Home Space 31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
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One thing that conspiracy theorists love to point out is that the moon landing had to have been a hoax. However, if you look at the facts about the moon landing, there is no way that it could have been faked. Read on to learn more about why the moon landing was not only an authentic event but also a significant accomplishment in human history.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
The Van Allen belts of radiation surround the Earth. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

1. There Was a Reason Why the Astronauts Did Not Die From Radiation Exposure

The Van Allen belts are bands of radiation surrounding the Earth. Conspiracy theorists point to the fact that the radiation did not kill the astronauts, as it would have been at its highest peak and were the spaceship not designed to protect the astronauts from it.

The intensity of the Van Allen belts changes periodically. NASA scientists took this fact into consideration when they planned the timing of the Apollo 11 mission that took the astronauts to the moon. In addition to insulating the spaceship to protect the astronauts from the radiation, they timed the mission to go when the radiation was at its lowest.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
The “C” on the rock is not proof that the landing was staged. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

2. The “C” on a Rock Was Not Evidence of a Prop

Another bit of “evidence” that moon-landing conspiracy theorists point to is that when the Apollo 16 astronauts took photographs on the moon, one of the rocks had a letter “C” on it. This “C” must undoubtedly be evidence that the whole thing was staged, as it is a means of cataloging props.

First, Hollywood producers would have been smart enough not to show the “C” if they were using props to stage the moon landing. Second, the “C” was actually a fiber that probably got caught in the machine. The original photos and negatives do not show the “C.”

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
Buzz salutes the U.S. flag. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

3. When the Flag Waved, There Was a Reason

One piece of evidence that conspiracy theorists like to cite is the fact that the United States flag that the astronauts set up “waved,” as if in the wind. They think that the video of the flag was clearly a Hollywood video shoot, not a legitimate lunar landing.

However, there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for the flag “waving.” According to Buzz Aldrin, “It took both of us to set it up, and it was nearly a public relations disaster… a small telescoping arm was attached to the flagpole to keep the flag extended and perpendicular. As hard as we tried, the telescope wouldn’t fully extend. Thus the flag which should have been flat had its own permanent wave.”

If the flag had been waving within earth’s atmosphere in a Hollywood studio, the producers would have known to make sure that it was not waving. Thus, the fact that it was waving is evidence that the lunar landing actually did happen.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
There was no blast crater when the shuttle landed on the lunar surface. Photo Credit: NASA

4. The Missing “Blast Crater” Was Due to the Lack of Gravity

When the shuttle landed on the lunar surface, it did not leave a blast crater, as one might expect. After all, when asteroids and meteorites collide with a surface, they leave a crater that is directly proportionate to their size, speed, and gravity.

The lack of a blast crater on the moon was due precisely to the low lunar gravity, combined with the slow landing speed of the shuttle and its low mass. Plus, the shuttle landed on a rock, so it left as much of a crater as one might expect an airplane to when it touched down on a runway. Were NASA trying to perpetrate a conspiracy, one thing that the Hollywood producers would have certainly done is create a crater. That there was no crater is actually evidence that there was no conspiracy.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
The famous Buzz Aldrin’s lunar footprint. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

5. Buzz Aldrin, Not Neal Armstrong, Left the Famous Footprint

Another “fact” that moon-landing conspiracy theorists like to point to is that the footprint left on the moon does not match Neal Armstrong’s foot size. The explanation why is simple: Buzz Aldrin left it.

Neal Armstrong tends to get a lot of credit because he was the first of the three astronauts on Apollo 11 to set foot on the moon. However, his colleagues, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, were equally important in ensuring that the mission was a success.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
The shadows are not evidence of a conspiracy. Photo Credit: NASA/Wikimedia Commons

6. The Shadows Were Caused By the Moon’s Topography

Conspiracy theorists like to point to the shadows that can be seen in the footage of the lunar landing as evidence that it did not occur. To the untrained eye of someone who is not familiar with how light and photography work, it seems that the shadows had to have been cast by artificial sources, such as Hollywood lighting.

However, the shadows were caused by the moon’s topography, as its landscape causes the sun to create shadows on its surface. Additionally, the wide lenses that the astronauts used distorted the light so that the shadows appear to be particularly prominent.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
Getting an astronaut to the moon is prohibitively expensive. Photo Credit: NASA

7. Going to the Moon is Really, Really Expensive

Conspiracy theorists like to point to the fact that we haven’t gone back to the moon in decades. Given how far our technology has come since the Apollo program, we should easily be able to get people to the moon regularly.

