The space race, during the Cold War, all started with the launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1. Although this shiny piece of metal ball sent meaningless “beep-beep” signals back to earth, it had a profound effect on the thinking of citizens and government around the globe, especially on the United States. As tensions and pressures were building, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was created in 1958, to bring competing military space programs into one effort.
Soon, they developed the rockets, built the space capsules and satellites, and hired astronauts to become space men. In addition, the United States government realized there was a new frontier to be explored: the moon. As a result, putting a man on the moon became an official governmental priority and the Apollo moon-landing program was established. In 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first humans to walk on the moon.
Controversies about the moon landing began shortly after when Bill Kaysing, a moon hoax investigator, published We never went to the Moon: America’s Thirty Billion Swindle in 1974. In addition, an organization called the Flat Earth Society, was the first to accuse NASA of faking the moon landing. Soon after, more and more people, like scientists, professors or amateurs became concerned and wanted the find out the answer: if the moon landing of 1969 was a hoax or a real event.
There are five general claims regarding the falsity of the lunar success, each having their own significant proponents and evidences. However, the source of all conspiracies derives from Bill Kaysing. In John Moffet’s FOX documentary: Conspiracy Theory: Did we Land on the Moon? , Bill Kaysing shows strong beliefs that the moon landing was not real due to the following reasons: “despite the clarity of deep space, the starts were missing from dark lunar skies,” “the American flag was waving even though there was no ir on the moon,” and “there was no blast crater beneath the lunar lander” (Moffet). In addition, in Phillip C. Plait’s book, Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing “Hoax,” many other conspiracy theorists argue that the incredibly high temperature of the Moon should have killed the astronauts and the play of light and shadows in the surface indicates that the photos are faked (Plait 157).
These theories all state that the entire world was deceived by the NASA administration and probable the United States government for them to gain the pride and prestige between the lunar landing events. Regardless of the conspiracy theories and the evidences, 94% of the United States population believes the moon landing was a real event, according to Frank Newport’s article, “Landing a Man on the Moon: The Public’s View. ” In Tony Phillip’s article, “The Great Moon Hoax,” theories are debunked with explanations.
He first explains why the pictures taken from the moon did not have stars. He states: “its difficult to capture something very bright and something else very dim on the same piece of film-typical emulsions” as they “don’t have enough ‘dynamic setting’” (Phillips). Then he explains why the flags waved despite vacuumed area: “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” (Philips).
The article also provides new evidence against the conspiracy theory: the moon rock, Big Muley. In moon rocks, there are isotopes that cannot be found on Earth. “Even if scientists wanted to make something like a Moon rock by, say, bombarding an Earth rock with high energy atomic nuclei, they couldn’t” (Phillips). In addition, Phillip C. Plait agrees with Tony Phillips and comes to the same conclusions. For example he states there are no stars in the picture because, “The stars are too faint to be seen in the images” (Plait 159).
However, unlike Tony Phillips, Plait explains the scientific reasons in depth. He claims astronauts have survived the incredibly high temperature of the Moon due to simple date counting. He explains, “Moon spins on its axis once every 27 days … [which] means … two weeks of sunlight and two weeks of darkness… the surface doesn’t heat up the instant the sunlight touches it…It takes days for the lunar surface to get to its high temperature…” (Plait 166). The author of the paper believes the moon landing of 1969 really happened. The main reasons coming to this conclusion s that the lies could not be told by such huge amount of people and the theories can be all explained and understood with a little studying on physics and astronomy. If this were a hoax, more than a handful of people would have spoken up the secret. The author of this paper also believes that the photos and the films from NASA are real evidences, but have been misinterpreted due to the lack of knowledge on astronomy and physics. This topic still remains to be debated over because the moon landing was one of the magnificent scientific developments in world history.