LRO spots Apollo landing sites in high res

By Phil Plait | September 6, 2011 11:27 am

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has been circling the Moon for the past few years, snapping away, taking hi-res pictures of the lunar surface from a height of a mere 50 kilometers (30 miles). A few weeks ago, NASA commanded the probe to dip lower, allowing even closer, more detailed shots. Skimming the surface at a mere 21 km (13 miles), it took this amazing shot of a site where humans once walked on the Moon:

[Click to onesmallstepenate.]

That is Apollo 12, my friends, the location where humans showed that not only can we explore other worlds, but we can do it more than once.

The entire shot shown here is a little over 350 meters across (pictures from Apollo 14 and 17 are also available at on NASA’s website). Various highlights are labeled: the descent stage of the lunar module (left behind when the top half of the module blasted back up to orbit, docked with the command module, and returned home to Earth), the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP), and even Surveyor 3, an unmanned lander that had touched down two years previously; one of the Apollo 12 mission goals was to land near it, examine it, and return pieces of it. Clearly, they nailed that.

The part of the picture showing the lander is really something. LRO took images of the site in 2009, but these new ones are more detailed due to the lowered orbit, and also a bit clearer due to the angle of the Sun being lower. You can see the lander’s shadow to the right far more clearly.

… and those squiggly lines? That’s where the dust was disturbed by the astronauts’ bootprints as they walked around.

Yup. You are actually seeing physical evidence of human beings walking on the surface of another world.

And there’s more.

In this picture, with the lander on the left, you can again see the path the astronauts took as they walked around on the Moon. If you follow it to the right, it splits as they walked around a small crater on their way to and from Surveyor 3. It’s not obvious in the transcripts of the astronauts’ conversation (either walking to or heading back from the crater) but it looks to me that when they walked to the Surveyor site, they went one way around that small (6 meter/20 foot) pit, and when they came back they went around the other way.

I’m not sure why they did that, but when I hike in the mountains I do that exact same thing. When I come across a field, or a lake, or some other interesting spot I go around it one way first and the other way coming back. I do that to see what else there is there to see. It’s possible that Pete Conrad and Al Bean just preferred to keep the crater on their left or right as they walked around it, or if they really went around it the other way coming back just to see something new.

But either way, that’s a very human thing to do, and it really brought home to me the reality of what they did. These aren’t just pixels on a screen, or squiggles and splotches in a picture. These are historical evidence of one of the most extraordinary adventures we humans have ever undertaken. It was done in a time of increasing inflation and the beginnings of economic uncertainty that would explode in the 1970s, when racial strife was at a peak, and when we were deep into a war in a foreign land with no apparent hope of getting extricated.

Sound familiar? I will freely admit that the Apollo mission was driven by the Cold War and fear of the Soviet Union, but sometimes the fruit of efforts with dubious beginnings ripens into something that far exceeds the reasons for planting the seeds. For a period of a few years, time and again, we hurled men into space on a days-long journey to our nearest astronomical neighbor, seeing what humans could do, and learning vast amounts about science… and all the while creating new engineering to do it. We owe a huge amount of our technology today to those exploits.

Right now, the future of NASA is in considerable doubt. We don’t have a rocket system to repeat these adventures, and even our ability to get people into low-Earth orbit is hampered. I am of the hope that these problems are temporary: not road blocks, but speed bumps. I can also hope that images like the ones above, and others from LRO showing the other Apollo sites, will remind us of what we can do when we dream big, reach far, and leap very, very hard.

Image credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/ASU


Related posts:

- LRO spots Apollo 12 footsteps
- One Giant Leap seen again
- … and the flag was still there
- Apollo 16 site snapped from orbit

Comments (158)

  1. Steven

    Let’s see naysayers “debunk” this to support their theory that we never went to the moon!

  2. Bobbar

    Boy, that ascent stage blew foil all over the place!

  3. chris

    @Steven but omg, it looks like they could have built scale models in a sandbox! it can’t be on the moon!

  4. Universal

    were are the moon landing hoax idiot buggering buggery buggers nobbers now :)

  5. Kyle

    We are…well used to be, very cleaver and daring monkeys. Who’d of thunk it I was born before man walked on the moon (by a few months) and we haven’t been back, in person at least, for almost 40 years. What happened? Did we see our shadow and get scared? Nope politics happened, one of the greatest if not greatest endeavors in the history of mankind and it died because of politics. YUCK!

  6. Nick

    Unfortunately, like the idiot 9/11 “Truthers”, no matter how much evidence you put for about the Moon landings, Hoaxers will always claim the landings were staged. One could simply claim these images were doctored up or “Shopped”. Hell, you could even put those people on the moon someday and they’ll still claim the Apollo missions were fake.

