Apollo Moon Missions
Apollo 11
The Moon

Were the Apollo Moon Missions faked?

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2011-08-02 16:29:45

The short answer is simple: No, the moon landings were not a

hoax.

The long answer is a little more complex. We'll need to examine

some of the leading claims that Hoax Believers put forward and

explain why those claims are false or misleading.

1. The flags

"blow in the wind" - This is simply not true and stems from a

misunderstanding of how objects that are familiar to us here on

Earth behave in an unfamiliar environment. The moon has only 1/6th

the gravity of Earth and has no atmosphere. Because of these two

properties items do not behave on the moon the same as they do on

Earth, with regular gravity and an atmosphere.

1a. Lets take gravity first: with the light gravity of

the moon, the fabric of the flag is not pulled nearly as hard

towards the lunar surface as it would the surface of the Earth.

This allows the flag to "wave" around on the moon (from even the

slightest bump) much longer than it would the Earth.

1b. Secondly, the lack atmosphere makes a huge impact on

the motion of the fabric. For comparison, think of a swimming pool.

If you take a flag into a swimming pool and submerge it, then wave

it around, it's not going to flap back and forth. It's going to

move while you are moving your hand, but as soon as you stop moving

the flag will hang limp. This is because the friction of the water

stops the flag from waving. The same principle hold true between

the Earth and the moon. The Earth, with its dense atmosphere, is

the pool. Our air stops the flag from waving around with friction.

On the moon, no such friction exists; the flag is free to wave

around for much longer (after even the slightest bump) than it

would on Earth.

1c. As a side note, one of the common claims of Hoax

Believers is that the flag waves in the "breeze" created in the

wake of a passing astronaut, thereby proving there was atmosphere,

thereby proving it was a hoax. This is, again, false. Another

property of life on the moon is that there is no magnetic field to

mitigate the trillions of charged particles thrown by sun every

second. Those particles create strike the lunar surface, and

everything on the lunar surface, giving those items a small

electric charge. On Earth we call this Static Electricity, and it

is famous for making socks stick to clothing fresh out of the

clothes drier or making balloons rubbed on hair stick to the wall.

In the video of the flag mentioned above, the astronaut passes very

near the still flag. As he passes, the static charge on the flag is

drawn toward the astronaut as he passes, causing the flag to "wave

in his wake".

2. There are no

stars in the pictures - This is true, but not for the reasons

put forth by Hoax Believers. To understand this, you need to know a

little about how cameras work. When the shutter release on a camera

is pressed, the shutter opens for a fraction of a second, allowing

the light-sensitive material behind the shutter to be exposed. The

amount of light that is allowed through is controlled both by how

wide the shutter opens (aperture) and for how long it's open

(shutter speed). The brighter the object being photographed the

less light you want to let through to the film. Too much exposure

will create an unrecognizable photograph; you will simply see a

white blob. This is critical to understand because it is at the

heart of the "missing" stars.

The surface of the moon, in direct sunlight (as it was during

the Apollo missions), is very bright. So bright, in fact, that it

can create shadows on the Earth in the middle of the night from

238,000 miles away. That fact alone means any camera used on the

moon's surface must have the settings as such to no overexpose the

film. But the astronauts weren't just taking pictures of the moon;

they also took pictures of each other. The cameras used by the crew

were set up to take pictures of the lunar surface, other astronauts

in white spacesuits, in a bright white environment, in the middle

of the lunar morning, in direct sunlight. The fact that no stars

showed up in the images is to be expected. Had there been stars

there would have been more evidence of a hoax.

You can test this theory yourself. Tonight, grab your camera and

stand inside your house near the window with all the lights on (you

can even open the window to make sure there is no obstruction

between yourself and the stars). Now position something in front of

the window yet still inside, in direct lamp light. Using your

camera (it doesn't matter if you use the auto settings or change

the settings yourself) take a bunch of pictures of the object in

front of you (remember that object is your focus, you are trying to

get pictures of your vase, not the sky!). Now look at the images

and count the number of stars in your pictures. The sky behind the

well lit object in your house is black without stars, and that was

just using lamplight not direct sunlight.

