Were the Manned Moon Landings Faked?
Rules are stated above, as well as a few of my own:
- No Swearing, lets keep this mature
- No excessive use of caps (more than one sentence).
That is all, I will allow my opponent (pro) to go first.
I, Con will be arguing on the behalf that the landings were real, not fake.
I want to thank nickrulercreator for this golden opportunity; I will debate the Pro side, and argue as best as I can.
I would sound monotonous using the same little things every Moon hoax-believer says: so, I will start with a more logical approach.
...and the Moon landing.
To be precise, the first actual starting line was drawn by the superpowers after their public announcements in 1955, where they said they would launch artificial Earth satellites after a few years. USA announced it first on July 29th, 1955; The USSR, on August 30th, 1995, created a commission with a precise, single purpose: to beat the Americans in the Space Race.
It didn't take much time for the USSR to score its first objective. They managed to send an intercontinental ballistic missile: the "Sputnik", launched on the 4th of October, 1957 by the USSR. A really bad surprise for the Americans: they had to send their own satellite on 1958. It was called "Explorer I". They also created the federal agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), still existent today.
Of course not! The USSR launched Yuri Gagarin, the first man ever that went into space, during April 1961. A horrible blow to U.S.A's strong propaganda machine.
Let's stop for a moment. Think about this: if you were the USA's presidents during the Cold War and you had to show superiority in front of the whole Earth population...what would you have done?
During mid-1955, there were almost 3 billion people.
During mid-1960, there were already over 3 billion, and there was no sign of decreasing population on the horizon.
During mid-1991 (USSR's final year and official Cold War's end), there were almost 5 BILLION and a half.
Can you imagine what would have meant to face a failure in front of "a few" people? It's not like the USA actually wanted to become "the laughingstock of the entire world"; and I cannot blame them. No one else can.
So, since USSR launched an intercontinental ballistic missile and a man, while the USA basically stayed behind by a few months (The first man they launched into space was Alan Shepard, a month after Yuri Gagarin), it's obvious that -for propaganda purposes- they had to resort to one thing the communists did not touch.
Yes. The Moon, people. Here's the one million dollar question: Did they fake it?
Yes. Want to know why?
Think about it for a second: You've got 2 superpowers, with opposing views, trying to do everything they can to stop the other from obtaining too much power. They fiercely battle themselves on many areas: territorial (Korean War, Cuban Missile Crisis, etc), civil ("The Red Scare": does that ring a bell?)...and conquering the space was for them the perfect occasion to shine on the other's expense and to gain a glorious reputation as a mighty strong nation...which the USSR could have become, much to the anti Communism hysteria on which America dwelt.
But America was always one step back. Even for a month. A single month. How could it possibly win the Space Race? The Soviets always preceded them! But then, they looked upwards. They saw that little, white ball, floating...the Moon. And then, they had the best idea EVER: To recreate the Moon's terrain and its conditions, hire a few people capable to recite, and that is the way to go. Well placed environment? Check. Actors? Check. Coherent equipment? Check.
And they decided to follow this plan. And so on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong expressed, heartily, his legendary quote. And with THAT quote, it was clear who was the winner. America was celebrated, USSR was evil, a reflection of villainy and general failure: and this was their jubilant conclusion. A conclusion that remained forever, in our history...and in our hearts.
*Beginning in 1955 with the US declaring they will launch a satellite, and then the USSR responding four days later, declaring they would launch a satellite as well.
*The USSR beating the the US to the starting line by launching Sputnik.
*The USSR and US pushing forward in the heat of the race to prove they were each more technologically superior then their opponent.
Now, you noted how the US was falling behind the USSR for a while, but you didn't state how quickly this turned around.
Though the USSR was able to put the first satellite, dog, man, and woman into space, as well as perform the first EVA (space walk), the US had their own feats, most with Gemini.
Gemini is usually noted as the "forgotten middle child" of NASA, as it came after Mercury-Redstone, the program to put the first Americans in space, and before Apollo, the program to put men on the moon. Gemini took course while the Soviets were on a two year hiatus which allowed NASA to catch up and surpass the Soviets. Gemini set multiple records, all of which gave NASA the lead.
These records include, but are not limited to:
*The first orbital maneuver - Gemini 3
*The first long endurance record of eight days - Gemini 5
*The first rendezvous in space - Gemini 6A and 7
*The next long endurance record of 14 days - Gemini 7
*The first docking between two spacecraft - Gemini 8 (and an Agena Target Vehicle)
*And the most difficult goal, the first long endurance space walk of five hours during three EVA sessions - Gemini 12
With all these achievements, NASA quickly caught up to the USSR while they were on hiatus. These achievements caused the USSR to even disband their Voskhod program.