  7. sean

    Its a shop, I can tell by the pixels etc…

  8. utrocketman

    It’s amazing what you can do in Photoshop these days.

    I kid, I kid. That is seriously awesome.

  9. I think I can make out nest of moon-crabs on this photo :D

  10. @Kyle,

    Count yourself lucky. I was born after the last man walked on the Moon. In my lifetime, we’ve done some amazing things with unmanned probes, but nothing beyond low Earth orbit for manned missions. I would love to sit by my TV set or computer screen with my boys and watch, live, as a man walked on the Moon again. I don’t see that happening anytime soon, unfortunately.

  11. Steven:

    Let’s see naysayers “debunk” this to support their theory that we never went to the moon!

    If they can claim that things like that were faked over 40 years ago, do you really think they won’t say that these images are faked, too?

  12. Jim Craig

    This, Phil, was what I meant by astro-porn. I see images like this and it makes my heart start racing, my palms sweat and my breathing uneven. It is just so amazing.

    When I see pictures like this, it renews my excitement about teaching astronomy at the planetarium where I work. I want to yell at people, “This is frakkin’ wonderful and if you don’t get excited about it, check your pulse because you might be dead!”

    Yeah, I get a bit worked up.

    OK, I’m all better now.

  13. Joe Bowen
  14. aleksandar

    Conspiracy people will still find a explenation. Just wait and see. Most obvious is to say all LRO photos are CGI created for specific purpose of disproving the “truth”.

  15. Mejilan

    Oh wow, these are truly inspired shots. Long overdue, but oh so welcome!

  16. Daniel B

    Isn’t it just amazing what Hollywood can do? They sent an entire set construction team to the Moon to ensure that there would be ‘fake’ physical evidence of the Moon landings. Wow!

    Hmmm. Wouldn’t it have been simpler to just send a couple of astronauts to the Moon to explore and do some science while they are there?

    P.S. Just kidding (obviously). I remember quite vividly watching Armstrong and Aldrin walk on the Moon. Back then, someone suggesting that the landings were being faked would have been met with the strongest ridicule imaginable. Frankly, I cannot think of any reason why such rubbish should be met with anything less today.

    P.P.S. Being in my early teens at the time, I followed the other Apollo flights quite closely as well although I only seem to have retained truly vivid memories of watching the Apollo 11 moon walks.

  17. Mark

    It’s been a while since I read the transcripts, but didn’t they spend Day 1 setting up the ALSEP, and Day 2 doing the field survey, ending with Surveyor?

    If I’m right about that, the path that comes out from Intrepid, up and around Head Crater, down to Bench and Sharp, then around the Surveyor edge of the Surveyor Crater and back to Intrepid is a one-way trip made by two astronauts. Therefore, those two paths that Phil mentioned were not made by two astronauts following each other, single file, and making two trips; those two paths were made by one astronaut each, making one trip from Surveyor back to Intrepid.

    I’ll bet, if you study the transcript in detail, as well as the images, you could even pinpoint the exact locations of the shots they took, and find a set of squiggly lines that match up.

    I’ll also put money that the squigglier path is Conrad’s. He probably just had so much stuff to look at.

  18. Wonderful photos and commentary! I am always in awe at the discoveries we find in our universe, even from past accomplishments like the moon landing. I love that you noticed the astronauts walked on the other side of a crater on the way back from the Surveyor site.

    As humans, we are curious and like to see if anything is different on the other side…of anything! When I hike, and even when I drive or ride in a car, I like to either take a different route back home or at least look on the other side of the road for anything I haven’t seen before. I, most certainly, would do that on the moon! :)

  19. wfr

    I’m confused about their paths.

    It does indeed look as if they walked back and forth to the Surveyor. However, at least one of them walked counterclockwise around the whole area, taking in Bench Crater and Sharp Crater. (I surmise “counterclockwise” because it looks as if at one point, he headed back to the LM, but changed his mind and returned to Surveyor. This path doesn’t make sense going clockwise).

    A round trip to Surveyor from LM, followed by the long loop, should result in at least three paths between Surveyor and LM. But I only see two.

    I wonder if the records are good enough to reconstruct the entire EVA.

  20. Chief

    Don’t forget that one of the Conspiracy people’s nicpics is that the pictures are of such low quality to hide various “truths”. Of course forgetting that iphones and ccd devices didn’t exist back then.

    I am hoping that we will get some closer images as the orbit is lowered even more. It would be cool to see what has happened to the materials in the landers and science experiments over the last 40 years (man, makes me feel old, I remember watching the apollo 11 landing at 8), but at least the laser reflectometer? units are still working.

  21. Jamey

    Do we have a full set yet, for Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17? It seems like these same three were done the last time they showed the lower rez snaps of these sites.

