Did Neil Armstrong really go to the Moon or NASA had faked the Moon landings?

The Answer

The moon landing in 1969 was an event of tremendous import. It represented the most advanced technology ever conceived at the time and the efforts of the greatest nation on the globe all pointed towards one singular effort. It remains the greatest feat of human exploration – period. And yet, many people around the world believe it to be faked. They claim it was an elaborate propaganda stunt America pulled to showcase their superiority during the Cold War. Any number of unreasonable explanations abound. But the question remains, did Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin really walk on the moon.

The short answer, yes. But a short answer is likely not enough for true belief, which is fair. “How can I write my essay today on this topic?” you’ll ask. Below are several proofs and evidence debunking common points brought up by people trying to discredit the moon landing.

Misconception One

The moon landing could not have been real because the footage of the event shows the flag flapping around in the wind. No wind exists on the moon, therefore the landing was faked.

The Truth

The flag on the moon has ripples in it due to two reasons. The first is that there is miniscule amounts of gravity on the moon. Due to its much lower mass, the effects are gravity are barely felt in comparison to Earth. Because of this, if the flag is brought out and set up wrinkled, the gravity is not strong enough to pull it down and droop as it would on Earth. Secondly, the movement observed in the video of the moon landing did occur. It did not happen because of any present wind. When an object is rotated, whatever is located at the extremity of the objects degree of rotation will move with it.  As the rod was rotated back and forth as the astronauts secured it into the ground, the centripetal (rotational) force caused by this made the flag shift. Basic physics dictate that it must move – if it did not that would be an anomaly of the highest proportions.

Misconception Two

No stars appear in the background of any photos from the moon landing. There are many stars in space. Since none appear, the landing must be fake.

The Truth

The truth is rather simple. The moon reflects a ton of light from the sun. Therefore the surface is well lit because of the prodigious amount of light hitting it. The ambient light drowns out the relatively dim light from the stars. It is the same occurrence in heavily urbanized areas today. Light pollution drowns out most of the stars normally visible in the night sky. A camera, especially with outdated cameras used during the moon landing, were not powerful enough to contrast the light to show stars. Even today, many photos are taken of the earth by astronauts that do not show stars.

Misconception Three

The infamous ‘c’ rock, a photo showing a rock marked with a ‘c’, is a prop and proves the moon landing was a stage set.

The Truth

This photo that surfaced was not the original photo. The original photo clearly shows the rock with no ‘c’ on it. Picture development during this time was a complex process. When the original photo was being copied, a hair or something other long, thing object likely fell into the copier and showed up on subsequent versions of the photo.

Misconception Four

The Van Allen belt would have friend the astronauts upon exiting the atmosphere. They would not have survived!

The Truth

For clarification, the Van Allen belt are two huge belts of radiation surround the Earth. They are shaped by the Earth’s magnetic field and are constantly pounded with highly charged particles from solar wind. The claim is that Armstrong and crew should have died from radiation exposure upon passing through the Van Allen belt. Radiation sickness occurs when a human is exposed to anywhere from 200 to 1000 ‘rads’ of radiation within the span of a few hours. Due to data collected by past space missions (Explorer, Pioneer, and Luna for example), NASA was aware of the Van Allen belt as well as the fluctuations inherent within it. The Apollo 11 mission was launched when the Van Allen belt was at its lowest intensity. The rocket spent only two hours within the Van Allen belt, exposing the astronauts within to only 18 rads, well within the safe limit. The Van Allen belt was of no danger to the astronauts on their journey, thus disproving the claim held by believers in the moon landing hoax theory.

Astronauts and Space in Culture:

Space travel inspires wonder within the minds of nearly anybody. There are countless movie franchises, book series, and video games based within space. The ultra-popular Star Wars and Star Trek movie franchises were all inspired by these real-life events. The original moon landing itself has been the subject of much literature and conjecture as well. Here are some products related to space and the moon landing you might enjoy:

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
First on the Moon: The Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Experience
Moon Landing: Apollo 11
National Geographic Kids Everything Space: Blast Off for a Universe of Photos, Facts, and Fun!
Space: A Visual Encyclopedia