Now, as the US soared ahead, they realized that they were going to hit a block soon if they didn't find some way to keep themselves ahead. Superiority was most important to the US in the early '90s, and this is what drove Kennedy to begin the Apollo program. But, faking it was never an idea of the US. Besides, they had already proved that they could send men into space for two weeks, the average moon mission length, and have men outside of their space craft for a few hours at a time. With these reasons, NASA didn't need to fake any missions, they could do it in real life, which is just what they did.
Tests began, contracts were awarded, and plans were written out to send three men to the moon, and two would actually land on it. There was no need to fake anything if NASA could accomplish everything.
NASA had the funding and materials too. People watched the launches of the Saturn V rockets in person, carrying the Apollo men into space and the moon. These things can't be faked if watched in person, like the thousands of people who did.
You know, I like your answer. It's clear and well written...but not everything is correct.
You said "These achievements caused the USSR to even disband their Voskhod program."
...was it the only reason?
My previous point was correct: Project Gemini was NOT the only reason!
Project Gemini contributed to Voshkod's disband, but in the end, they still would have found something else to do, eventually.
USSR was second to none; it was only a matter of time, and they would have come out with something, soon. Something new, something better, something that could have proven worldwide their intellect, their knowledge, their capabilities...So, they did. They came out with that something they so desperately needed.
The Soyuz programme.Even stranger, if you consider this:
Born in 1967, it still exists today as the third Russian space project after Vostok and Voshkod.
You know, it's strange to omit a programme such as the Soyuz's.
Soyuz is widely considered the world's safest, most cost-effective human spaceflight vehicle, established by its unparalleled length of operational history.
ONLY DURING THE SPACE RACE (1967-1991), IT MANAGED TO CREATE:
It's pretty obvious that USA was scared, during that time. How could Gemini resist, in front of a stunning programme such as this?
While Gemini surely did one hell of a job, it surely couldn't keep up with Soyuz: 12 missions against 92 missions; The longest Gemini's mission was less than 14 days, while Soyuz's longest mission was as long as 181 days. It created many projects during the USSR's era, it's still going on today, and it even influenced the Shenzhou, a Chinese spacecraft. The United States recovered...which was an easy thing to do, considering USSR proved landings -photographs, impacts, and many things- could be done. They both had advanced technology; it was only a matter of refining, of polishing up, that mechanical perfection unreached before.
Talking about the Moon, after the USSR's Luna projects, USA accomplished this.
But wait, there's more...
Sorry, I forgot these as well.
USA's achievements before the Moon's landing were mostly different types of satellite, while USSR did lots of discoveries and useful maneuvers. For example:
They even did the first planetary flyby ever!
The Soviets gathered every little thing they needed for their landing.
Expect for one thing.
A type of satellite.
You see, there's a type of satellite created by the US...
I wonder what's that intelligence...
The United States Naval Research Laboratory applies to lots of scientific areas. Oceanography, marine geosciences, ocean acoustics...But mostly surveillance and related matters.
Yes, you DID read it good. Surveillance.
Isn't it strange the USSR was the one doing 95% of the work? (Nope, not satellites. Just one type.)
Isn't it strange they just...stole victory from USSR's hands when they, before the landing, were actually developing satellites? I mean, SPY satellites? That means something.
Not to mention the possible agencies that probably have peeked on USSR's projects at least once...like NSA: born in 1952...what a coincidence.
You said people watched it in person, as the Apollo 11 flew away. But, BUT, from what we civilians know for sure, we couldn't watch the landing in person. It probably launched and went on until it reached orbit, and then changed route to go somewhere else. Overall, planetary flybys weren't that new. Soviets did those as well, as I showed before.
Meanwhile, they used the "honestly obtained" information to recreate its surroundings as realistically as possible in a hidden place, registered the fake scene, and sent it streaming worldwide forcing every important media to claim it was going on right during that moment, with the governments's complicity during private treats (peaceful...or less) not known by the normal citizens. Then, they returned celebrated as national heroes. Think about it: if the US was capable to enter a war with such a long delay (WWII), manage to divide an entire nation in pieces (Germany and its wall), obtain a nice chunk of it, become a world power immediately AFTER, and create military bases all over Europe in such an easy way, what could have stopped them after THAT?
Remember ONE thing, though: during most recent times, NSA had been capable to gather information about tens of millions of its own citizens. I am sure they would not have any problem spying someone else at this point.
The USA's government was smart: it just waited the USSR to discover things for them, spied a little, manipulated everything they needed in order to succeed...and get all the fame from it.
"Mr. Nickrulercreator, tear down your convinction!"
While I didn't fully state why the USSR disbanded the Voskhod program, I was correct in stating that the Gemini program had a large part in it. But, the soviets wanted to begin also focusing on the moon, so they initiated the Soyuz program.
One thing you got wrong about the Soyuz program was that it didn't begin in 1967, but rather the early 60s, right after NASA announced the Apollo program.