  22. QuietDesperation

    You are actually seeing physical evidence of human beings walking on the surface of another world.

    Er… didn’t the original footage from the Apollo mission itself do that? (confoosled)

    This, for example: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/files/2008/07/apollo11_footprint.jpg

    ———

    I think I can make out nest of moon-crabs on this photo

    Pfft! Silly. Those are on Mars!

    Related image: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_yNA62hgcWDg/TJerZQxnfAI/AAAAAAAABko/jrcodUBjiuA/s1600/crabs.jpg

    From the 1965 film Pinocchio In Outer Space, which is awesome.

    Seriously, this happens at one point: http://www.platypuscomix.net/kidzone/pinokeinspace8.jpg

    And there is a space whale, decades before Kingdom Hearts did the same thing.

    Also: space turtle! http://somecamerunning.typepad.com/.a/6a00e5523026f588340120a7a8521d970b-800wi

    Note that Pinocchio needs no space suit because he’s in puppet form. Good Astronomy!

  23. Simon Green

    That photo is clearly a fake. I can tell by the pixels!~!1!eleven!

    *Sigh* I think you could probably put some of the hoaxers on a rocket, land them next to the Eagle descent stage and march them right over and they would *still* tell you it was a trick.

  24. Ronald Stepp

    @Steven, #1, obviously the photos are faked, or more likely, pictures of the actual landing site in The Nevada Desert. 8 )

  25. DH

    Couldn’t they manage better photos this day and age? Can get better detail of the earth from pace, hubbell or something?

  26. SkyGazer

    The length NASA goes through! Even going up there to create footprints and plant a fake lander!
    Amazing.

  27. “I was strolling on the Moon one day…”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wo3-fuYKWB4

    That’s enough proof for me :p

  28. Charles Boyer

    I take the moon hoaxers about as seriously as I did the premise behind Apollo 18. Which is to say, not at all, as in zero, nada, zilch.

    The only sad thing is that these will be the last footprints made by Americans in my lifetime. It’s even sadder to hope that the Chinese and the Indians are serious and that they carry on from where we left off.

  29. bullsballs

    And it shall never be repeated in the future, as that country no longer exists…
    Thanks to the wholesale abandonment of the people and the resources by the very people sworn to protect them, we now belong to the Chinese and Arabs… If it is ever repeated, let them remember who did it first and only! No other country has ever tried to be as great as this nation ever was, nor has any other nation given so freely to those in need in times of trouble… But they are the first to pick this nation apart now that the government has squandered all of the economic resources…

  30. Ronald Stepp

    @charles, #28, they released the Apollo 18 footage?! Finally! Heh heh..

  31. John Carter

    Ya know, I’ve never seen a real life Hoaxer, moon landing disbeliever or nay-sayer. Oh, I’ve seen their supposed pictures in print and read their supposed drivel and watched their possibly real video interviews. I’ve even HEARD their supposed voices describing the faked landing.

    But…

    Next time you see a supposed picture, listen to an audio interview, watch a video or especially read a book of those who claim to know the moon landing was a hoax, how do we know THEY aren’t the ones photoshopped, faked or made up? Could explain their fascination with the sizes of their pixels!

    Amazing what the tabloids (or sensationalist media) can do with computers!

  32. Joseph G

    I’d like to staple this picture to Bart Sibrel’s face.

    @12 Jim Craig: When I see pictures like this, it renews my excitement about teaching astronomy at the planetarium where I work. I want to yell at people, “This is frakkin’ wonderful and if you don’t get excited about it, check your pulse because you might be dead!”

    Amen, brother!

  33. Jim Ortner

    Mark has it right. They went counter-clockwise around Surveyor crater on Day 2. They went from Sharp then over to Surveyor. So just a one-way trip around.

    The Spacecraft Films Apollo 12 DVD set has all the audio (as well as the video) from the moonwalk as well as a map in the insert of the EVA’s. They only had the one stationary video camera over by the LEM so you can’t follow the the whole EVA. The DVD’s do have the photos that were shot at the correct times with the audio so you get a good idea what happened.

    The Spacecraft Films Apollo DVD’s are an excellent resource and chronicle all the moonwalk EVA’s from all missions. The Apollo 15, 16 & 17 DVD’s are really good as they had a color camera with decent resolution mounted on the lunar rovers. This camera was controlled by an operator on Earth and could be panned and zoomed. Only time there wasn’t video was when the rovers were being driven. Usually they have the 16mm film that was shot during these drives.

  34. Jay

    I fear Phil that unlike you, I am very pessimistic about the future of NASA. A lot of it will depend who wins politically in the 2012 national elections. I am not sure if there are enough politicians and voters who have a vision that leads to a direction that is positive for our country versus those who live and promote fear in order to promote the bad parts of our natures, greed, the lust of power and dominance over others. I hope I am wrong. Bottom line, these images remind us of what we are capable of, if we chose the very best of our natures, curiosity, determination, team work and focus on achieving a worthwhile goal.

