Did the United States fake the moon landing?

February 5, 2022

Decades after the first man walked on the moon, society still questions the validity of the Apollo 11 mission (Valerie Wang (’24))

72 government-controlled space agencies, scattered around the world, receive billions of dollars in funding each year. 14 possess space launch capabilities and actively work to send people, who oftentimes devote their life to becoming astronauts, into space. Tens of thousands of astrophysicists, astronomers, engineers, and scientists work together each day, utilizing powerful tools and large sums of money, to build rockets and satellites. Mixed in with the countless years of research, scientific reports, and publications on spaceflight, it seems absurd to even doubt whether or not the Apollo 11 moon landing actually occurred.
To believe that the United States government lied about the moon landing, discredits the work of hundreds of thousands of professionals over the past few decades, and implies that all 72 space agencies, in addition to private space companies, created a conspiracy to fool the general public. Yet despite the vast amount of information debunking such beliefs, tens of thousands of theorists stubbornly think that the government still faked the moon landing. Such conspiracists think Bill Kaysing, one of the first people to bring to light what he believed to be the truth: NASA staged the landing and filmed the entire thing in a TV studio.
Between the years 1956 and 1963, Kaysing worked for Rocketdyne, a company that helped to design the Saturn V rocket engines. However, his work in the space field did not prevent him from publishing a pamphlet called We Never Went to the Moon: America’s Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle, which marked the beginning of widespread belief in the moon-hoax conspiracy. Now, according to The Guardian and a YouGov poll, at least 20% of youth think that the landings were staged. So, what exactly gives people reason to think NASA never landed on the moon, and why are they incorrect?
Moon-hoax conspiracists most often question why humanity has not returned to the moon since 1969, and how come video footage of the moon landing depicts the United States flag waving as well as a starless galaxy. These questions, according to Professor Anu Ojha, one of the Directors of the National Space Centre Discovery, are part of the maelstrom of disinformation that plagues the online community. As the information ocean gets more turbulent each day, Professor Anu Ojha said at a lecture at Royal Museums Greenwich, we must navigate through it with critical thinking skills.
Furthermore, these absurd questions can easily be debunked. For example, as aforementioned, some claim that because humanity has not returned to the moon since 1972, we never actually went in the first place. A simple lesson in geopolitics could address this concern. While NASA had ambitions to establish a permanent lunar base in the 1790s, the Vietnam War broke out. Keeping in mind the fact that the United States had already crossed the finish line in its race with Russia to the moon, priorities changed.
In 2009, a lunar reconnaissance orbiter, according to Professor Anu Ojha mapped “the lunar surface in three or four orders of magnitude more resolution than had ever been managed before.” The orbiter pictured the Apollo landing sites and the footprints and tracks of other lunar vehicles that roamed the moon. It provides even more evidence that the moon landings were not a hoax, that Apollo 11 was real, and that Neil Armstrong actually moonwalked and declared that space is “one small step for man, [and] one giant leap for mankind.”
The consequences of moon landing conspiracy theories are dangerous. In addition to spreading misinformation and discrediting the work of professionals, moon landing conspiracies make people have misbeliefs about their government and increase their susceptibility to other harmful theories. Believing in the moon landing will also help you steer clear of Buzz Aldrin’s dangerous side, especially because he once punched a moon-hoax believer.

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