Friday, August 26, 2005

Moon Landing Just A Hoax??? No Way!


On February 15th 2005, Fox television aired a program called Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon? Well did we? Here’s what I think


Guests on the show argued that NASA technology in the 1960's wasn't up to the task of a real Moon landing. Instead, anxious to win the Space Race any way it could, NASA acted out the Apollo program in movie studios. Neil Armstrong's historic first steps on another world, the rollicking Moon Buggy rides, even Al Shepard's arcing golf shot over Fra Mauro-- According to these ‘experts’ it was all fake!

According to the show NASA was a blundering movie producer thirty years ago. For example, Conspiracy Theory pundits pointed out a seeming discrepancy in Apollo imagery: Pictures of astronauts transmitted from the Moon don't include stars in the dark lunar sky -- an obvious production error! What happened? Did NASA film-makers forget to turn on the constellations?

Most photographers already know the answer: It's difficult to capture something very bright and something else very dim on the same piece of film -- typical emulsions don't have enough "dynamic range." Astronauts striding across the bright lunar soil in their sunlit spacesuits were literally dazzling. Setting a camera with the proper exposure for a glaring spacesuit would naturally render background stars too faint to see.

Here's another one: Pictures of Apollo astronauts erecting a US flag on the Moon show the flag bending and rippling. How can that be? After all, there's no breeze on the Moon....

Not every waving flag needs a breeze -- at least not in space. When astronauts were planting the flagpole they rotated it back and forth to better penetrate the lunar soil (anyone who's set a blunt tent-post will know how this works). So of course the flag waved! Unfurling a piece of rolled-up cloth with stored angular momentum will naturally result in waves and ripples -- no breeze required!

The Fox documentary went on with plenty more specious points. You can find detailed rebuttals to each of them at BadAstronomy.com and the Moon Hoax web page.

The best rebuttal to allegations of a "Moon Hoax," however, is common sense. Evidence that the Apollo program really happened is compelling: A dozen astronauts (laden with cameras) walked on the Moon between 1969 and 1972. Nine of them are still alive and can testify to their experience. They didn't return from the Moon empty-handed, either. Just as Columbus carried a few hundred natives back to Spain as evidence of his trip to the New World, Apollo astronauts brought 841 pounds of Moon rock home to Earth.

"Moon rocks are absolutely unique," says Dr. David McKay, Chief Scientist for Planetary Science and Exploration at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC). McKay is a member of the group that oversees the facility at JSC where most of the Moon rocks are stored. "They differ from Earth rocks in many respects," he added.

Fortunately not all of the evidence needs a degree in chemistry or geology to appreciate. An average person holding a Moon rock in his or her hand can plainly see that the specimen came from another world.

"Apollo moon rocks are peppered with tiny craters from meteoroid impacts," explains McKay. This could only happen to rocks from a planet with little or no atmosphere... like the Moon.

"There are plenty of museums, including the Smithsonian and others, where members of the public can touch and examine rocks from the Moon," says McKay. "You can see the little meteoroid craters for yourself."

Even Dr. Robert Park, Director of the Washington office of the American Physical Society and a noted critic of NASA's human space flight program, agrees with the space agency on this issue. "The body of physical evidence that humans did walk on the Moon is simply overwhelming."

One of the so called ‘experts’ on the program talked about the movie “Capricorn One'', an entertaining and somewhat goofy movie about how NASA must fake a manned Mars expedition. The Fox program says that “The Apollo footage (from the surface of the Moon) is strikingly similar to the scenes in ``Capricorn 1''.

Well DUH!!!!!! It is not just an amazing coincidence that the actual Moon images look like the movie. It is certainly not evidence of conspiracy. The fact is that the movie was filmed in 1978, many years after the last man walked on the Moon. The movie was made to look like the real thing! This statement by the program is particularly ludicrous, and indicates just how far the producers were willing to go to make a sensational program.

There are many more important things we can be spending time wondering about, this idea is just plain silly. YES, American men walked on the moon. Period, end of discussion. I guess if it was a fake it is a good thing that the Soviets didn't think of the gag first! Fox should stick to making cartoons, agreed Marc Norman. I'm a big fan of The Simpsons! I invite you to keep an open mind and keep walking in this big weird world of ours!

I’m Average Joe

email: OurWeirdWorld@gmail.com

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