Next, onto the Soyuz. You talk about how the Soyuz project is still going on today and is the longest lasting program. What you forget is that this is a debate on 1969-1972, the Apollo missions. After that, it doesn't matter. You're even wrong about the longest Soyuz flight. The longest flight, Soyuz TMA-9, was 215 days long. But this really is debatable as to whether you could call it long, as it was docked into the ISS for most of its mission.
And yes, while many US missions were similar to USSR missions, this doesn't mean we copied the USSR. Rockets and space flights take months to plan, build, and prepare for. So many months, that the US and USSR may have been working on their first rockets at the same time. For examples:
And thank you for listing all the firsts of the US. This is helpful. While the USSR had placed the first satellite into orbit, this doesn't mean that the US copied them. Like I said, the US had been working on their spacecrafts at the same time the USSR was. We just took one of our ideas, and spread it out further into different designs and modifications, all giving us firsts.
Now, I see you talk about the NASA spy satellites. Good! The only thing you failed to mention was what they were actually used for:
"Reconnaissance satellites have been used to enforce human rights, through the Satellite Sentinel Project, which monitors atrocities in Sudan and South Sudan."
"photo-reconnaissance satellites, for example, are enormously important in stabilizing world affairs and thereby make a significant contribution to the security of all nations."
During the 1950s, a Soviet hoax had led to American fears of a bomber gap. In 1968, after gaining satellite photography, the United States' intelligence agencies were able to state with certainty that 'No new ICBM complexes have been established in the USSR during the past year.'"
You see, the US spy satellites, also called the Reconnaissance satellites, were used to survey for ICBMs in the the 50s and 60s, as well as a few other deeds. They were also used to see what the USSR was doing, as we were in war with them.
Next, you say that the Apollo space crafts may have just entered orbit and not actually went to the moon, but you support no proof for this. I, on the other hand, would love to move on to the actual landings please.
There are a few ways we can prove man landed on the moon. Three in fact.
1. Moon rocks. 840 pounds of dust and rocks were brought back from the surface of the moon to Earth between 1969 and 1972 by the Apollo missions (except Apollo 13, of course). These rocks, pebbles, dust particles, and other things were studied by NASA scientists, and they found some peculiar things about the rocks. Many of the most common Earth minerals have never been found on Moon rocks. The minerals include quartz, calcite, magnetite, hematite, micas, amphiboles, and most sulfide minerals. Many terrestrial minerals and rocks have also been found to contain water in their structure, unlike any of the moon rocks. If you still don't believe me, take it from a geo scientist with more than 45 years in training and experience. "Any geoscientist (and there have been thousands from all over the world) who has studied lunar samples knows that anyone who thinks the Apollo lunar samples were created on Earth as part of government conspiracy doesn't know much about rocks. The Apollo samples are just too good. They tell a self-consistent story with a complexly interwoven plot that's better than any story any conspirator could have conceived. I've studied lunar rocks and soils for 45+ years and I couldn't make even a poor imitation of a lunar breccia, lunar soil, or a mare basalt in the lab. And with all due respect to my clever colleagues in government labs, no one in "the Government" could do it either, even now that we know what lunar rocks are like. Lunar samples show evidence of formation in an extremely dry environment with essentially no free oxygen and little gravity. Some have impact craters on the surface and many display evidence for a suite of unanticipated and complicated effects associated with large and small meteorite impacts. Lunar rocks and soil contain gases (hydrogen, helium, nitrogen, neon, argon, krypton, and xenon) derived from the solar wind with isotope ratios different than Earth forms of the same gases. They contain crystal damage from cosmic rays. Lunar igneous rocks have crystallization ages, determined by techniques involving radioisotopes, that are older than any known Earth rocks. (Anyone who figures out how to fake that is worthy of a Nobel Prize.) It was easier and cheaper to go to the Moon and bring back some rocks than it would have been to create all these fascinating features on Earth. [After writing these words I learned that virtually the same sentiments had already been expressed by some of my lunar sample colleagues.]
3. The Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment. On three Apollo missions, Apollo 11, 14, and 15, astronauts left these things called Lunar Ranging Retro Reflectors. These reflectors are special instruments that reflect lasers shown at them. When an extremely high powered laser is shown at them from Earth, the laser reflects back down to the surface. If a laser was just shown normally at the surface of the moon, nothing would be reflected down. But, since there is the LRRRs, you can know that we did go to the moon and place them there.
While Apollo did place LRRRs, the USSR also placed two on the moon, but both are much smaller than the Apollo ones.
You said at first I got my arguments wrong, but in fact, they are all from Wikipedia. I linked them at least, while you only criticized them; while you didn't link me, in this round, your sources at all.
The Satellite Sentinel Project was created during 2010, so it has nothing to do with the Space Race, nor the Cold War. I know reconnaissance satellites were used back then and they are used still nowadays, but they surely had other uses during the Cold War as well.