The Apollo program cost a total of $25.8 billion between the years 1960 and 1973, over $100 billion in today’s money. Imagine your Congressperson trying to justify why that much money should be in the budget. It is really just that expensive to travel to and from the moon.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
Some of the moon-landing images are in excellent contrast. Some are blurry. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

8. We Should Expect Some Pictures to be Blurry

When you go on a trip and take pictures, no one expects that all of them will turn out perfectly. But somehow, some people believe that a few blurry photos from the lunar landing mean that the whole thing was a fake.

Not all of the photos from the moon landing turned out great. But NASA didn’t feel the need to censor any of them, because they were evidence of the greatest feat to date in human history. We should be concerned if the scientists had edited the photos and only revealed those that were perfect. That the scientists did not censor any pictures is evidence that they had nothing to hide.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
The lack of a starry backdrop is actually evidence that the landing occurred. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

9. There Were No Stars in the Photo Backgrounds Because of Exposure Limitations

If astronauts really landed on the moon and took pictures of the sky, one thing we would certainly expect to see is stars. Lots and lots of stars, especially without an atmosphere limiting their light coming in. However, NASA gave a perfectly reasonable explanation for the lack of starlight: “Astronauts striding across the bright lunar soil in their sunlit spacesuits were literally dazzling. Setting a camera with the proper exposure for a glaring spacesuit would naturally render background stars too faint to see.”

Were the lunar landing staged, one thing that the Hollywood producers would have certainly thought to do was add in some stars. The fact that they are not seen in the background is evidence that the photos were not faked.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
Details of the surface of the moon. Photo Photo Credit: Castleski/Shutterstock

10. The Hubble Telescope Is Not Powerful Enough to Take Detailed Pictures of the Moon

If the moon landing really happened, then we should be able to see the relics of it with our telescopes from the earth. Right? Wrong. The remnants from the lunar landing include things as small as footprints and a flag. Your hobby telescope is not nearly powerful enough to capture them.

In fact, even the Hubble telescope is not powerful enou gh to capture them. However, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is powerful enough to capture images of those relics, and it does so regularly.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
The astronauts collected many, many moon rocks. Photo Credit: NASA

11. Geologists Have Verified Hundreds of Moon Rocks

Following the return of the Apollo 11 astronauts, they made a world tour in which they handed out moon rocks to prominent people in 135 different countries. They gave one to the Dutch prime minister, who kept it in his possession until he died in 1988. Afterward, it was gifted to the Rijksmuseum, where it was found actually to be a piece of petrified wood.

Conspirators love to jump on this tidbit to show that the moon rocks were all fake. However, consider that nearly three decades passed between the lunar landing and the death of the Dutch prime minister. There is no way to show that the two rocks – the one that he was gifted and the one that turned out to be petrified wood – are one and the same. Additionally, geologists have verified that hundreds of moon rocks are authentic. That one turned up as a fake does not debunk the lunar landing.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
Rocket firing off into outer space. Photo Credit: NASA

12. A Soviet Newspaper Ran a Front-Page Article on the Lunar Landing

If the moon landing were a hoax, a lot of people would have had to be in on it. The first people to point out the deception would have been the Soviets, who were locked in the Space Race with the US. You can bet that they were closely following every single development in the Apollo program.

But the Soviets did not deny the lunar landing. In fact, the Soviet newspaper Pravda ran a front-page article on the lunar landing. If the whole thing were a big conspiracy by NASA scientists and Hollywood producers, the Soviets would have called them out instead of acknowledging their accomplishment.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
The American flag on the lunar surface. Photo Credit: NASA

13. The Apollo Missions Left Reflectors On the Lunar Surface

Ever since the Apollo missions successfully put astronauts on the moon, NASA scientists have been using the special reflectors that the astronauts left behind on the lunar surface. Conspiracy theorists have no explanation for how these reflectors got there.

One reflector that the Apollo 11 astronauts left on the moon is a panel that contains dozens of mirrors. Researchers fire pulses to the mirrors and measure the return, enabling them to measure the distance between the earth and moon with pinpoint precision.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
You can see the reflection of Armstrong in Aldrin’s visor. Photo Credit: NASA

14. Armstrong Took the Photo of Aldrin With a Chest Camera

The picture of Buzz Aldrin walking on the surface of the moon has, in Aldrin’s visor, Neil Armstrong’s reflection. What the reflection does not show is Armstrong holding a camera. Conspiracy theorists like to point this fact out to show that the picture was faked.

