them fakes too because they have nothing better to do with their lives.

    Or because they have a strong belief that orients them towards one conclusion over another. Shock shock, they act like people because that’s what they are.

    By strict science, I’m willing to bet that few commenting here about ‘crazies’ and ‘weirdos’ – all scientific and open-minded terms, of course – has a lick of hard evidence that meets the criteria of anything that science calls a fact. Third party photos and documents about a state that you can’t reproduce, and a slew of ad-hominem attacks don’t make up much of a ‘factual’ argument.

    Personally, I think that people went to the moon and I have no good explanation of why that stopped except for lack of political will. But I don’t have proof of that, so I don’t call people who think otherwise ‘crazy’ or otherwise insult them.

  30. dipankar says

    If this is true & the information that was given by Neil Armstrong is true ( the atmosphere dencity is very low in moon) then how can flag floating in the picture ,captured by Egale?

  31. The Occupant says

    Because dipankar, it was no ordinary flag pole. It had a rod going through the top horizontal to give the appearance of the flag being raised. It wasn’t meant to fool anyone, they just thought the flag would look better if it was visible, rather then crumpled and limp, like if they used an ordinary flag pole on the airless moon.

    Now that picture feenix, is rather nice. But it would be impossible for it to be CGI, for I have a colour reproduction of that very image, in a book from 1970. As well as a picture taken very shortly before or after, in colour, from the December 1969 National Geographic. This magazine also disproves the claim that NASA only released colour photo’s in the photoshop, CGI era of today. Questions should be asked, questions should always be asked. But much of the conspiracy theorists who think the moon landing was fake that I have encountered (mostly on youtube) are viciously dogmatic, not interested in questions at all, and prone to anger when offered scientific rebuttal to their claims. Are they all like that? I hope not, but many I have encountered are.
    Case closed. Peace Out.

  32. Frank Glover says

    “I have no good explanation of why that stopped except for lack of political will.”

    Todd, that’s precisely the reason. Nothng any more conspiratorial than that. Congress isn’t likely to fund any high-profile program that has little public support beyond those employed by it.

    I suspect many who don’t believe it, weren’t around (and space enthusiasts) in the 60’s. I was. An unpopular war in southeast Asia and other major social issues of the day, did not help We didn’t keep going to the Moon (and beyond…I still remember that the first Mars missions were ‘supposed’ to happen in the mid 1980’s.) because we had ‘beaten’ the Soviets and the support wasn’t there anymore.

    Pure and simple.
    .

  33. Frank Glover says

    “Aren’t the Japanese taking hi-rez pictures of the moon now? Why are there no pictures of landing sites from them? That would be the proof needed.”

    I imagine the Japanese don’y feel any need to seek out specific locations (and their orbiter still might not be able to see the surface with the necessary resolution) to satisfy conspiracy theorists.

    “And pardon my stupid, but how did the astronauts avoid the solar radiation between here and there?”

    Because, unless a solar flare storm is actually occuring, there is *no* signifigant risk. Espically for missions lasting only a week or so, beyond the magnetosphere.

    Apollo (and most anything else) also cuts quicly across the VanAllen belts. (solid-state electronics don’t like ionizing radiation very much, either)

    Conspiracy theorists would have you believe it’s as bad as the interior of a reactor, on the way to the Moon..,

  34. Joe Harwell says

    FTW: I was there at MSFC when we test fired the H1 rocket engines and Saturn I boosters to qualify them for space flight. Ditto for the F1 engines and Saturn V boosters and J2 engines and S2 second stages that took the astronauts to the Moon.

    I was there at PAFB, Fla. in Sept or Oct 1964 when they launched one of the Saturn I rockets into space that I had helped test fire at MSFC only a few weeks earlier.

    I was there at MSC (later JC) Houston in 1969-1970 while they were still going to the moon & back. I was privileged to witness portions of several missions from the viewing room over the Mission Control Room.

    I was there at Homestead AFB, Fla. in Dec 1974 (IIRC)
    When they launched Apollo 17 at night. What an incredible Sight!

    Was Apollo the REAL deal? Yep.

  35. Ack says

    I think the question here is not “Why don’t you believe we actually landed on the moon, with all the evidence we are presenting?”

    The question is “What evidence will it take to convince you that there WAS an actual moon landing?” Because if the non-believer cannot or will not answer that question in a reasonable fashion, it proves to them and everyone around them that they are not being reasonable. And if they are actually able to posit evidence that would convince them, chances are someone has it.

    In short, put the burden of disproof on them.

  36. Coondog says

    We’ve been to the moon!
    I saw numberous missions leave Cape Kennedy (now Cape Canaveral ).
    From Apollo 17 as a child to the Columbia disaster as a college student and countless other Shuttle missions to the ISS and countless other communication and military rockets.
    Give these space age explorers they’re due respect. Some never returned. They sacrificed they’re lives for the advancement of the human species!
    Until you experience a launch upclose yourself, you have no idea of the energy involved in performing this monumental feat!
    I was 55 miles from Apollo 17 when it lifted off. I was 5.5 miles away from countless Shuttle launches. The ground shakes, the engines rumble as they exhale a violent controlled explosion and the sky lights up like it’s daytime and the miniscule humans inside the spacecraft are slingshot up to the heavens in a ritual that cannot be faked.
    I can see the assist rockets jettisoning and falling to the Atlantic and the tiny Shuttle begins to lean in a direction that will take it around the planet in minutes.
    THIS STUFF CAN’T BE FAKED!
    Come see it for yourself sometime!
    Why would anyone subscribing to this website be inclined to believe anything other than the scientific advancements posted here!
    You bunch of MORONS! Go spend some time reading about the advancements attributed to the space program.
    Computer discs, computer chips, transistors, microwave ovens, satellite TV, magic markers, cordless phones, cell phones, and countless other things that we use every day would not have been invented so early without the science learned from space and Lunar exploration.
    The same folks probably believe that the World is flat and Columbus,Drake and Megellan never made it to the “new” land!
    Excuse the expression : Lindberg is rolling in his grave!

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