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German Lunar Mission To Put Moon Landing Hoax Claims To Rest

As soon as the Apollo 11 footage hit the airwaves, people began making claims that the footage was somehow faked and that the moon landings were a hoax altogether. A 1979 book, We Never Went to the Moon: America’s Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle, was one of the first sources to push these hoax claims into popular culture, and the rest is history.

One of the more popular claims is based on the apparent waving of the flag in the Apollo 11 footage. NASA claims the motion was due to the unfurling of the rolled-up flag, or ripples from the astronauts handling the flag pole.

One of the more popular claims is based on the apparent waving of the flag in the Apollo 11 footage. NASA claims the motion was due to the unfurling of the rolled-up flag, or ripples caused by the astronauts handling the flag pole.

One of the more outlandish claims is that legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick was hired to shoot the fake landing scenes in order to demoralize the Soviet Union, with whom the U.S. was waging a technological race to the top. Luckily for those of us who put our faith in NASA, a German team of citizen scientists has a plan to return to the original Apollo 11 site to put these hoax claims to rest once and for all.

A rendering of the team’s Audi-branded lunar lander.

A rendering of the team’s Audi-branded lunar lander.

The German team, called the “Part Time Scientists,” have partnered with Audi to send a robotic lunar rover within 200 meters (656 feet) of the Apollo 11 Lunar Roving Vehicle. Their plan is part of the team’s entry into the Google Lunar X Prize, a competition which pits teams of scientists and engineers against one another in a race to develop low-cost robots capable of exploring objects in space such as the moon.

While the team will be returning to the original Apollo 11 site to hopefully prove that NASA did in fact put men on the moon, debunking the conspiracy theory isn’t their primary goal. According to the their website, the team has loftier goals in mind:

This is a mission about the challenges that lie in the 384.400 kilometers that separate the earth from the moon. A story about breaking rules, going places where no one else dares to go. About trying, failing – and trying again. And about the strongest, most powerful fuel of all: pioneering spirit.

Yeah, pioneering spirit is great and all, but just show us the Apollo 11 lander already. I’ve got money riding on this one.

NASA requests that future lunar missions respect a wide circumference around the original site in order to preserve it. Or, maybe to keep others from seeing their "lander" is merely an inflatable prop. Probably not, though.

NASA requests that future lunar missions respect a wide circumference around the original site in order to preserve it. Or, maybe the protective bubble is to keep others from seeing their “lander” is merely an inflatable prop. Probably not, though.

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  • ivr

    How is it possible that this myth endures to this day?

  • NavyVeteran

    Very simple. It all stems from NASA themselves. They are very secretive about the events that led up to the landing. It was a race against Russia to get to space, although Russia beat America with Sputnik. Here’s the crux. American went from saying we are going, to going in less than 5 years. We don’t have the capability NOW in 2016 to get there, how could we have gotten there in the late 1960s? Computers back then were the size of buildings, not laptops. The capsule and landers were very small when to compared to what a computer was back then. We can’t launch a Space Shuttle safely, hence the reason for the canceling of the program. If America got to the moon even one time, then we’d have a base up there. The Saturn V rocket wasn’t as powerful as they claim it was to be able to get 250,000 Miles to the moon. And seriously the Apollo lander would most likely have been 3-4 times larger just in computer equipment to get the thing to work. Then you have the pictures, etc.

  • Daniel Maguire

    Because, generally, people who want to see conspiracy theories and especially those who latch on to a single theory will be deaf to anything which does not act to confirm that theory. Even if this mission succeeds at proving to most people that there was no hoax there will still be people who believe that the German findings were also somehow a hoax or disinformation created to continue the hoax. Conspiracy theories are eternally self-affirming to the believers.

  • Ghostdanser

    I remember watching the Saturn V’s launch the Apollo missions when I was a kid. Those were the BEST launches, so bright. This seems like one of those situations where “For those that believe no proof is required, and for those that don’t believe no proof will ever be enough.”

    No proof is required for me.

  • ChrisD

    A significant number of humans still believe the Earth is flat, another significant number believe in the hollow Earth theory with a huge hole at the North-Pole while another significant number still believe in (…insert your favorite term here…). So there, Lunar landing Hoax believers will still be around in 100 years.

  • Daniel Maguire

    And possibly even 1000. If we get off this rock I’ll bet there will still be those who believe that any who claim to have been to space are all part of some giant conspiracy and the only safe place is on terra firma. Anyone who claims to have been in space or living in a space colony is insane, part of a conspiracy or in actuality dead from falling off the edge of the Earth.

  • Graham Winstanley

    And if it proves otherwise?

  • Ha-ha-ha, perfect. The question I have is regarding the values: In my opinion, pursuing technocratic goals, e.g. landing on the Moon, is disingenuous when there are people suffering from hunger, lack of sanitation, when the Amazon forests are destroyed at increasing rates, when there are sex scandals and human trafficking, etc. People, wait until you die to see the Universe. There are other, more pressing issues at hand in this physical life of yours.