The Instigator
RMK
Pro (for)
Losing
18 Points
The Contender
Lucretius
Con (against)
Winning
48 Points

The 1969 Moon Landing Was A Complete Hoax

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/1/2008 Category: Science
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 6,197 times Debate No: 1249
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (22)

 

RMK

Pro

During my sophomore year of college, I presented a persuasive speech for a Speech course that changed my opinion about one of the biggest "accomplishments" of the 20th century.

What I'm about to state may excite you, anger you, make you ponder, or make you think that I have a screw loose...

If you stayed up to watch the 1969 moon landing, you saw cinematic magic at its best. That's right, the moon landing was about as real as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

When I originally did the research for this speech five years ago, 10% of the U.S. population believed what I stated above. Now, five years later, that number has increased to 20%.

Before I start, I do not usually believe in conspiracy theories. In fact, I usually associate the people who believe in them as a little off. This one, however, is hard for me to bypass. I'm not even saying that this is 100% truth, I'm just saying there is a lot of information to support the fallacies.

Here is a little background information:
In 1957, the Soviet Union (a country we would have a Cold War with for almost half a century), sent a satellite into space...thus starting the so-called "Space Race." Many Americans, rightfully so, lived with the fear that the Soviets would be able to drop nuclear bombs from these satellites. In 1961, President Kennedy promised to have a man on the moon by the end of the decade. During the 1960's, NASA made many unsuccessful attempts to reach the beyond. The "moon landing" occurred during one of the most scandalous presidencies of our nation's history (Nixon). Some believe our nation needed a rebirth of Patriotism with the ongoing struggles of Vietnam.

So, Wah Lah..., 12 years after the Russians shot a tin can into the atmosphere, we land on the moon??? Scientifically, logically, and realistically...it just does not add up.

Man on the Moon?

- With all of the advancements in technology, we haven't been back to the moon in 38 years. Wouldn't you want to go back? Or, wouldn't another country have made it there by now? Russia, seemingly ahead of us for over a decade, has abandoned the moon missions. They state it is "virtually impossible" to send a man to the moon. In a scientific calculation at the time, one scientist said the mission had a 0.00017% chance of being successfull. By the way, the U.S. has no plans to return to the Moon in future NASA budgets.

- The astronauts on this mission barely make public appearances. People that should be regarded as national heroes, have been swept under the rug.

- 10 people associated with the moon landing program mysteriously died within years of the mission.

- Blueprints and design and development drawings of the machines involved, telemetry tapes, and the original high quality video of the Apollo 11 Moonwalk are missing.

- There are no stars in any of the photos. The Apollo 11 astronauts also claimed to have not remembered seeing any of the stars in a press conference after the event.

- Identical backgrounds in photos are listed as taken miles apart.

- No blast crater or any sign of dust scatter as was seen in the 16mm movies of each landing.

- The rocks brought back from the Moon are identical to rocks collected by scientific expeditions to Antarctica.

- The Lander weighed 17 tons and sat on top of the sand making no impression but directly next to it footprints can be seen in the sand
Lucretius

Con

Greetings RMK,

Sorry your previous attempt at getting a debate about this going ended rather poorly. Let's hope I can make it more interesting.

Skipping the percentage of people who buy into the conspiracy theory (50% of Americans believe in Creationism over the science of Evolution…) the happening of the moon landing during the ‘space race' is of course very plausible. There were many space missions going on during that era. There was not one, but a total of six manned lunar missions, spanning a period of time between 1969-72. These were all successful missions. I'd enjoy seeing where you got your ‘success rate' figure. The reason manned lunar landings have not been continued until this day is simply political — the Cold War is over, the space race has ended, this leaves very little political incentive to fund putting men on the moon. NASA's budget as it stands now is a mere 13 billion dollars. Compare that to inflation-adjusted budgets of the late 1960's — nearly double, and precisely when the big space race occurred. War, and other earthly concerns are at present dwarfing the desire for space exploration in America. Here's a link to the budget history:
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Now, to address your points: Naturally NASA has not allotted money for future manned missions to the Moon in their budget: it's too small. However, the desire to send men to the moon is not gone: they wish to allot $104 billion dollars to have men on the moon for a week in 2018 (http://www.space.com...). As for Russia abandoning the moon missions, their space agency states quite the opposite: they are planning to send men there by 2025, and establish a lunar base in 2027-2032 (http://en.rian.ru...)