As stated by Johnson, on a gathering in 1967:
"I wouldn't want to be quoted on this ... We've spent $35 or $40 billion on the space program. And if nothing else had come out of it except the knowledge that we gained from space photography, it would be worth ten times what the whole program has cost. Because tonight we know how many missiles the enemy has and, it turned out, our guesses were way off. We were doing things we didn't need to do. We were building things we didn't need to build. We were harboring fears we didn't need to harbor."
Sounds like they were spying on the USSR, weren't they? My previous theories were SO correct.
You said: "They were also used to see what the USSR was doing, as we were in war with them."
And, in fact, it's obvious after all: they spied and took advantage of their projects. They were NOT only used to spy on their missiles.
Nobody should trust the LRO; in fact, any skilled guy could fake images, ANY image, let alone the NASA and government agencies.
Same thing about the LRRRs: they MUST have used their soft-landing techniques to get those up there: If they correctly landed other machineries, they can surely land one piece of glass as well.
Second, you provide no proof that we used the reconnaissance orbiters to copy the USSR. You just made false claims that we used them to copy. Their only purpose at the time was to see what the USSR was doing with nuclear warheads, that was all.
Third, you completely skipped over the moon rocks segment.
Now, I am again going to continue with debunking popular conspiracy hoaxes.
1. The waving flag. While many people resort to this claim as their main hoax, it can easily be disproved. In a vacuum, a flag doesn't wave. This is because there's no air particles to blow and move it around. Now, when you look at the videos of the flag, it appears to wave in some wind. This isn't the case. The flag is just moving, responding to the astronaut's touch. When they let go, the flag will wave slightly to balance itself, but then fall still. If you watch videos, the flag doesn't wave at any other time than when the astronauts touch it.
2. No stars in photos and videos. This is really easy to explain, especially to those who know how cameras work. It's called exposure and aperture. Exposure is the amount of time light is hitting the film or photo receptors in a camera, while aperture is how much light is entering the camera through the lens. The longer the exposure, and the wider the aperture, the more the film or receptors are exposed to light. Now, because the astronauts were in lunar daylight during their EVAs, they had to had a very low exposure and small aperture to take photos, otherwise it would be nothing but white. This is due to the giant star suspended right there. The small aperture and exposure also allows you to see the surface of the moon, which otherwise acts like a giant mirror reflecting the sun's light. Now, remember how I said the shorter the exposure/smaller the aperture, the less light is let in? This is why you can't see the stars. Lunar daylight is essentially like terrestrial daylight, except there's no atmosphere to make the lunar sky blue. Have you ever tried to take a photo of the sky during the day? do you see any stars? No! If you did try to take photos of the stars, you need your exposure open for a long time, but this means that the Suns light gets in, causing the photo to be white.
3. Lethal Radiation and the Van Allen Belts. There are two belts of radiation surround our planet, both being deadly if exposed to for long periods. The inner belt, the more dangerous one, is made of protons, while the outer is made of electrons. Astronauts must pass through both (especially the inner one) quickly, or else they could have terminal effects. Before the missions, NASA calculated the safest route through the belts, which is up at an angle. Every Apollo mission followed this path, passing through the inner belt in a few minutes, and the outer belt in no more than 1.5 hours. The Apollo astronauts also had a thin layer of aluminum in their craft to shield them. These factors resulted in the astronauts only getting a very small dose of radiation, about 10 millisieverts. This amount is the amount nuclear reactor workers are exposed to in a year. This means very little damage was done.
4. No Blast Crater Claim. This is a common claim, and it's also easy to explain. There is no need for a blast crater. The descent module had a max thrust of 10,000 pounds, but it was throttled far down so that they didn't gain enough thrust to go back up prematurely. The thrust was about 10-15%, so 1-1.5K pounds, which is very small. The descent module was no longer quickly falling either, so the engine had to only support the weight of the module, which was 1/6 less than normal due to the moon's small gravity. The small thrust did blow up dust, which is a small layer about an inch thick on the surface, but it didn't burn through any rock under the dust. Thus, no blast crater.
Now here's another bit of proof that confirms the landings.
On Apollos 15, 16, and 17, a lunar rover was brought in the LM to experiment and allow astronauts with a better mode of transportation along the surface. When driven, the rover's wheels kicked up plenty of dust, just like any other car would. Unlike any car on earth, the dust behind the rover's wheels flew up in a way no car can recreate on earth. The dust arched up high and hovered slowly, as if it was in 1/6 gravity (hint: it was). The videos couldn't have been in slow motion either, as this wouldn't have affected the path of the dust, only the playback time of it falling.
To be honest, it's bad to be scolded because "I provide no proof that we used the reconnaissance orbiters to copy the USSR",