Apollo 11 Moon landing: conspiracy theories debunked
1) When the astronauts are putting up the American flag it waves. There is no wind on the Moon.
The flag is held up by a horizontal bar and simply moves when it is unfurled and as the pole is being fixed into position by the astronauts. The flagpole is light, flexible aluminium and continues to vibrate after the astronauts let go, giving the impression of blowing in the wind.
2) No stars are visible in the pictures taken by the Apollo astronauts from the surface of the Moon.
The Apollo landing takes place during lunar mornings, with the Sun shining brightly. The stars are not bright enough in this light to be captured in the photographs.
3) No blast crater is visible in the pictures taken of the lunar landing module.
The landing module touches down on solid rock, covered in a layer of fine lunar dust, so there is no reason why it would create a blast crater. Even if the ground were less solid, the amount of thrust being produced by the engines at the point of landing and take off is very low in comparison to a landing on Earth because of the relative lack of gravitational pull.
4) The landing module weighs 17 tons and yet sits on top of the sand making no impression. Next to it astronauts’ footprints can be seen in the sand.
The layer of lunar dust is fairly thin, so the landing module sits on the solid rock. The dust, whilst blown away by the blast from the descent engines, quickly settles back on the ground and is under the astronauts when they begin their moonwalk.
5) The footprints in the fine lunar dust, with no moisture or atmosphere or strong gravity, are unexpectedly well preserved, as if made in wet sand.
The lack of wind on the moon means the footprints in fine, dry lunar dust aren’t blown away in the way they would be if made in a similar substance on Earth.
6) When the landing module takes off from the Moon’s surface there is no visible flame from the rocket.
The rockets in the landing module are powered by fuel containing a combination of hydrazine and dinitrogen tetroxide, which burn with no visible flame.
7) If you speed up the film of the astronauts walking on the Moon’s surface they look like they were filmed on Earth and slowed down.
The best you can say is: yes, a bit, but not really.
8) The astronauts could not have survived the trip because of exposure to radiation from the Van Allen radiation belt.
This claim is largely based on a claim from a Russian cosmonaut. The short time it takes to pass through the belt, combined with the protection from the spacecraft, means any exposure to radiation would be very low.
9) The rocks brought back from the Moon are identical to rocks collected by scientific expeditions to Antarctica.
Some Moon rocks have been found on Earth, but they are all scorched and oxidised from their entry into the Earth’s atmosphere as asteroids. Geologists have confirmed with complete certainty that the Apollo rocks must have been brought from the Moon by man.
10) All six Moon landings happened during the Nixon administration. No other national leader has claimed to have landed astronauts on the Moon, despite 40 years of rapid technological development.
This is a favourite among conspiracy theorists because it needs no evidence but points the finger at the presidency of Richard Nixon. The fact is that after the Apollo landings, the race had been won and the money dried up. The USSR has no interest in coming second, and politicians on both side realised that lower-orbit missions had much greater commercial and military potential.