In October 1957, the Soviet Union launched its first satellite- Sputnik- a shiny steel sphere with 23 inches with four antennas. Though the functions it was capable of doing were in doubt, the project had a severe impact throughout the world, especially in the US. Americans realized that if the Soviets could launch a satellite, it would be capable of throwing atom bombs in the US. Thus, the Space Race arose, and the new avenue was to put a man on the moon. Thus, on July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to walk on the moon. However, this arose in countless numbers of controversies regarding the legitimacy of the claim. Various writers and academics believed the whole storey was a hoax, and a large proportion of people thought the whole chapter was real.
Arguments Against Apollo Programme
On February 15, 2001, the FOX television network broadcasted the program named Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the moon? The program provided a considerable amount of evidence to show that NASA created the world by faking moon landings. In We Never Went to the Moon: America’s Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle, Bill Kaysing pointed out that it is irrational to believe that the landing on the moon took place because, according to estimates in the late 1950s, the possibility of successfully landing on the moon was just 0.0017%, that is, approximately 1 in 60,000; and in fact, this estimate was done by the Rocketdyne Company that took into account the efficacy of technology that existed at that point of time (7-8).
Another severe allegation comes from Ralph Rene, the author of NASA Mooned America. He points out that all American missions before Apollo 11 were detected to have multiple numbers of defects. The scholar points out that the earlier projects had so many technical errors that would have forced Americans to drop the idea of moon landings and to fake it instead (as cited in Eisen, 378). Similarly, the allegation that the low quality of moon landings’ images is a deliberate effort to prevent others from examining them. Still, the photos available were sufficient to initiate controversy. For example, the pictures presented the astronaut saluting the American flag, and unfortunately, the flag was waving as if in the wind. The point in consideration here is the fact that there is no air or wind on the moon.
Yet another central allegation came that when a camera was fitted to the astronaut’s chest, how would this be possible to take such excellent photographs that require a lot of body movement. Also, there are issues regarding the shadows seen in the pictures. Though the sun is the only light source on the moon, one could see clouds in many different directions in NASA’s photographs. Moreover, in some pictures, the astronauts seem lighted despite their position in shadows. Above all, there is the point that an average film that is used for taking pictures would melt at the 250o temperatures of the moon.
Another severe allegation, as put forward by Percy and Bennett, who wrote Dark Moon: Apollo and the Whistle-Blowers, points out that in many Apollo photographs, one can see a darkening towards the horizon, which should not take place as the environment is airless. Also, there are issues in the video showing Neil Armstrong descending the ladder and taking his initial steps on the surface. The footage is taken from below by someone who already descended the ladder. Another allegation is that the high-intensity radiation from the sun would have killed the astronauts (31-35).
Moreover, it is highly unwise to think that the computers of the 1950s and 60s were capable of operations more complicated than usual kitchen works. The computers of that time lacked the necessary computing powers required to navigate a satellite towards the moon. Also, one can see the issue of the absence of a blast crater despite the powerful engine of the Lunar Module.
However, as things go ahead, the allegations become much serious. For example, it is alleged that the fire that killed the Apollo 1 astronauts created the American government to silence people like Gus Grissom, who wanted to expose the reality. This allegation is further substantiated by the fact that Neil Armstrong does not give in to interviews. The only reason can be his need to hide something serious.
Also, are the points that despite their better technologies and chances of sending a man to the moon, Russia did not think about it as they knew it was impossible. Also, one has to see that despite the remarkable success, NASA is no more ready to send more people to the moon so that more exploration takes place.
The Moon Landing, Not a Hoax- Arguments
Those who defend the dock have a large number of grounds to counter the allegations. For example, as put forward by Charlie Duke of the Apollo 16 mission, the first point is that “why would we fake it nine times, if we faked it?’ (Atkinson). Yes, that is a question that puzzles all those who question the authority of the program. It is only rational to think that the nation faked the landing once n the effort to surpass Russian might. However, it is somewhat irrational to believe that the country continued the mission and made manufactured nine times. Admittedly, increasing the number of visits and increasing the number of photographs and videos available, the fakers are increasing the chances of getting caught sooner or later (Yes, we did land on the moon).