  35. Rik Kershaw

    These images are so utterly moving…

  36. The Naturalist

    According to the transcripts, they walked around Surveyor crater so the divergence of paths is due to Conrad and Bean making different choices. It would be cool to put a link on this image to each photo at the exact location and direction it was taken.

    I wonder what Bean thinks of this, has anyone asked him?

  37. It seems to me we’ve somehow bred a generation of little Emperors who, when shown the miracles of the past 50 years, toss them aside in petulant anger and bleat HOAX! I was dismayed this week to read the comments on Ed Catmull’s pioneering computer graphics video from 1972 (http://vimeo.com/16292363) from idiots crying FAKE! The same people who describe ALL CGI in modern movies as ‘shoddy’, I’d bet. = sigh=

  38. Keith Bowden

    @31. John Carter
    Pixel envy? :)

    I watched the moon landings when I was little. I remember watching Neil & Buzz that first time, though I was only 5 and didn’t realize that this wasn’t something we did all the time. (And I know it was the initial Apollo 11 walk because my mom was watching it intently as well – and as far as I can recall, that was the only time she did.)

  39. I loved a comedian’s routine about how, if you were one of the 12, for the rest of your life you’d be able to shut up loudmouths at parties just by starting a sentence with, “Y’know, once, when I was walking on the Moon ….”

  40. Buzz Parsec

    Some new LRO pics of Apollo 14 and 17 are posted with some commentary on Spaceflight Now.

    QD, the Moon Crabs are further proof that the fake moon landings were actually filmed on Mars.

  41. OtherRob

    Head crater actually looks more like Heart crater with the darker dust (or shadows).

  42. mthrnite

    Biggest. Family Circus strip. Ever.

  43. Steve Metzler

    “Y’know, once, when I was walking on the Moon …”

    Meh. The Police did that too. “Giant steps are what you take…”, an’ all that razz. Big effin’ deal.

    But on a more serious tack, I was 13 years old in 1969. What a great time to be alive… and impressionable!

  44. I would have to say this should be enough evidence to shut the moon landing nay sayers up. Of course it wont, but it should.
    Awesome pictures!
    This should also prove that you can’t see this stuff with your telescope from Earth. I’ve heard people claiming they’ve seen it and the flag with their telescope.

  45. Jonascord

    Believing in and expanding on these “moon landing was filmed in Hollywood” conspiracy theories is a common feature of moderate to severe schizophrenia. (Really, look it up!) While such behavior can be moderated with meds, the patient still has to be responsible enough to take them.

    That our screwed up media even gives them column inches indicates the depths to which journalism schools have fallen. I blame the parents.

  46. wfr

    Mark and Jim – Thanks for your clarifications about the paths. The consensus is that the astronauts took the long counterclockwise walk together. It looks as if they met up to start the trip, one coming from near the LM and the other from the ALSEP site.

    But that still leaves a mystery. What’s with the big kink in the path between Bench Crater and Surveyor Crater? It looks like a change of destination, but that doesn’t make sense, since they hadn’t yet been to Surveyor. Perhaps they were planning to go to Surveyor on a separate round trip from the LM, but instead decided to include it on the long walk.

    Is it possible they got lost momentarily?

  47. OtherRob

    @mthrnite, #44: LOL

  48. Old Geezer

    I can remember sitting on the couch with my wife’s grandmother watching Mr. Armstrong walk about. She turned to me and said, “What an amazing life I’ve had. I remember the day the Wright Brothers first flew and now here I am watching a man walk on the moon.” Not much to add to that.

  49. Mike

    I’m 29 now, and despair, as my whole life I have wanted nothing more than to leave the bonds of this planet just to see what’s out there. I watche the old moon landings and the recent last shuttle flight and die a little inside. I have hope with Richard Bransons programs, but someone up there said it right, the politicians of our country today no longer strive to encourage Americans in what is possible, but speak to have us cower in fear so that we don’t say anything as they slowly take our country apart piece by piece.
    It is still my dream to visit the vast blackness of space, and I do believe that we still have it in us to get back with the program and leave earth for the stars.
    As for the naysayers, they should all just go get punched in the face by Buzz Aldrin since he is more of a man than any of them will ever be, and that would be the greates even to ever happen in their life; the time they were punched in the face by a legend.

  50. Don´t Panic
  51. Nic

    Truly beautiful and thankyou. Also the first ‘pinpoint’ landing after a significant ‘miss – some miles’ of the intended target on Apollo 11. How the engineers ‘told’ the simple computers of the time to how to achieve a perfect, exact landing in this case is an interesting story in itself. If you are a software engineer.