The astronauts on the mission do exist, and get quite angry when people try and claim that they are liars and phoneys. When Buzz Aldrin got called a coward and a liar by a Lunar Landing hoaxer, he proceeded to punch him in the face. I have a good friend from college who lives right next to the astronaut who took the picture of "Earth Rising". They have no need to defend themselves or make public appearances because, to them, the fact that they landed on the moon is not in need of defending.

As for the missing tapes, drawings, etc. — I don't see how it means much. It's assumed they're buried somewhere at Goddard Space Center. Assuming everything you said was accurate, I might consider this evidence, but, as your other points are incorrect, this alone means nothing.

Now, the star claim. If you could provide evidence of the "lack of stars" stated in a press conference, that would be useful. As far as not seeing them in pictures�— they're there; just faint. Try taking a picture of the night sky down here on Earth, when it's clear out, odds are you won't be able to see stars in your photograph either unless you set the exposure to a certain value. Fast exposure captures bright objects, stars aren't bright, and with the quick exposure times used by the astronauts, stars wouldn't show up at all. Try it yourself.

The different location, but same background claim is easily cleared up, when it's realized that the hill is the exact same hill. That is correct. A NASA official erred and claimed it was a separate location. Phil Plait, famous for his Bad Astronomy podcast, did a little investigating himself and spoke with the editor of the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal, and found out that the two clips that were accidentally claimed to be taken miles apart were filmed within three minutes of each other. Thus, it makes sense that it is the same hill, the astronauts didn't move.

As for signs of a blast crater�—�why would there be? The lander did not take off at lightning speed, it gradually landed and gradually left. Analogously, does your car leave tire skid marks on the road when you pull into a parking lot? Unless you slam on your breaks and slide into it, I would wager no. Soft landing results in little to no disturbance of the resulting terrain.

Now, for the similar rocks. Well, first of all, you would expect them to be similar if you've done some reading about the formation of the moon. It's the result of an impactor blowing off part of the Earth into space. The moon IS the Earth in terms of geology. Since Antarctica is a relatively undisturbed region on Earth, and the moon is geologically dead, finding the same rocks is nothing special. They aren't totally identical though, as they lacked minerals found in water. However, since the impactor happened long before liquid water took much of a hold on Earth, this is again no surprise.

As for the lander making no impression: it did. It didn't leave a gaping hole because it wasn't dropped on the surface. And it didn't make a large impact crater because there is no air on the moon to blow things around. On Earth, air molecules bump things, so if you blow on some dust, you might end up affecting dust particles several feet from where you directed your breath. On the moon, there is no air to affect nearby dust particles. The only dust that would move would be that touched by other dust particles or directly by the rocket exhaust.

By the way, most of my information has come from Phil Plait's excellent rebuttal of a whole host of moon-hoaxer arguments. I would highly suggest reading it: http://www.badastronomy.com... He is an astronomer. I am a physics major and verify that his arguments about the dynamics of dust particles, etc. are correct. You can find answers to your claims all over the internet; I would suggest Plait's first and foremost however.

Looking forward to your response.
Debate Round No. 1
RMK

Pro

Thank you for excepting the debate.

First, I will touch on the points you rebuttled from my opening arguments and then make a few more added points to this topic.

1) I understand the ideology behind believeing the six "supposed" moon landings from 1969-1972. However, this is just another ridiculous claim that shows the ill intentions behind this hoax. Taking into consideration, that in a matter of three years, NASA landed 6 missions (6!) on the moon a little over a decade after getting a man in space...ludacris.