Incidentally, there are pictures taken of stars by a crew on the

moon. Apollo 16 brought a special UV camera to the lunar surface

for the specific purpose of doing some astronomy. There are

hundreds of pictures of stars, just not in the pictures of the

bright lunar surface.

3. The crew would

have been killed by radiation - This is untrue and stems,

again, from a misunderstanding. The Apollo crew did indeed take a

dose of radiation; it just wasn't enough to kill them in the short

period of time they spent inside the radiation belt. Here are the

facts:

3a. The trajectory of the spacecraft was not a straight

line between the earth and the moon. It was arced. They did this in

order to avoid the densest area of radiation in the van Allen

belts.

3b. At the speed the capsule was travelling, the crew

spent far less time inside the belts than the amount of time needed

to give them a lethal dose.

3c. There are different types of radiation, wave and

particle. Wave radiation requires the most shielding, sometimes

very thick shielding depending on the wavelength (for example, UV

radiation is wave radiation, but can be blocked by a thin sheet of

plastic like sunglasses, whereas gamma radiation requires several

inches of lead). Particle radiation, in comparison, is much easier

to shield against. Alpha particles can't even penetrate the top

layer of dead skin cells on the human body. Proton and Beta

particles can both be shielded against using a centimeter or so

High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). Plastic.

3d. The Van Allen belts consist primarily of Proton

Particle radiation, which as noted in point 3c above, can be

effectively shielded against using HDPE plastic.

3e. The Command Module was built using materials that

could shield particle radiation

3f. Summary: The mission was planned to go through the

weakest, least dense section of radiation, in the shortest amount

of time, with shielding built into the module. NASA spent a lot of

time and money mitigating the problems presented by the radiation

belts. The money was well spent.

4. The crew was

sometimes lit from the front even when the sun was behind them

proving it was shot in a

studio - The shadow-side of objects often were lit, but not for

the reasons put forth by Hoax Believers. As discussed in bullet

point 1, the moon, and the suit the astronauts wore, was very

bright. In professional photography shoots, the photographer's

assistant uses a reflective fabric screen to cast light on the

model's face when s/he is not directly lit. On the moon, this same

effect is provided, inadvertently, by both the moon's surface and

in some cases by the astronaut taking the picture. The sun's light,

coming from behind the astronaut or item being photographed,

reflects off of the surface between the photographer and the

object, casting light on the shadowed side of the item of

focus.

5. All the pictures were perfectly framed, proving the shots

were not from cameras mounted to the chest of the spacesuit -

This is only partially true; many pictures were perfectly framed.

However, anybody claiming

"mso-bidi-font-style: normal">all the pictures were perfect has

not looked through the Apollo photo catalog. There are also

pictures one would expect from chest-mounted cameras, such as

pictures taken at odd angles, or pictures of the crew members boot,

or pictures that are simply unrecognizable. Secondly, the pictures

that are perfect weren't created by accident. The crew spent many

hours training to use a chest-mounted camera. They learned how to

position their bodies in order to perfectly capture what they

trying to capture. The training was successful.

6.

"mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Astronauts' replies to questions

asked over the radio were immediate. - This is not true and one

of the easiest claims to debunk; all anybody needs to do is listen

to the audio themselves on the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal. Due to

the distance of the moon radio waves take ~1.5 seconds to reach the

lunar crew, and then another ~1.5 seconds to return. The actual

time is slightly less than 3 seconds. The audio of these missions

were recorded back on Earth in Houston, which means the recordings

are made from the Mission Controllers point of view. Here is an

example from the Apollo 11 transcript which shows the delay

affecting Buzz Aldrin:

102:26:55 Aldrin: And, Houston, we got a 500 alarm (code)

early in the program. Went to Descent 1, proceeded on it, and we're

back at Auto again. Over.