The second allegation that the NASA believers answered is that minimal numbers of people were involved so that the cheating remained a secret. Here, Dr. James Longuski of Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering reveals that the entire Apollo Project involved more than 400,000 people. Considering the sheer volume of people involved, it is clear that no amount of pressure can keep these real people silent, that too, for this long a time. Here, one has to remember that even now, no one inside the project or a credible relative got ready to dispute the success of the program. Thus the claim that Gus Grissom and Neil Armstrong are silenced through threat goes astray.
Another vital point against the hoax theory is that the rock samples collected from the moon are never disputed for their authenticity. Innumerous studies have proved that these rock samples are very different from those seen on earth, which means the rock samples are genuinely terrestrial. Also, it is the fact that there is no peer-reviewed article that disputes the source of the rock. Even the rock samples very closely resemble the samples collected by the Russians. Had there been any disputable difference, the Russians would have been the first to do so. Lastly, the rock samples age 600,000,000 more years than the oldest known rocks on earth (“The Great Moon Hoax”).
Another point is to answer the uncountable numbers of questions regarding photos, reflections, light sources, and shadows. Here, the answer is that the doubts raised are based on the principles of light on the earth, where there is an atmosphere to reflect and refract light. The ones who doubt the photos should understand that when the Apollo program took place, the Lunar Module was covered in reflective paneling. This would have a significant effect on the lighting and shadows in the photographs. Also, as there is no atmosphere around the moon, reflection and refraction worked would have been different. So, one cannot question the authority of the photographs and videos (Holt).
As put forward by this group of people, another point is that even the Soviet Union could not dispute the achievement. Considering the great degree of animosity between the Soviet Union and the US, it is somewhat irrational to believe that the Soviet would not utilize the chance to open up the American hoax.
Considering the allegation that prior estimates predicted a fragile possibility of success for the mission (1 in 60,000), it is replied that in the 1960s, the Apollo Support Department of the General Electric Company conducted extensive research using computer simulations. Though many simulations were performed using various scenarios, the chances of success were never found less than 90%.
To answer the allegation that the low video quality was intended to stop people from examining the minute details, it is pointed out that in the program, television pictures to the earth were sent directly to land using the Lunar Modules antenna and power supply. So, there was a restriction on the bandwidth that could be successfully transmitted. Thus, the program was limited to using a slow, black, and white video camera. It could scan only ten frames per second at 320 lines per frame. However, according to the television standards, it required 30 frames per second at 525lines per shelf.
Thus, the moon’s pictures were displayed on a black and white monitor and again scanned at the required rate. So, there are large numbers of ghostly effects. However, later missions from Apollo 12 had better dish antennas. This allowed the astronauts to increase bandwidth and thus provided better quality color TV pictures.
To answer the allegation that the photos are al entirely composed and focused as if not taken by the astronauts who did not have a viewfinder or light meter with them, it is claimed that the critics are commenting only about the photos that were released by NASA for public view. It is baseless to believe that NASA would release the pictures of blunders that are of little value. Also, NASA has done cropping of photos. This is evident from the fact that all images do not have crosshairs of the same number and size.
Two things become evident from this finding. Firstly, astronauts have done an excellent job by taking good quality pictures, and secondly, NASA has done a fantastic job by making the photos appropriate for public presentation. It is also pointed out that the astronauts couldn’t get their eyes dark-adjusted to see stars in the sky because of the brighter moon surface. The situation can be compared to trying to s stars in the sky when someone shines a flashlight into the eyes. Thus, the allegation that the astronaut’s must-see starlit sky above is broken.
In total, it becomes evident that the allegations against the moon landing of man are, to some extent, successfully met by those who love to believe in the achievement. So, society will have to wait until more powerful satellites go very near the moon’s surface and take such photographs that clearly show the Apollo mission’s remnants. Until then, both sides are free to hold on to their assumptions.