~First manmade satellite in orbit (October 1957, Sputnik 1).
~First living creature to enter orbit (November 1957, Sputnik 2).
~First to safely return living creature from orbit, two dogs Belka and Strelka, 40 mice, 2 rats (August 1960, Sputnik 5).
~First man in space (April 1961, Vostok 1).
~First man to orbit the Earth (April 1961, Vostok 1).
~First to have two spacecraft in orbit at the same time (though it was not a space rendezvous, as frequently described) (August 1962, Vostok 3 and Vostok 4).
~First woman in space (June 1963, Vostok 6, as part of a second dual-spacecraft flight including Vostok 5).
First crew of three cosmonauts on board one spacecraft (October 1964, Voskhod 1).
~First spacewalk (EVA) (March 1965, Voskhod 2).

Then, 4 years after a spacewalk, we have three years that included six moon landings? Take into consideration our present situation: NASA will have waited (and they have presented these unintended "goals" before) 46 years to return to the moon? There is a reason NASA is "under funded" for this exploration.

2) I am aware of the astronauts existing. I am also aware that they only speak at NASA funded presentations or book signings. Bart Sibrel, a leading investigative journalist regarding the hoax, has spent hours documenting the inaccuracies between the astronauts own experiences. If you go to Google Video and type in his Bart's name, you will find numerous videos documenting the astronauts own undoings. In regards to your famous "Earth Rising" picture, it is interesting that the photo shows the astronaut's reflective face shield, but the person/camera taking the picture is not seen in the reflection?

3) The background picture similarities was not an isolated dispute as you claim. Over the six "missions" NASA has had to back track on more than a dozen photo cover-ups and misleading time discrepencies between what actually "happened" and was was reported.

4) As for your missing tapes rebuttle. Blueprints and design and development drawings of the machines involved are missing. Apollo 11 data tapes containing telemetry and the high quality video (before scan conversion) of the first moonwalk are missing. Dr. David Williams (NASA archivist at Goddard Space Flight Center) and Apollo 11 flight director Gene Kranz both acknowledged that the Apollo 11 telemetry data tapes are missing. Bart Sibrel said "In my research at NASA I uncovered, deep in the archives, one mislabeled reel from the Apollo 11, first mission, to the Moon. What is on the reel and on the label are completely different. I suspect an editor put the wrong label on the tape 33 years ago and no reporter ever had the motive to be as thorough as I. It contains an hour of rare, unedited, color television footage that is dated by NASA's own atomic clock three days into the flight. Identified on camera are Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, and Michael Collins. They are doing multiple takes of a single shot of the mission, from which only about ten seconds was ever broadcast. Because I have uncovered the original unedited version, mistakenly not destroyed, the photography proves to be a clever forgery. Really! It means they did not walk on the Moon!"

5) The stars debate is an interesting one. Throughout those interview videos at Google, you will find it strangly odd that each astronaut has a different version of the star theory. Some say they were plain as day. Some say you couldn't even see them? What's the deal NASA? As with the photography, I will discuss that later.

6) "As for signs of a blast crater — why would there be? The lander did not take off at lightning speed, it gradually landed and gradually left." Seriously? This is a spacecraft we are talking about here that has high powered rockets hurdling it through space at speeds far exceeding any earth wehicle. The Lander weighed 17 tons and sat on top of the sand making no impression but directly next to it footprints can be seen in the sand. Upon take off, there were no flames coming out of the lunar module as shown in many NASA simulations.

Now, for some more points to prove the hoax is correct.

***Photos from the moon:

~Crosshairs appear to be behind objects.

~Crosshairs are sometimes misplaced or rotated.

~The quality of the photographs is implausibly high.

~There are no stars in any of the photos. The Apollo 11 astronauts also claimed to have not remembered seeing any of the stars in a press conference after the event.

