Was the moon landing faked by the U.S. Government?
Moon landing: Giant leap forward or a giant hoax?
One of the biggest conspiracy theories levelled at the U.S. Government in modern times has been that they faked the moon landing.
The U.S. at the time was caught up in a cold war arms race with the Soviet Union. Each side was desperate to out-perform the other. A moon landing, it seems, would have been the ultimate victory for one of the sides.
American citizens claimed that hstoric victory on July 20 1969 when Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the surface on the moon. But did he?
Ever since the day in question there have been dozens of reasons and explanations put forward as to why the moon landings in the Apollo mission were faked by Nasa, the U.S. Government and a number of other organisations with vested interests.
In fact, between six and 28 per cent of people in different countries said in polls that they still believe the landings were a hoax, an elaborate stage-manage illusion that duped the world.
There is an overwhelming amount of evidence that has been put forward by people who claim the lunar landing was stage. In fact, there's another for a whole book and the has indeed been many books written about the moon landing.
It would be impossible to cover every motive and every piece of evidence here, but instead there will be a brief overview of the main points. Anybody wishing to look into the topic even further can do more research online with some of the links provided or they can buy one of the books that are suggested at the bottom of the page.
A number of motives have been put forward. These include beating Russia in the 'Space Race'. Other suggestions are that Nasa needed to prove its worth in order to receive continued funding. A moon landing meant that it would continue to receive money from the Government.
Another theory is that the moon landings were a distraction from domestic affairs and foreign affairs. The most controversial of these was the Vietnam War, which led to mass protests in the U.S. and around the world.
Evidence for a conspiracy
A series of pictures were released by Nasa that they claimed had been taken during the landing of the Apollo mission. Each photograph has since been painstakingly analysed over the decades for any traces of forgery.
Stars are not visible in the photos of the moon landings
Surely on a trip to the moon, one would expect to see a stunning array of stars glistening down from space. They have, after all, got one of the best views in our scientifically-known universe and there aren't any street lights to outshine them.
According to the scientists, the Apollo landings happened during lunar daytime. This is the equivalent of daytime on earth where we, too, are unable to see stars. Nasa says that the stars were outshone by the sun reflecting off the moon's surface.
The photograph's are too high-quality to have been taken on the moon
Critics suggest that the atmospheric conditions on the moon would create pictures that are grainy and blurred. But those produced by the astronatuts were of an excellent standard.
Nasa claims that many of the pictures were poor quality, but it simply chose to publish those that gave the best amount of detail. They also say that the photographic equiplment used by the astronauts was of an incredibly high standard, to be precise a high resolution Hasselblad 500 EL/M Data cameras with Carl Zeiss optics and a 70-mm film magazine.
The flag is waving on the moon, but there's no wind up there
One of the most often cited pieces of evidence is that in picture the U.S. flag appears to be fluttering. On the moon, there is no wind, not even a gentle breeze. Conspiracy theorists claim that the scenes were filmed on earth where wind would have caused the movement.
Nasa says that the flag was unfurled from the top of the pole, and that the pictures were taken during this stage. For this reason, it appears to be moving. They also claim that because the flag had been kept in storage during the Apollo voyage, it was crumpled when they brought it out, and that the creases are what look like movement from wind.
There are no blast craters in the dust
The pictures show that there are no blast craters OR dust scatter left from the moon landers on the surface. Many people would have expected the powerful force of the engines and the exhaust fumes from the rockets to have pushed away the dust below them, leaving a significant mark.
Nasa puts forward a complex argument relating to the force of the propulsion and the lack of the gravity on the moon. Essentially they say that the landing craft would have floated down so softly that they touched down very smoothly without causing a disruption to the surface of the moon.
Nasa's latest piece of evidence
Earlier this year, a Nasa released pictures that it said its craft had taken of the moon's surface.
They say that the photographs from the Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter (LRO) show astronaut footprints alongside the lunar rover and spacecraft scorch marks.
The initial photographs were taken in 2009 from a height of 31 miles above the moon's surface. A second set were produced in 2011 when the craft made another flight over the site, but this time from a height of 13 miles.
Nasa say they are the best pictures yet and give the clearest view f where the astronauts went.
Nasa research scientist Noah Petro said that at the Apollo 17 Lunar rover landing site it's possible to see where the craft parked on the surface.
He added that from the pictures it's even possible to see where the lunar rover drove around and where the astronauts kicked up dust when they walked on the surface.
Because the moon is in a vacuum and there are limited atmospheric and weather conditions, it is thought by scientists that the surface will have remained undisturbed since the apparent landings from the Apollo space mission in 1969.