ON July 21, 1969, Neil Armstrong made history by becoming the first person to set foot on the earth’s moon.
Buzz Aldrin soon followed in Armstrong’s footsteps. But the authenticity of Apollo 11 has long been questioned. Here’s what we know.
Conspiracy theories still surround the 1969 moon landings as Neil Armstrong walked on the surface[/caption]
Were the moon landings faked?
The US launched a number of subsequent Apollo missions, landing on the moon a total of six times before the programme ended in the 1972.
Since then however, the conspiracy theory that the landings were faked has grown in popularity, with over 20 per cent of Americans now believing that the US has never landed on the moon.
The Cold War was raging, and the two world superpowers, the United States and Soviet Union, were competing for technological superiority.
The USA were desperate to win the space race, to prove to the Russians that they were the world leaders, and they were willing to go to extreme lengths to be first past the post in the race to the moon.
The theory is that it was just too expensive and too dangerous to land on the moon.
Photograph taken by Neil Armstrong, who can be seen reflected in Aldrin’s visor[/caption]
What have the critics said about Armstrong and Aldrin’s ‘giant leap for mankind’?
It is the shot of the astronauts waving the American flag on the moon that aroused suspicion.
Critics say the flag’s movement shows the presence of wind, which is impossible in a vacuum.
The flag had a rod inserted along the top edge to make it stand out, but you can clearly see creases in the flag indicating a billowing movement.
There is no breeze on the moon. There is no air in the atmosphere and therefore no wind to help the flag flutter.
Nasa says Aldrin was twisting the flagpole to get the moon soil, which caused the flag to move.
Some also questioned the lack of stars in the footage.
In pictures of the moon’s landscapes there are no stars in the sky—it’s just a big black void.
There are no clouds on the moon so therefore stars are constantly visible and incredibly bright given the lack of atmosphere they need to shine through.
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Nasa’s argument that the photos are low quality and therefore the stars are washed out doesn’t add up, given that some of the photographs are incredibly high quality and yet still no stars shine.
Then there’s the slow-motion walking.
Low gravity conditions had to be filmed, which may have proven difficult in a sound studio.
However, all they did was broadcast the footage of the astronauts walking and bouncing around in slow motion.
If you take the film and increase the speed x2.5 the “space walkers” are clearly moving in normal earth gravity conditions.
The high bounces and jumps could easily have been achieved by wires, some critics claim.