~The color and angle of shadows and light are inconsistent

~There appear to be "hot spots" in some photographs that look like a huge spotlight was used at a close distance.

~Footprints in the extraordinarily fine lunar dust, with no moisture or atmosphere or strong gravity, are unexpectedly well preserved, in the minds of some observers – as if made in wet sand.

***Radiation:

~The astronauts could not have survived the trip because of exposure to radiation from the Van Allen radiation belt and galactic ambient radiation. The interviews on this topic are interesting as well. Some of the effects of radiation can be seen by closing ones eyes. A person would see "shooting stars" as the radiation passes through their body. The astronauts have varying stories on this issue. Several even said that they never passed through the Van Allen Belt, however, this must be passed when reaching the moon.

~Film in the cameras would have been fogged by this radiation.

***Transmissions:

~The lack of a more than two-second delay in two-way communications at a distance of a 250,000 miles (400,000 km). (this still isn't perfected 45 years later)

~The Parkes Observatory in Australia was billed to the world for weeks as the site that would be relaying communications from the Moon, then five hours before transmission they were told to stand down.

***Other points of interest:

~ Although Apollo 11 had made an almost embarrassingly imprecise landing well outside the designated target area, Apollo 12 succeeded, on November 19, 1969, in making a pin-point landing, within walking distance (less than 200 meters) of the Surveyor 3 probe, which had landed on the Moon in April 1967

***Deaths of key personel who were involved with the Apollo missions:
~Ted Freeman (T-38 crash, 1964)
~Elliott See and Charlie Bassett (T-38 accident, 1966)
~Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom (Apollo 1 fire, January 1967). His son, Scott Grissom said the accident was a murder.
~Ed White (Apollo 1 fire, January 1967)
~Roger Chaffee (Apollo 1 fire, January 1967)
~Ed Givens (car accident, 1967)
~C. C. Williams (T-38 accident, October 1967)
~X-15 pilot Mike Adams (the only X-15 pilot killed during the X-15 flight test program in November 1967 - not a NASA astronaut, but had flown X-15 above 50 miles).
~Robert Lawrence, scheduled to be an Air Force Manned Orbiting Laboratory pilot who died in a jet crash in December 1967, shortly after reporting for duty to that (later canceled) program.
~NASA worker Thomas Baron (automobile collision with train, 1967 shortly after making accusations before Congress about the cause of the Apollo 1 fire, after which he was fired.) Ruled as suicide. Baron was a quality control inspector who wrote a report critical of the Apollo program and was an outspoken critic after the Apollo 1 fire. Baron and his family were killed.

I have more isssues that can be used next.
Lucretius

Con

Thanks for the timely response,

I'll begin by saying that whether you choose to accept it or not there is simply no more impetus to send us to the moon. Space exploration, while something scientists would love to see happen, is not going to unless there is political motivation (say, the Cold War). Landing on the moon is a perfectly feasible project for NASA, we've pulled off much more difficult maneuvers, albeit without the people (tracking the trajectory of a comet so that we can smash something into at blazing speeds in order to shoot off particles that a nearby satellite can analyze, for instance.) Feel free to call it impossible. Unless you are an engineer I don't think you're capable of making any sort of ‘feasibility' claims.

Bart Sibrel is a well-known hoax-proponent yes, and as I've already pointed out in the first response, Phil Plait and numerous others have gone to great lengths to put up full refutations of his work. Sibrel is not a physicist or an engineer, and yet makes claims about the moon landing that anyone who has studied physics or engineering would realize are flawed. And in the Earth Rising photograph there is no reflection of any kind. The picture was taken aboard the Apollo 8 spacecraft after it came back from the far side of the moon. If you have a reflection in the color photograph, by all means, link the image and I'll take a look at it.

I don't have time to type on long rebuttals to your arguments when the answers are quite easy to find; I will summarize again Phil Plait's responses that he has provided on his website http://www.badastronomy.com...