    N

  52. Rod

    Pardon my ignorance but what exactly are the politics that everyone refers to when giving a reason as to why they never returned a manned mission to the moon?

  53. Awesome picture, but if anyone thinks that it will change anyone’s mind you are going to be dissapointed. Anything can be faked, and this picture is no different. If you are going to claim a photo as evidense you will have to accept photos of bigfoot and ghosts and aliens. No digital photo proves anything.

    About the only proof we have is the reflectors, but the conspiracy types don’t accretion that. About the only useful action is the one Buzz Aldrin took a few years back.

  54. @mthrnite, well played indeed. Where’s ‘not me’!?

  55. Nic

    Regrettably some people will still consider Apollo a hoax. A good and decent friend (with zero science or engineering background) still would not accept this evidence. So sad. My thought in these cases is ‘these guys wouldn’t believe in a 747 if they’d never seen one’. Another amazing, extraordinary vehicle, especially (more or less the same time) when it was designed and built.
    N

  56. Trucker Doug

    But where are the golf balls?!?

    Seriously amazing.

    http://youtu.be/IXteSV8rBwY

    I remember the Challenger Memorial Concert. After songs of sadness, joy, and memory, Leslie came out and led all 800 of us in Hope Eyrie. Not a dry eye in the place.

  57. Dan

    I was born in 1971, so right in the middle of the Apollo program but too late for me to appreciate it at the time. I agree with the poster who said the country that launched these missions doesn’t exist any more. What a shame. Maybe it will come back some day.

    As for the hoaxers, one question that always occurs to me: If the government wanted to pretend it had sent men to the moon, fine – it obviously succeeded with the “hoax” of Apollo 11 (which came after we had sent men to orbit the moon twice – both hoaxes, of course).

    But how do the hoaxers explain the following six missions to the moon (12-17). If the government indeed faked everyone out with Apollo 11, why go to all the trouble and expense of faking six more missions (including one that almost ended in disaster and didn’t achieve its goals)? The whole hoax theory just falls apart.

    I actually think the hoaxers are too dumb to even be aware that Apollo 11 wasn’t the only mission.

  58. Chief

    re 57 Dan.

    Well, we don’t want to waste all the sets and film from just one “landing” do we. Have to have sequels.

  59. Everyone who is saying that the deniers will shout “Photoshop” are forgetting the part where NASA is capable enough to put together all of this fake data supporting the fake Moon landing including fake Photoshopped images and yet is outsmarted by a long conspiracy “expert” via some rookie mistake. That’s the fun thing about conspiracy theories: How the conspirators are both super-competent and super-incompetent at the same time.

  60. @Mike,

    As for the naysayers, they should all just go get punched in the face by Buzz Aldrin since he is more of a man than any of them will ever be, and that would be the greates even to ever happen in their life; the time they were punched in the face by a legend.

    I don’t know about that. Be considerate. I mean, Buzz’s hand is going to hurt after awhile. Do you really want to do that to him? Plus, it might get repetitive after awhile. Maybe we could pelt gather them in one spot and pelt them with moon rocks. Of course, we’ll need some more moon rocks. Might as well send a crew up there to gather them. ;-)

  61. @John Carter,

    I’ve never met one in person either. If I did, I probably wouldn’t make a good argument for the Moon landings being real. My brain would probably lock up in disbelief and all my logic circuits would overload. It would be like someone declaring with a completely straight face that the sky was purple.

    I like the idea of them being the hoaxers or being hoax-ed, though. Ask them if it’s possible that the Moon landings were real and some super secret group is trying to plant doubt to make people *think* they were faked. Of course, by “super secret group”, I mean the conspiracy theorists themselves, but conspiracy theorists need a “super secret group” to oppose. End with “You’re not foolish enough to fall for the Super Secret Group’s Moon Landing Hoax Hoax, are you?” Then sit back and watch their brains explode. ;-)

  62. mandas

    I was 11 when Apollo 11 landed on the moon, and I still remember that day as clearly as it was yesterday.
    As a kid growing up in the 60s, we were simply enamoured by everything to do with space. We saw it on the news, we saw TV programs and movies about space, we played as space explorers, and we wanted to be astronauts when we grew up. I could recite all the planets and knew all their moons (what was known at the time) by name.
    We dreamed that Mars was only just around the corner, and that one day we would be travelling and living on the moon on a regular basis.
    Unfortunately all those dreams died, and it looks as though it will be a very long time before something as inspiring takes their place.

