On July 20th, 1969 the Apollo mission 11 crew of Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin Aldrin Jr, was successful for landing on the moon before any other country. This remarkable achievement was watched and experienced with millions of viewers on televisions and big screens, anxious for the first step on the moon. When the three crew members finally landed safely, it marked one of the most memorable moments in history. As many years passed after the landing, the audience and viewers of the moon landing started to wonder if it really happened. A large quantity of society were beginning to become curious if the moon landing was faked and staged. Questions started to arise, such as, did they have the technology to really reach to the moon. Also, why has NASA not gone back to the moon to find more research, did we lose the technology that they had, or supposedly didn’t have.
When people started to wonder about a possible hoax with the moon landing, others tried to prove it wrong. People began to break down the footage and evidence that was available for the moon. It is believed that the idea of “Space Race” played an impact on if the landing was fake or not. People think that in order to be the most successful country, NASA faked the landing in order to beat the Soviet Union to touch ground on the moon first. Different theories of why the landing was faked started to arise such as the waving flag. In one of the pictures with the American Flag standing up, there is a wind current with the flag, and based on the atmosphere that the crew is in, there is no force or wind strong enough to wave a flag like that. Another example of the hoax is that in all the photos, the shadows of the astronauts and machinery do not line up the way they should. In the show Myth Busters, with Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, the two scientists attempted to prove the moon landing was fake. They created multiple experiments to prove it wrong including a photo that is casting shadows, they actual gravitational pull while walking, running, and jumping. The one that stood out to me was the test of shadow display. Recreating a model replica of the setting of the moon, proper lighting, and equipment. They discovered that the lighting in the original photo that the shadow coming off from the sun does not line up to where it should be. Another point that the Myth Busters made was that the technology is not even close back then to where it is now, therefore people start to wonder why another trip back to the moon hasn’t been made.
In 1969 technology was very limited but on the rise for extreme growth. At that time, the idea of AI was starting to blossom. Creative innovations to technology created experiments such as robots. The Stanford arm created by Victor Scheinman was marked as the first robot controlled by a computer. This advancement eventually led to robots being able to reconstruct a Ford car and input sensors and other accessories to the vehicle. Astronomy and Space Exploration was the biggest advance considering the financial input for the moon landing. There was also a large advance in computer technology including the Apollo Rope Memory. This product can hold seventy-two KB of storage, but the rope memory is very slow in doing a task, so it takes a very long time, usually months for a program to be put in. Another tremendous advance technologically in 1969 was the Interface Message Processor. This general-purpose networking system provided access to connect other computers and networks together. But, much like the rope memory, it takes a while to process usually weeks to months. In this case, how was it possible for technology advances like this, send three men to the moon. If networking, connecting, and storage takes as long as weeks and sometimes months to process, then how safe and reliable was it, to risk waiting weeks and months for something as simple as a code to process. Within the next year, in 1970 the technology started to increase a tremendous amount. New systems were being created like the system that IBM created called the “System 370 Model” with a 145 mainframe computer that was the first computer that used semiconductor memory. This memory had the ability to store a large amount of data, in half the amount of space and cost then core memory would, therefore a huge improvement with storage and memory in computers. Also there was a computer memory that was created by had called the “Apollo guidance computer; read-only rope memory.” I found this piece of technology interesting not only because it was made my hand to carry American astronauts to the Moon and back, but because it is equal to seventy-two kilobytes of storage but it takes almost months in order to weave a program into the rope and process it.
In total, there have been twelve different attempts for NASA to reach the moon and unfortunately some resulting in the loss of astronauts. Including all other countries and other attempts to land on the moon, over 75% of the attempts were either a launch failure, or a spacecraft failure, which are both technological faults. There was no human error in trying to reach the moon, it was all machinery that would break down, or fail. The first Apollo mission on January 1967, three men lost their lives during a test launch from a flash fire through the command module of the aircraft. Another example of a failed mission was the third attempt to reach the moon. Apollo 13, on April 11th, 1970 an oxygen tank ruptured and disabled the entire command spacecraft. Commanders Lovell, Swigert, and Haise all survived this accident. But, much like the first attempt to the moon, it was an error caused by a technological failure. Based off all the attempts to land on the moon, there was a lot of determination and excitement to reach the goal of landing on the moon it is much easier said than done President Kennedy said in full confidence that the Americans will land foot on the moon, and the first ones to do so it was clear that landing on the moon was a priority for the Unites States. Unfortunately, Kennedy didn’t live until that time happened. It was necessary to have something forceful enough to launch three astronauts into and past orbit to eventually land on the moon.