1) The claim of identical backgrounds is due to the lack of air on the moon. The backgrounds are the same, but the photograph is shot from different points. On Earth, things look blurry far away because air particles scatter the light and obscure the image. The further away, the more difficult it is to see. On the moon, there is no air, no obscuring, so the objects look clear regardless of distance. Plait links this video http://www.hq.nasa.gov... showing that a small-looking boulder is actually the size of a house, an example of how distances can't be judged on the moon by sight alone.

2) I still don't see your point about the missing tapes. They're missing, yes. Unless you have other points defining this as a hoax, when we take this piece of information alone, it's much more reasonable to attribute to clerical error rather than a big conspiracy by NASA.

3) You mentioned the stars not being seen again: again, I challenge you to go outside at night with the same exposure settings, and try to take a picture of the stars. You won't be able to, because the camera won't collect enough light with the tiny exposure time. As far as astronauts having conflicting stories; so what? People don't remember things the same, and some were probably focused on their work more than others and didn't have time to gawk at the stars. There is a perfectly reasonable physical explanation for the lack of stars in the photographs, it's not evidence of some conspiracy in the slightest.

4) The lack of a blast crater from landing is again, just as I stated. Yes, I am perfectly serious; it's quite simple dynamics. The Lander weighed 17 tons on Earth, the gravity on the moon is much less. Drop a boxcar from several hundred feet up and you won't make a huge hole in the Earth. The moon is not covered in thick dust, there is no reason for there to be a blast crater. The lack of air again made the movement of dust very restricted in comparison to Earth take-offs. As for the lack of flames — this is explained in two ways. On Earth, fires burn because of the air. There is no air on the moon. Second of all, the landers used a fuel mixture of dinitrogen tetroxide and hydrazine. This flame is transparent. Thus, you can't see it.

I'll skip to your more well-thought-out points and leave the crosshairs and different shadow angles arguments for you to look up on Plait's website. All the information is there, all you have to do is look.

As far as the footprints go — there's no wind, there's no air, there is no strong gravity, so, tell me, what is going to disturb the footprints?

And now, for the radiation claim. This is pure and simple poor understanding of astronomy. 1) The Apollo spacecraft passed through the Van Allen belt very quickly. 2) The spacecraft and spacesuits deflected most of the radiation. The notion of the Van Allen belt being "deadly" was taken from an interview with a Russian cosmonaut who had never even passed through the Van Allen belt and so had no idea what it would even be like. In fact, actual measurements show that the average radiation exposure on the Apollo flights never exceeded 1.14 rads (the rest of the missions recorded were at least half of this value). This is one-fifth of the recommended maximum radiation dose for radiation workers in a year. Most values were around one-tenth. For more information try: http://www.wwheaton.com... and http://lsda.jsc.nasa.gov... for a table of actual values measured. The camera film was as safe as the astronauts were.

As far as transmissions, I don't know where you got your value of two seconds, but communication with the moon is very rapid. The use of electromagnetic waves meant that the signals propagated back and forth at the speed of light. We can do a little math now: The round trip from the Earth to Moon and back is ~800,000 km. The speed of light is 300,000 km/s. Thus, the round trip signal takes 2.6 seconds or so. I'd like to see where you got your figure of >2 seconds from.

As far as the deaths of the astronauts goes — again, your point would be? Your other points are not convincing so this taken alone is as meaningless as the missing pictures/film claim. Again, most of this is simple misunderstanding of physics.

I hope you will take some time reading my sources before you post again. Most of your ‘problems with the moon landing' are addressed there.
Debate Round No. 2
RMK

Pro

First, your "authoritative" figure (Phil Plait) is an astronomer who worked in the physics and astronomy department at Sonoma State Univeristy and recently quit his job to write books.

His previous work with this issue includes:

~ Oops (I thought by researching him I might find something relevant to NASA, Apollo, the U.S. Government, etc.), nothing but a website where he argues the moon landing hoax, astronomy, and Hoagland Mars Debate. He provides no evidence to support his research (unlike Sibrel who has hours of documented inaccuracies of interviews with key Apollo personel).