  63. PeteC

    It is amazing. It’s more than amazing; every time I see this sort of thing, I can’t avoid an uplifting feeling of wonder and magnificence that this was done. The knowledge that, if the human race survives long enough, this sort of thing will be as dull as waiting in an airport departure lounge for a transatlantic flight is now is partially tragic, partially amusing and partially magnificent. The knowledge that none of us alive will likely see that day saddens me (though I still sort of hope my daughters will – one of them, 22 months old now, yells “Rocket! Rocket! Rocket! North star, north star! Rocket!” any time she sees a picture or video of a rocket, shuttle or sci-fi spaceship” :) )

    To deny this magnificence when you actually have more evidence that it was real than that Columbus’ voyage was real or the Wright Brothers’ flight was real or, for that matter, that the Boston Tea Party was real requires a very small soul, in my opinion; one that does not understand the wonder involved.

    And yet, the deniers will still deny. It’s a matter of faith for them, and like all matters of faith the conclusion is decided on first. Any and all evidence must fit that conclusion, for the conclusion is fixed. If the evidence denies the conclusion, then somehow, the evidence is wrong – either faked or tainted. Which is why a simple oddball doubt like “it seems incredible that they could actuially do that back then… did they really?” turns into “Aliens, together with the CIA, the KGB, the FBI, MI6 and UNATCO, working with the Illuminati and Majestic 12, secretly faked this at Area 51 using technology far beyond that which we believe existed at the time… er….” If either tens of thousands of people are part of this grand conspiracy or the scientists and engineers really did build a rocket they believed could go to the moon, then tens of thousands of loyal conspiracy members are keeping their mouths shut to the grave. Many, many thousands saw the rockets launch with their own eyes, so either those rockets went to the moon, we just decided not to put astronauts in them, or all those witnesses are part of the conspiracy, or some sort of super-high tech mind altering gas was spread around the area to give everyone the same neural nanite-programmed illusions. There has to be *some* point to the conspiracy still existing, so if it’s not to fool the Soviet Union – like they didn’t have radio dishes pointed at the moon looking at the astronauts’ broadcasts back – then it must be for some other reason, like protecting secret aliens. After all, they *know* beyond doubt that it was a fake, so anything, no matter how incredible, must be true instead.

    Ah, unthinking, devoted, unquestioning faith. Such a wonderful thing.

  64. I’d like to preface this by saying I am NOT a moon landing denier, just pointing out how utterly ridiculous it is to point at a blurry, easily doctored b&w photograph and say ‘look, indisputable evidence’.
    My friends Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster whole heartedly agree.

    Because if you momentarily consider the possibility that the conspiracy IS real, it’s a little weird that people are thinking ‘ok, MAYBE they staged an elaborate staged moon landing on live tv, but that they can doctor a photograph? Now THAT’s crazy.’

    Just seems odd to me, because a blurry photograph is far less convincing evidence than up close video footage, yet everyone in this scenario is pointing at the least convincing, easiest to doctor evidence and going ‘look, proof!’ when there is hours of live tv footage of the same thing up close.

  65. Peter B

    Joe Bowen @ #13 said: “Photoshopped.”

    Oh come on, don’t stop there. Tell us more.

  66. I always find it interesting that these Moon Hoax conspiracy theorists are always invoking “Photoshopping” of images like those above as evidence of their supposed conspiracy, whilst simultaneously pointing to other images from the Moon as positive evidence of the hoax. How do they know the photos they’re saying are evidence of the hoax are themselves not Photoshopped? Of course, expecting to get some kind of consistency and logical argumentation from a CTer is like expecting to squeeze blood from a stone.

  67. Peter B

    DH @ #27 asked: “Couldn’t they manage better photos this day and age?”

    No. Remember, these images are being taken by a satellite about 50 kilometres away, travelling at a couple of thousand kilometres an hour. Frankly, I think that’s pretty good.

    “Can get better detail of the earth from pace, hubbell or something?”

    No. The Hubble telescope is about 500 kilometres from the Earth. That means it’s about 380,000 kilometres from the Moon. The smallest objects it can see on the Moon are about the size of a football stadium. See the picture at the top of the post? That would be one pixel in a Hubble picture.

  68. Bruce

    More convincing, perhaps, to the mentally challenged hoaxers is not the photos themselves (since they could be photoshopped) but the fact that now they have to explain how a whole new generation of NASA employees are now in on the new hoax. The new hoax that there is actually a probe taking pictures at 21km above the surface and then somebody photoshopping new lunar pictures.

  69. Jim Ortner

    wfr,

    All the moonwalks were planned with a timeline for each location they stopped at. What may have happened is that they couldn’t quite figure out where they were. It was sometimes hard to get bearings on which craters they were by especially with the angle of the sun. Many times in the moonwalks they got off the planned path a bit.

    Apollo 14 astronauts had a hard time getting to Cone Crater as they just were lost becuase of the various rocks and other features that the photos from orbit just didn’t show. The LRO photos show that they missed Cone Crater by just 100 feet.