But can you imagine trying to operate a camera while wearing a clunky space suit? Your fingers would hardly be able to find the right button. NASA scientists knew this when they designed the cameras to be positioned on the astronauts’ chests. You can’t see the camera in the reflection of Armstrong because he wasn’t using a regular point-and-shoot camera.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
A detailed picture of the moon’s surface. Photo Credit: Belish/Shutterstock

15. The First Moon Landing Occurred on July 20, 1969

Now that we have debunked so many of the so-called “facts” that conspiracy theorists point so let’s take a look at what actually did happen.

In 1961, President John F Kennedy made his famous speech that the United States would put a man on the moon within the decade. His goal was accomplished posthumously when Apollo 11 put astronauts on the moon in 1969. JFK is an iconic president for numerous reasons including the infamous moon landing.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin studies the moon’s soil; on the far right is Apollo 11’s lunar module, the Eagle. Photo Credit: NASA

16. The Astronauts Nearly Ran Out of Fuel

When the lunar probe left the Columbia space shuttle to land on the surface of the moon, NASA had determined that it should land in a certain area that seemed to be clear. However, Armstrong realized that it was dangerous and full of boulders. He steered the probe to a different area, thereby using more of the precious fuel. The probe actually had an “automatic abort” function in case the fuel should run too low, to ensure that the astronauts could return to the Columbia.

By the time Armstrong actually landed the probe, there were only 25 seconds of fuel left. Any longer and the probe would have automatically returned to the Columbia. The lunar landing would have had to wait until the next Apollo mission.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
Astronaut with the American flag. Photo Credit: NASA

17. Armstrong Disputes the Famous Words

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Armstrong disputes that these words are actually what he said when he first stepped onto the moon. What he claims to have said was, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

The second quote actually makes more sense. Additionally, linguists have listened to the original recording and confirm that there was an “a” that got lost in the transmission. Despite the argument between the letter, Armstrong still made a notorious phrase as he walked on the moon.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
The Apollo 11 astronauts: Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin. Photo Credit: NASA

18. There Were Three Astronauts on Apollo 11

However, only two of them walked on the surface of the moon. When the Eagle probe separated from the Columbia space shuttle, Michael Collins, the third astronaut, remained aboard the Columbia to pilot it.

Collins never did get to walk on the surface of the moon. However, he is an incredibly accomplished astronaut in his own right. He flew on multiple NASA missions and is one of only a few people to have orbited the moon and conducted a spacewalk. After working for the Department of State, he became director of the National Air and Space Museum before becoming undersecretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
Disembarking from the Eagle. Photo Credit: NASA

19. The Astronauts Left Some Mementos On the Lunar Surface

In addition to scientific instruments for experiments, they left behind images of human beings as well as recordings in multiple languages. After all, the mission was a global feat, not just an American one.

They also left behind medallions commemorating the astronauts who died in the Apollo 1 catastrophe and two Russian cosmonauts who also died in a similar accident. If any aliens show up on the moon’s surface, they will find those mementos.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
About 600 million people watched the astronauts walk on the moon. Photo Credit: NASA

20. Over 600 Million People Watched the Moon Landing

The media was all over the Apollo 11 mission, from before the Columbia launched until after it returned to earth. People all over the world eagerly anticipated the moon landing.

Estimates are that more than 53 million families watched the event, a number that amounts to nearly 600 million people all over the world. This was a record that was not broken until 1981 when Princess Diana and Prince Charles wed each other.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
Richard Nixon. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

21. President Nixon Had A Speech Prepared In Case the Mission Failed

Of course, most people watching the event wanted it to succeed (minus those on the other side of the Space Race, of course), and today, we can hardly imagine a world in which the moon landing hadn’t happened. But just in case it didn’t succeed as planned, President Nixon had a second speech prepared.

There was a huge possibility that the mission would be catastrophic. While previous Apollo missions had shown that a rocket could take off from the surface of the earth, no one knew if one could take off from the surface of the moon. Fortunately, Nixon didn’t have to use that speech.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
Astronaut Neil Armstrong. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

22. Upon Return, the Astronauts Spent Three Weeks in Quarantine

At the time, we didn’t know if the lunar surface was sterile or if there were possibly microbial life forms present there. Every precaution had to be taken to prevent microscopic aliens from infiltrating earth.