In fact, the guy even sells t-shirts on his site (classy)

In fact, Phil Plait is nothing more than a skeptic (as he himself claims to be) who has an opinion (sounds familiar).

So, in reality, there is no difference between Plait and Sibrel. They are both skeptics. However, just based on Internet material alone, Bart Sibrel has far more experience researching this topic. I am a firm believer that a person does not have to be an astronomer to know astronomy. This is true in all areas if the proper research and study is completed in the area of interest. Thinking otherwise is an insult to human intelligence.

As to the argument, all you have done is restate what you said the first time. I attempted to refute those claims and now you are attempting to refute those claims over again. You, and I quote, "I'll skip to your more well-thought-out points and leave the crosshairs and different shadow angles arguments for you to look up on Plait's website. All the information is there, all you have to do is look."

Interesting way to debate new issues.

I, on the other hand, will not refute my refutes :/

I would like to touch on a few items of interest from your post and then leave you with a few more points.

***FIRST, The missing tapes issue is a little more important than misplacing your favorite Disney movie. It is estimated that about 13,000 original magnetic tapes are missing.[6] They might be at Goddard Space Flight Center or another location within the NASA archiving system.

On August 16, 2006 NASA announced its official search. "The original tapes may be at the Goddard Space Flight Center … or at another location within the NASA archiving system", "NASA engineers are hopeful that when the tapes are found they can use today's digital technology to provide a version of the moonwalk that is much better quality than what we have today."[7]

The news that the tapes were missing broke publicly on August 5, 2006 when the printed and online versions of The Sydney Morning Herald published the story with the title One giant blunder for mankind: how NASA lost moon pictures

Now, to me, this is not a "little" issue. Especially, as you state yourself, we are planning to go back to the moon. Those videos may be somewhat important to that mission. Just a guess :(

***SECOND, If I was an Apollo astronaut, I think I might remember something like seeing stars on the moon. Especially with nothing but the light of the sun. Ever stand out in a field in the middle of nowhere? Thousands of stars. No artificial light. Imagine the moon. That is a horrible stance on this position.

Now, more points:

Claims that versions of the Encyclop�dia Britannica from the 1960s (pre-Apollo missions) have the neutral point between the Earth and the Moon 20,520 miles from the Moon. "In theory," the site claims, "a Moon with 1/6 Earth's gravity should have a Neutral Point between 22,078 and 25,193 miles from the Moon's surface. Yet after the Apollo missions, Time magazine July 25, 1969 said 'At a point of 43,495 miles from the Moon, lunar gravity exerted a force equal to the gravity of the Earth, then some 200,000 miles distant.'" The site claims that the 1973 Encyclop�dia Britannica gave a new neutral point distance of 39,000 miles.

Major Hoax proponents of value:

~Bill Kaysing (1922-2005) an employee of Rocketdyne, (the company which built the F-1 engines used on the Saturn V rocket.

~David Percy, TV producer and expert in audiovisual technologies and member of the Royal Photographic Society

~Jack White - American photo historian known for his attempt to prove forgery in photos related to the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

~ President Clinton - President Clinton in his 2004 autobiography, My Life, states (on page 156): "Just a month before, Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong had left their colleague, Michael Collins, aboard spaceship Columbia and walked on the Moon, beating by five months President Kennedy's goal of putting a man on the Moon before the decade was out. The old carpenter asked me if I really believed it happened. I said sure, I saw it on television. He disagreed; he said that he didn't believe it for a minute, that 'them television fellers' could make things look real that weren't. Back then, I thought he was a crank. During my eight years in Washington, I saw some things on TV that made me wonder if he wasn't ahead of his time."