102:27:06 Duke: Roger. We saw that, Buzz. Thank you much.

Out.

102:27:09 Aldrin: Rog. I say again...(Listens) Okay. That

wasn't an alarm; that was a code. Okay.

Charlie Duke (CapCom for the first Lunar landing) obviously

started speaking before Buzz Aldrin started to repeat himself, but

because of the time delay Buzz didn't hear him until the signal

reached the moon wherein Buzz heard the answer, paused, and

affirmed he had heard. The actual mission transcripts and audio are

full of this type of

overspeak and delay. Don't listen to cherry-picked audio by Hoax

Believers; don't even take my word for it. Go the Apollo Lunar

Surface Journal and listen/read for yourself.

8. Shadows diverge on

the moon proving there were two light sources - This is not

true, well the two light sources part anyway. There are many

examples of this around the web and it was also shown to be a

natural phenomenon by the Mythbusters. Essentially when the ground

is uneven and objects are casting shadows are on different sections

of the uneven ground the shadows do not lie in parallel lines.

Again, you can test this yourself. Find a parking lot or a park (in

daylight where the sun is the only light source) with a sloped

ground that changes between lamp posts. Note the shadows on the

ground. They will not be parallel.

9.

"mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">The flag shines bright on both sides

as if in a spotlight - Nylon is a thin material. When the sun

is behind the flag in photographs the light is able to go through

the nylon and make the flag visible. This has the appearance of a

glowing flag, or a flag that is lit from both sides when in fact it

is either lit from the front or the sunlight is passing through the

nylon material backlighting the flag.

10. In the 60's and 70's

we didn't have the technology to go to the moon - First we must

remember that NASA was on the cutting edge of technology in the

1950s and 1960s. They had an enormous budget and attracted the top

scientists in the country. At the height of the Apollo project

there were half a million scientists and engineers working on

different aspects of the missions.

In a larger sense, it's easy to lose touch with technology. That

is, it's easy to look back to the past and wonder how we ever got

along without the miracles we enjoy today. We sit at our gigahertz

computers and forget that there was a time when an eight megahertz

computer was pretty cool.

Just because we rely today on one particular technology or

another in order to do some hard thing, doesn't mean it was

impossible to do that thing before our modern technology was

invented. For example, nearly all modern clocks use a real-time

clock integrated circuit. It does all the timekeeping. In the 1970s

we had analog clocks that used synchronous electric motors to

precisely drive mechanical gears. Would it be correct to say that

accurate timekeeping was impossible before that integrated chip? Of

course not. Similarly, old mechanical action clocks used pendulums

and springs to keep surprisingly accurate time.

What's the lesson? Just because we choose to use some particular

technology today to solve a problem doesn't mean that problem was

unsolvable before we had today's technology. Apollo engineers

didn't have high-speed portable computers to make self-contained

guidance systems, so they just built guidance systems differently.

The computer was only one part of the guidance system. When John

Glenn orbited the earth in his Mercury capsule, there were

no computers with him.

Yet his capsule was fully automated.

The moral of the story is that people can be very ingenious

working with limited tools.

11. NASA has said we

can't go to the moon today because the technology does not

exist - This is partially true, but not for the reasons Hoax

Believers claim. At this point it's been over 40 years since the

first moon landing and nearly 40 years since the last Apollo

mission flew. The scientists and engineers that designed and built

the Apollo spacecraft have long since retired or died and the plans

and documentation that were created to build the Apollo have been

destroyed or lost (keep in mind that the spacecraft were built by

aircraft companies; once the missions were over there was no need

to keep the blueprints, for them it was back to business as usual).

The specialized tools and the materials infrastructure that was

built specifically for Apollo were all dismantled at the end of the

program. As such, were NASA asked to build another Apollo capsule

tomorrow they could not do it. This does not mean that NASA

engineers could not build a new spacecraft. They can, and likely

will, but things will be different.