    Jim

  70. Paul

    I know a 72 year old retired career Air Force man who said that all this “hardware” was SENT to the moon via shuttle missions and robotics delivered it so that it would be in place for these missions to photograph and there WILL NEVER EVER be absolutely clear pix’s to 100% id the equipment. It is there NOW to appease moon landing fanatics and shut em up!!!! All the alleged “moon walkers” get a very decent “pension” to keep there stories on the straight and narrow….GOT IT!

    AND, and the that ALL the probes that SUPPOSEDLY photographed the DARKSIDE of the MOON, NEVER, EVER did. We HAVE NEVER actually seen that side of the MOON because of our agreement with the ET’s…We got to keep the UFO’s we have at Area 51 and GET flight training and WE STAY AWAY from the DARKSIDE of the MOON!! ALL alleged photo’s from the DARKSIDE are ELECTRONICALLY delivered for publication to earth from ELSEWHERE! Yeah, that’s what he swears by!

    He also knows the exact propulsion systems of the UFO’s at Area 51, LIQUID MERCURY that is spinning at very high speeds and HE flew CHASE aircraft (F-4′s) when they were test flown and has his own secret photo’s of same! Said he had flown chase many a times!!!!!

    So HE knows!

    And the HARP program is the earthquake and weather phenomena generator….He said he had SEEN all the data personally because of his HIGH security clearances.Says it’s to help eliminate the OVER POPULATION of the Earth.

    I guess he would KNOW about the truth of these things! He WAS an OFFICER in the USAF…… LOL

    Okay? Got it? HE Swears this is the absolute truth!

    What moon landings?

    LOL

  71. Bryan D

    Honestly if the 100s of hours of video and thousands of photos of the landings that have been around for decades haven’t silenced the disbelievers then one more won’t make any difference.

    Even if someone put up a craft that could send up back photos sharp enough to read the Lunar plaques it would make no difference.

  72. katwagner

    There’s no air on the moon, so no wind. And the moon is geologically dead. Nothing moves there, unless INCOMING the moon gets hit by something. Those footprints will be there forever and ever! That, to me, is an amazing thought. How long is forever?

  73. don gisselbeck

    C’mon, can’t we get at least one live hoaxer to post here? Maybe Paul, you could get the Air Force man to do a good long rant.

  74. William Hopper

    There used to be a very good cheese commercial on TV that just showed a pic of the moon and text that read: “Through hard work and dedication Man made it to the moon, and confirmed once and for all that it is not made of cheese. We haven’t been back since.”

  75. fernando

    this is obviously a close detail of the face of Jesus, the acne is evident

  76. Brian Yoder

    No such luck anti-moon hoax fans. If they imagine that NASA could fake all of that moon landing footage how tough is it to imagine that they put some little spots on an orbital photograph? You know back in the day they could fake thousands of photos and videos. With budget cuts they have to content themselves with just putting little spots on LRO photos. ;-)

    –Brian

  77. Mathias R.

    @75 katwagner:
    Not entirely true.. I think the solar wind will, over time, erode the footprint features. The modules and experiments, naturally, will likely remain.

  78. Andreas H

    Man, think about the quality of pictures and movies taken with today’s equipment. We need to go back to the moon. Not because of science or politics but because we need to show ourselves that there is so much more out there and that we can reach it.

    also because we need to build an amusement park and we better get started :)

  79. Schwarzwald

    @35 Jim Ortner: Thanks for mentioning the Spacecraft Films Apollo DVDs. I’ve been looking for a collection of the Apollo films for years. Was getting tired of seeing the same 30 seconds clips over and over. Thanks again!

  80. Mark

    The footprints will remain, undisturbed, on the Moon for millions, if not billions, of years.

    Or until Fry gets there.

  81. #73 Paul:
    I guess your acquaintance is too stupid even to know that there is no such place as the “dark side” of the Moon!

  82. #53 Nic:
    One of the conspiracy theorists’ non-arguments – made by those who do actually realise that there was more than one landing! – is along the lines of “Are we supposed to believe that the first landing embarrassingly missed its target by four miles, but then the second achieved a pinpoint landing within a few hundred feet?” And of course, it’s utter drivel.
    As is well known, Apollo 11′s LM did not “miss” the target at all! They landed four miles from the intended site, but this was not a “miss” or an accident, but a deliberate decision, made by Armstrong at – literally – the last minute. Their automated approach was on target, just about as accurately as that of Apollo 12, but during the final approach, they realised that the intended landing area was strewn with boulders, which hadn’t shown up in the Lunar Orbiter photos, and that landing there would be hazardous. So Armstrong took over manual control, and deliberately overflew the site in search of a safer spot to land.