The only way to find out if this is actually a hoax, is if we send a man to the moon to retreive the items left behind by the Apollo missions. And let me say now, that will not happen.
Lucretius

Con

I'll defend my source by stating that, as a physics major, I can confirm that all the physics statements Phil Plait makes are valid. Working as a professor at a college says a lot more for your credentials than being some lay investigator. Sibrel has demonstrated time and time again he has no clue when it comes to talking about physics or astronomy related statements. If you want, I can do the mathematics to demonstrate this — but I was hoping you could do a little research on physics yourself and put this together. The reason he doesn't give ‘research' for his claims is because a basic google search will find these basic physical principles. It is true you don't have to be an astronomer to know astronomy — but this doesn't mean that Sibrel doesn't have any clue what he is talking about, and in fact he has made it clear he doesn't.

Again, I am not going to further entertain this notion of missing tapes being some sort of evidence that there is a conspiracy. It's nothing more than imaginative thinking without substantial points.

You can call my point about the stars poor, but while you are relying on subjective testimonies, I'm relying on a basic fact about optics that any physicist (or layman who knows even a bit about optics) would know. I still challenge you to go outside with a fast exposure setting and try to capture an image of stars on a clear night.

Now onto some fun math and physics: the neutral point. It's apparent again that the propagators of this one don't understand orbits. What they did (and any first-year physics students can do this, I suggest you try it for yourself) is found the neutral gravity point by means of Newton's Universal Law of Gravitation taken alone. This makes the false assumption of course, that the motion of these two bodies does not affect the neutral point. However, the straight-line neutral point is not the simple calculation that NASA needed. They needed a Lagrangian point, which took into account the fact that the space shuttle was moving in space, and the two bodies were orbiting one another at a center of mass a few thousand miles above the Earth. The system is more complex than simple F=GMm/r^2. There is the centrifugal force to be dealt with as this is an orbiting system we are talking about. I'm sure Bart Sibrel, a lay investigator with no background in science, wouldn't understand this. As for the figure in the 1973 Britannica versus the figure from the Apollo missions — finding the zero point experimentally of gravity to within about 10% is quite a feat when we are talking astronomical distances. The figure of 1973's Britannica appears to be the second Lagrangian point, a figure closer to where the actual neutral point would be, taking into account everything else that is necessary.

Again, a poor understanding of the facts can take one a long way in the wrong direction.
And there are other pieces of evidence that we landed on the moon. A big one is that, in order to determine a lot of things about the moon( for instance, knowing the distance between the centers of the moon and Earth to an accuracy of 1/10,000,000,000), we bounce lasers OFF of equipment set up by Apollo 11 astronauts when they went to the moon. We've also used it to calculate the recession rate of the moon from the Earth. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and many other astronomical observatories (for instance, the McDonald Observatory in Texas) use this equipment to this very day.
In sum, it's truly preposterous to think that human beings did not visit the moon. The claims made by hoaxers are based off of a poor understanding of how the natural world works. However, they make no hesitation in making outrageous claims — that the government and the entire world is pulling the wool over peoples' eyes, when the very data we retrieved (and still do) is being utilized by scientists the world around.
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Capt.Herp 8 years ago
Capt.Herp
I didn't see how I neglected the main point, which is that you believe the moon landings "were as real as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."

So nyah.
Posted by lazarus_long 8 years ago
lazarus_long
mmadderom - Oh, I know about the 9/11 conspiracy nuts as well. It just continues to amaze me that people who apparently are allowed to wander around without adult supervision actually seem to believe this stuff.
Posted by mmadderom 8 years ago
mmadderom
"I still suspect that RMK isn't serious about this one. No one's that gullible - are they?"

Oh, my. I guess you aren't familiar with the current conspiracy theory du jour involving 9/11 being perpetrated by the U.S. Government to justify invading Iraq. Far more people believe that one than the moon landing is a hoax theory, and it's far more preposterous.
Posted by mmadderom 8 years ago
mmadderom
"This, because of the mounting evidence and inaccuracies among the astronaut's stories themselves"

We are talking about an event that happened 38 years ago. Three people witnessing the SAME event TODAY will have three different perspectives on what they saw TOMORROW. It is this very "flaw" in human recollection that leads to almost all conspiracy theories.