During the Apollo days the entire nation was behind the program.

NASA had a huge budget and some of the best and brightest

scientists and engineers. This is not true today. NASA's budget is

less than 1% of the Department of Defense budget and, with space

travel no longer being the height of technology, the best and

brightest often go elsewhere. All this will make it difficult to

return to the moon, but it in no way proves we didn't go the first

6 times.

12.

"mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">A in a photograph taken on the moon

has the letter "C" on it just like prop masters do in Hollywood

-In 2001 Steve Troy of Lunaranomalies.com undertook a lengthy

investigation. After obtaining transparencies from different

sources connected with NASA, he failed to see the mark either on

the masters used prior to 1997 or on the new masters. Yet the

photos on official NASA web sites clearly show it. Following up

with the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) in Houston, they

discovered that one of the prints in their collection was the

source of the mark. At some point that print had been scanned and

has since been widely distributed on the Internet. Troy and LPI

officials studied the print under a microscope and discovered that

it was indeed far more likely to be a hair or other fiber on the

photographic paper onto which AS16-107-17446 had been printed. A

secondary mark that appears to be a shadow is clearly visible under

the top portion of the mark.

14. The thrust from the

LM descent engine would have dug a crater under the LM proving the

landing was faked - This is not true, and quite simple. The LM

Descent engine had a throttle control similar to your car. You

wouldn't pull your car into your garage with the gas pedal pressed

to the floor and the Apollo astronauts didn't land with their

engine on full throttle. In order to keep the LM on a slow descent

the amount of thrust coming from the engine had to be nearly equal

to the weight of the spacecraft being tugged on by the moon's

gravity. At the time of the actual touchdown, the LM "weighed"

~2600 pounds. In order the keep from crashing the LM engine only

had to produce ~2600 lbs of thrust. Hardly enough to cause a crater

(keep in mind that, on Earth, helicopters and Harrier jets produce

tens of thousands of pounds of thrust, enough to lift multiple tons

of machinery off the ground. None of them seem to create craters

even in the loosely packed sand of the desert).

15. Finally, some things to keep in mind: the U.S.S.R.

was our enemy during the Apollo era. We were embroiled in the Cold

War, we were each heavily invested in the Space Race to the tune of

billions of dollars, and we each had the world watching us intently

to see who would "win". The U.S.S.R. watched our moon-shot with

intense interest. For them, failure on our part would prove they

were the best/strongest/most advanced nation. They were desperate

for our failure. Had the US faked going to the moon it would have

been incredibly easy to spot by a nation whose scientists and

engineers were every bit as good as their US equivalents. They

tracked the command module to and from the Earth, they listened to

the broadcasts of the crew walking on the surface, they have

examined the samples returned by those astronauts. At every step,

the U.S.S.R., the country most invested in the US's failure, has

congratulated us for a job well done. To think we could have

somehow bought their silence with so much at stake is, quite

simply, laughable.

There are many, many more theories put forward than those

presented here. Each of them has an answer, each of them can be,

and is, proven to be false. When trying to determine whether or not

something is true, it is important to look at who is saying it.

People that are trying to prove NASA did go to the moon are often

authors trying to sell books. It is important for them to entice

you, to make you want more information; because the more you want

to know the more books they sell. They don't want to just one book,

though, they want to keep writing. They need you to get sucked in

so they can continue to dish out their "discoveries" over the

years, selling more and more books. They have no interest in the

truth.

NASA doesn't try to convince you they went to the moon. They're

not interested in trying to prove something because they don't have

to. The people making the extraordinary claim are burdened with

proving it. NASA has provided all the documentation, all the

pictures, all the plans, everything you could want, to research

this yourself. The people writing books don't want you to do the

research; they want you to believe

"mso-bidi-font-style: normal">they had already done it. It's

fine to be skeptical of NASA. Question everything they tell you.

Just make sure you question the Hoax proponents as thoroughly.


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