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The Moon Landing: Fact Or Fiction

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In 1969 Apollo 11, the United States space program landed on the moon. It won the space race against the Soviet Union but did not when the hearts of some people. The landing was a promise made by President John Kenndy; to land on the moon by the end of the decade. Over the decade multiple conspiracy theories have emerged declaring the moon landing to be faked, however, scientists have debunked these theories over and over again(for instance a popular theory is that the moon landing was filmed in a studio).

Three men were selected to join Apollo 11 and make the first trip in history to land on the moon. “The commander of the Apollo moonship was Neil Armstrong”. “Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., who goes by the nickname of “Buzz,” was the pilot of the Apollo Lunar Module”. “Michael Collins was the pilot of the Command Module”. On July 16, 1969, at 9:32 AM the Saturn 5 rocket carrying the Apollo 11 spaceship launched, and their 8-day long space journey had begun. “For the first four days of the Apollo journey, the world saw little that was new. During this time, the astronauts performed the routine tasks of a space flight, checking equipment and systems, carrying out everyday housekeeping chores, and conducting regularly scheduled telecasts for the folks back home”. When the Apollo 11 crew was 75% of the way towards the moon, crew members Armstrong and Aldrin televised an inspection tour of the lunar module, it lasted 1 hour and 36 minutes and was one of the clearest tv transmissions sent from space. “At 10:56 P.M., E.D.T., on July 20, 1969, Neil A. Armstrong stepped into history. He said the long-awaited words that are sure to be written in history books: “ That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” “. “One of the first things the astronauts did was plant their 3-by-5 foot American Flag”. On Monday, July 21 Armstrong and Aldrin left the moon to go back home. “The trip back was routine. Until the last few hours before splashdown, the astronauts had little work to do except for checking spacecraft systems, performing housekeeping chores, and conducting more television shows for the folks at home”. At 12:22 PM Thursday, the module was arriving back to earth 950 miles southwest of Hawaii landed in the Pacific and was recovered by the recovery aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Hornet. The Apollo 11 mission to space won the space race, since then conspiracy theories have emerged such as the popular one in that the moon landing was filmed on a studio set.

No, the United States government did not film inside a movie studio in Hollywood. “ If we go along with the idea that the Moon landings were taped in a TV studio, then we would expect them to be 30 frames per second video, which was the television standard at the time. However, we know that video from the first Moon landing was recorded at ten frames per second in SSTV (Slow Scan Television) with a special camera”. The author explains that the moon landing was recorded at a low resolution then what the normal resolution was at the time. “At the time of the broadcast, magnetic disk recorders capable of storing slow-motion footage could only capture 30 seconds in total, for playback of 90 seconds of slow-motion video. To capture 143 minutes in slow motion, you’d need to record and store 47 minutes of live-action, which simply wasn’t possible”. People claim that the video could be recorded normally but just slowed down, Berry refutes this idea. “If the light source were a nearby spotlight, the shadows would originate from a central point. But because the source is so far away, the shadows are parallel in most places rather than diverging from a single point. That said, the sun isn’t the only source of illumination—light is reflected from the ground too. That can cause some shadows to not appear parallel”. The Author refutes another popular idea that the shadows come from a spotlight. Another popular theory is that the Apollo 11 crew would have been fried due to the Van Allen Belts.

The Van Allen belts did little to nothing to do with the Apollo 11 crew. “Luckily, the timings of the Apollo launches were such that the Van Allen belts were at their lowest intensity, which fluctuates with the Sun’s activity”. The Author is giving us information about the Van Allen Belts. “The Apollo 11 crew were within the belts for less than two hours during their journey to the Moon, and so would have only been exposed to an estimated 18 rads – well within the safe limit”. Davis claims that the Apollo 11 crew was safe when passing through the Van Allen belts. “There can still be some adverse effects from even this level of radiation, so NASA made sure that the Apollo 11 spacecraft was well-insulated such that the average dose of radiation over the 12-day mission was just 0.18 rads, or similar to the radiation dosage from a chest X-ray”. Davis explains what NASA did to prevent radiation poisoning to the crew. One of the most popular theories that circulate these moon theories is that a famous director filmed it.

Stanley Kubrick did not help or film the moon landing. “Director Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey wowed audiences in 1968 for creating a realistic image of outer space. It was so compelling that some conspiracy theorists later wondered if the government had actually hired Kubrick to film the moon landing in a soundstage”. The Author is explaining why many people thought film director Stanley Kubrick filmed the moon landing. Little then goes on to quote Fienberg on the denial of space exploration, “ Denial of America’s great progress in space exploration and belief in these myths is “more of an ideological thing—a political thing—than it is a scientific thing,” Fienberg notes”. “he was such a perfectionist, he would have insisted on shooting it on location. And it’s well documented he didn’t like to fly,”. Another valid point brought on by Howard Berry is that Stanley did not like to fly so he would of not got it filmed on location.

Years of conspiracy theories being made have almost always been debunked and the moon landing is not any different. The moon landing was not recorded in a studio due to the lack of technology to do so. The Apollo 11 crew was in safe timing to pass through the Van Allen belts. Stanley Kubrick did not in any way film or direct the moon landing due to it only being a hoax. After all this evidence the hope is that this clears some speculation up and proves the moon landing in 1969 was real.

Works Cited

  1. Davis, Scott. “How Do We Know The Moon Landing Really Happened?” The National Space Centre, 2017,
  2. Berry, Howard. “Was the Moon Landing Faked? Absolutely Not, Says a Film Expert.” Quartz, Quartz, 19 July 2019,
  3. Little, Becky. “The Wildest Moon Landing Conspiracy Theories, Debunked.”, A&E Television Networks, 10 June 2019,
  4. Wilford, John Noble. We Reach the Moon. Grosset & Dunlap, 1973.

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