And things like "- 10 people associated with the moon landing program mysteriously died within years of the mission." Just reeks of the irrational thought process behind most conspiracy theories.

10 people? Do you know how many people were involved in the moon landing programs? THOUSANDS. Hundreds were directly involved. And that doesn't count the cinema folks who would have had to be recruited into the conspiracy to make it work. Yet of the hundreds of people who would have had to be intimately aware of the "hoax" and the thousands who would have enough knowledge to know it didn't happen as advertised not a single one ever came forward with their story either from a fit of conscience or for profit? Come on.

As with almost all large scale conspiracy theories you have to start with the premise that the conspiracy happened, then find "evidence" to support that position. Why? Because the sheer size of such a conspiracy would make pulling it off for 38 years impossible.

Now, that's not to say that none of the theories have ANY merit. The JFK assassination was almost certainly not pulled off by one man (official Government story) but that doesn't mean it was some grand conspiracy involving hundreds or thousands of people.
Posted by Lucretius 8 years ago
Lucretius
Your friend's assertion, dalzuga, is no problem. He just has to realize that there is nothing to inhibit motion on the moon, and that in order to get the flag in the ground, the astronauts had to move the flag around a bit. Thus, the momentum of motion alone keeps the flag waving.
Posted by dalzuga 8 years ago
dalzuga
I had a friend tell me that the U.S. flag was waving in a video. He told me that supposedly there is no wind on the moon. Can someone explain my friend's assertions? I really don't know much about the topic because I haven't researched it. I am just relaying what I have been told.
Posted by lazarus_long 8 years ago
lazarus_long
One slight problem with this whole thing is that the "stuff they left behind" HAS been photographed. Several of the Apollo landing sites have been photographed by the Lunar Orbiter missions, notably the Clementine orbiter, and clearly show such things as the LM descent stage, the Lunar Rovers, and the tracks on the lunar surface that were made by those rovers. They're near the limit of resolution of the orbiter cameras, but they ARE there. There's also the slight problem of several laser retroreflectors having been left on the lunar surface, the presence of which (at the specified locations) is fairly easy to verify by anyone with the proper equipment. Finally, it should be noted that the lunar missions' radio transmissions were followed by a number of Earth-based listeners NOT associated with NASA or the government, such a radio amateurs. It's awfully difficult to fake something like that; you can rather easily verify that a tranmitter purporting to be on the Moon really IS there.

This particular conspiracy theory is actually one of the MOST unlikely to be true. Too many people were involved in the moon-landing program, and they produced way too much real hardware. If the moon landings were faked, then just where WERE all those Saturn V rockets sent to? That's a rather elaborate and expensive piece of equipment to be firing off just to PRETEND to go to the Moon, isn't it?

I still suspect that RMK isn't serious about this one. No one's that gullible - are they?
Posted by RMK 8 years ago
RMK
p.s.

I can't stand when people comment on the debate title without reading the actual debate.

please read before formulating your thoughts
Posted by RMK 8 years ago
RMK
Capt.

If you would have read my entire first post, you would notice that I do not believe in conspiracy theories. This, because of the mounting evidence and inaccuracies among the astronaut's stories themselves, is the only one I believe in.

Thanks for the assumption though :/
Posted by Capt.Herp 8 years ago
Capt.Herp
RMK, my dad's one of those guys who thinks we never went to the moon, either. Apparently the only thing for guys like you is to go back and get photos of the stuff they left behind. However, I suppose you wouldn't believe those photos were legit, so there would be no convincing you.

My guess is you don't believe Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK either.

Sigh.

We went. We'll go back. I wish I had been an Apollo astronaut, frankly.

Not everything's a cover-up or a conspiracy.
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