When the astronauts returned, they immediately had to be taken into quarantine, where they remained for 21 days. Fortunately, they did not have any tiny moon men infesting their spacesuits.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
Wilbur Wright watches Orville Wright pilot the first successful heavier-than-air flight in the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Photo Credit: Everett Collection/Shutterstock

23. Armstrong Brought Wood From the Kitty Hawk Airplane

In 1903, 66 years before the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Wright brothers flew the first plane on the beach in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. They were originally from Ohio, the same state as Neil Armstrong.

Armstrong wanted to demonstrate how far aviation had come in the past seven decades, so he brought with him a piece of wood from the first airplane that the Wright brothers flew. Today, that piece of wood is now in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
Buzz Aldrin. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

24. The Astronauts Spent Almost a Fully Day on the Moon

They spent a total of 21 hours and 36 minutes in EVA or extravehicular activity; EVA refers to any astronaut activity that occurs outside of the earth’s atmosphere.

During that time, they conducted extensive experiments and placed multiple instruments on the lunar surface. They also took some breaks inside the probe, so the time that they actually spent on the lunar surface was less than the 21 hours of EVA.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
Michael Collins. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

25. The Astronauts Had to Clear Customs

Have you ever had to stand in a long customs line, waiting to be able to enter the country? You have to declare anything that might be of organic nature or large amounts of foreign currency. After waiting interminably, the customs officer decides if you can enter the country.

In 2015, Buzz Aldrin tweeted that when they returned to earth, they also had to clear customs. They declared that they were carrying moon rocks and dust.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
The Saturn V rocket. Photo Credit: NASA

26. The Saturn V Rocket Is The Largest Ever Built

The Saturn V rocket was what propelled the Columbia out of the earth’s atmosphere. It measured 363 feet long and was assembled in the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center. The VAB is so large that clouds form inside of it.

The Saturn V remains the longest and heaviest rocket in history. It is on display at the Kennedy Space Center in Houston.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
Aldrin brought a communion kit to the moon. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

27. The Astronauts Took Communion on the Moon

Without NASA’s knowledge, Buzz Aldrin, a devout Presbyterian Christian, brought with him a mini communion kit. Upon landing on the moon, the astronauts took communion. What this means is that the first drink that was consumed on the lunar surface was wine.

The astronauts weren’t getting drunk on wine. They were taking communion to commemorate their significant accomplishment.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
Footprints on the moon. Photo Credit: NASA

28. The Moon Smells Like Gunpowder

When Armstrong and Aldrin returned to the lunar module, they removed their spacesuits and found that they smelled like wet ashes and spent gunpowder. The astronauts could even taste the smell because it was so strong. Apparently, that is what the moon smells like.

The smell is probably a result of the rocks and dust on the lunar surface, combined with its constant bombardment with meteorites.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
The Eagle lunar module. Photo Credit: NASA/ESA

29. Armstrong Exited the Module First

Neil Armstrong was the first person to walk on the surface of the moon. As the pilot of the Eagle lunar probe, he was sitting right next to the door. It only makes sense that he was the first person to step outside of the probe and onto the lunar surface.

Buzz Aldrin was seated further away from the door, so he was the second one to walk on the moon. Though some reports claimed that he was bitter about this, he says that he was not.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
The Columbia lunar module. Photo Credit: National Air and Space Museum

30. Aldrin Broke the Ignition Switch

When Armstrong and Aldrin returned to the Eagle, Aldrin accidentally broke the ignition switch. Without it, they would have been stuck on the lunar surface and unable to return to Columbia.

But Aldrin had an ingenious idea: he jammed a Biro ball-point pen into the ignition switch. This enabled them to activate the ascent engines and get back to the Columbia.

31 Facts That Prove the Moon Landing Wasn’t a Hoax
The flag didn’t stay standing for long. Photo Credit: NASA

31. The US Flag Blew Over

The team at NASA deliberated the implications of placing an American flag on the surface of the moon. After all, nobody actually owns the moon. The special council set up to determine whether or not to set up the flag decided to go on with it, as a way of sticking it to the Soviet Union.

But the joke was on NASA. When the Eagle ascended back to the Columbia, its blast thrusters knocked over the American flag. Fortunately, the Soviets didn’t stick this one in NASA’s face.