The cameras used filmed the moon landing were more complex than the actual science that took them there, according to Eric M. Jones who is an expert in Astronomy from the University of Wisconsin. One of the cameras was the I.V.A. (Intra Vehicular Camera). This camera had 80mm lens but was actually not meant to use for the moon. Therefore, that helps prove the point that there weren’t cameras at that time, that would capture something so clear precise. Especially because the camera isn’t meant to be used on the moon, making the quality look weak and faded because the Intra Vehicular Camera was not intended for use outside of the cabin. It has a black body, and didn’t have a reseau plate, which is a transparent sheet of glass that is engraved in order to make the images come out clear, and without that plate the images come out blurry. . It makes more sense that a higher quality camera was used to make the picture come out so clear. The other camera that was used to capture footage on the moon landing was, E.V.A. (Extra Vehicular Camera). Unlike the I.V.A., this camera was meant and strong enough to withstand that conditions in a harsh lunar atmosphere. This camera was silver because it helped regulate the temperature to prevent it from overheating and freezing. But, the EVA only has a 60mm lens so there isn’t much of a difference from the IVA. Either way, I feel like both cameras don’t have enough resolution to be able to create an image so clear and perfect. Also to catch so much detail, like the reflection on the astronauts helmet seems like a stretch for a camera meant for space, to be so clear and defined . But another theory that people came up with is that in the reflection of the astronaut’s helmet there is no shadow, like there should be. Both cameras were modified to fit in the hand of the big bulky space gloves. There were only three buttons, on/off, a button to take the picture, and another button to look at the taken pictures. A very simple but effective way for the astronauts to use the cameras.
NASA is always busy with ongoing missions and other tasks that are needed to complete. The last time we have been to the moon was in 1972, so what is the reason behind that we can’t go back. When NASA got the resources they need in 1972, which was, 25.8 billion dollars just for the Apollo missions, they were able to shoot their shot for the moon. So one of the reasons why we can’t go back is because how busy NASA is and the financials behind it, but it also said that we don’t have the same technology to do it again. Money is more valuable today so it is risky and daring to keep trying to send astronauts to the moon knowing there is a possible chance of failure in technology. The Apollo program ran from 1969-1972, resulting in a total of seventeen missions to reach the moon yet only six of them were successful, but obviously not everyone believes the six Apollo missions actually made it. Many of those missions failed mostly from computer issues and technological problems, but NASA doesn’t want to take the risk of having these missions maybe become fatal. With that, if there is another technological problem then NASA is responsible for it and would have to pay their dues. There becomes a huge responsibility the human body and cost for the technology used so it has caused a bit of a hesitation for NASA to keep trying on going to the moon. Like China most recently did in 2003, we now have the technology of a rover. The hoax believers wonder that if the United States was able to go to the moon during the eight years that President Kennedy was in office, then what is the struggle to go there again forty years later.
Luckily, the Apollo program has created a machine to explore the moon, called the Lunar Rover. The members of Apollo mission 15, 16, and 17 were able to drive this vehicle around the moon and explore what is there. The actual design of this vehicle is said to be “guesswork,” according to Dr. David R. Williams, meaning that the creators did not actually know what to expect and just hoped that the creation that they had would work, a trial and error per say. The LRV (Lunar Rover Vehicle), was a battery powered machine. The purpose of the LRV, was to operate in the low-gravity vacuum of the moon, and to be capable at traveling throughout the moon with no problem, which it did. It could carry one to two astronauts total but can also include the equipment and lunar samples that the astronauts think are valuable to NASA. Driving the vehicle was a simple concept, move the driving stick forwards it goes forwards, backwards for the brakes, and left and right to turn left or right. The navigational aspect of the vehicle was that the distance and direction was continuously recorded through the odometer, that feeds the data into a computer which keeps track of the overall direction and distance traveled. Before that, they used the sun-shadow device which gives you a sense of direction based on the position 1of the sun.
There will never be a full answer to the question and conspiracies of the moon landing because there will always be a group of people who don’t believe it. On both sides of the argument, there are very valid points that debunk false theories. It will always be a curiosity as to why we have never gone back to the moon, or if we even had all the right technology to send somebody to the moon, considering how many failed Apollo missions there were. Did the Americans fake a moon landing because they wanted to beat out the Soviet Union and other countries that were also racing to the moon? July 20th, 1969 will be known as one of the most known theories and hoax arguments possible.