  83. Nigel Depledge

    Wow!

    This makes it feel like we are really “down among them”!

  84. Nigel Depledge

    Charles Boyer (30) said:

    The only sad thing is that these will be the last footprints made by Americans in my lifetime. It’s even sadder to hope that the Chinese and the Indians are serious and that they carry on from where we left off.

    Why do you find it sad to hope that the Chinese or Indian space programmes will successfully fulfill their ambitions?

  85. Aubri

    Oh. Wow. New wallpaper!

  86. Mark

    @82

    Actually Neil, whilst you are correct that Armstrong (and, indeed, every single CDR for every single lunar mission) switched to manual control for the remainder of the descent, and Neil did indeed intentionally crank the throttle to get to a clearer landing site (as well as to not land in a crater), they actually did miss their target by a wide margin, and it was an error; but it was a very minor oversight.

    What happened was that they didn’t fully depressurize the tunnel between the Lunar Module and the Command Module. This was part of the procedure, but they didn’t let it fully bleed out; there was still a bit of air in there. So, when the two craft separated, that extra pressure gave the Lunar Module a liiiiiiiittle bit of extra thrust which, over the course of many thousands of miles, ended up creating a 4-mile difference in the landing zone.

    However, despite this oversight, the mission rules still had accounted for a complete and utter miss of the landing ellipse: the goal was not, and never was, pin-point accuracy; the goal was to get their asses down there, safely. So even though they were, in fact, off by 4 miles due to an actual, documented error, the issue was rendered null and void because they succeeded in the mission goal: land on the bloody Moon.

    For Apollo 12, the goal WAS pin-point accuracy; one of the mission goals was to set down near to Surveyor. Which they did. Spectacularly.

    So really, despite all the missions being plagued with minor errors (with such complications, errors always, always crop up, are met with calm, rational thinking, and are overcome), both Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 met their landing goals: Land, and land perfectly, respectively.

    This, of course, still means that the hoaxers argument is drivel.

  87. Anyone else getting the crater/dome illusion? Surveyor Crater looks more like a hill and Head Crater looks like a rocky outcrop to my eyes. I know I’m particularly susceptible to this illusion though, from every time Phil posts about it.

    @73 Pauk: and of course HE is authorised to tell you all of that without fear of the Men In Black coming to get him. Or did he mysteriously disappear from town the day after he told you all of that?

    @79 Andreas H: Don’t worry. We have just under 990 years before the theme park has to be finished.

  88. Jim W

    With a lump in my throat and tear in my eye. A 10 year old little boy watched everyone one of them Neil, Buzz, Pete, Alan, Shepard, Mitchell, David, Jim, John, Duke. And the Amazing story of Lovell, Haise & Swigert.
    Not to forget those who waited above Collins, Gordon, Roosa, Worden, Mattingly, Evans.

    The magic, the mystery, the science, the engineering, the dreams of every human from the time we walked out of the cave into the cold darkness and looked up at the light in the night sky.

    Two questions for today:
    One, when Spain sponsored an Italian sailor to search for a new route to riches. They won, they had the New World. But after winning they slowly lost it. Is it the same with us, the USA, and space exploration.

    And Question two. What can 10 year old children watch today to inspire them to dream dreams like Apollo. Are what they are watching worthy of there dreams?

  89. Anchor

    I haven’t read the thread, so pardon me if I’m repeating someone else’s correction. The Apollo 12 astronauts did NOT walk to the Surveyor in the direction you imply at all. On their second EVA they headed WEST (you can see those tracks passing to the north of Head crater) and then headed southwest to visit Bench and Sharp craters (off the field in your un-onesmallstepenated cropped image) before heading back east around the southern rim of the Surveyor crater to visit the lander, then headed back to the LM along the east and north rim.

    The split in the path around that small crater has a much more obvious and mundane explanation: there were TWO astronauts walking, and one took the high road while the other took the low road, so to speak. No need to make something up.

    The audio records and photos (available at the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal) along with these beautiful hi-res LRO shots are a thrilling way to relive every step they took (you can actually see many of the boulders they noted on their jaunts)…and an absolute refutation of every conspiracy crackpot. Highly recommended.

  90. VinceRN

    @Jim #91 – Not the same at all, Spain lost much of the new world though they struggled desperately to hold onto it, fought wars to hold onto it. They tried their best and lost. We, on the other hand, got to the Moon, look around and said “Nah, let’s stay home instead, no point it coming here anymore.”.

    As for inspiring children of today like we were inspired back then, there is nothing. We were close, we were set on the path to return to the Moon and eventually go beyond, but we gave that up too. The dreams inspired my the ISS and the Shuttle when it was operating were an order of magnitude smaller at least. Perhaps the best inspiration lies in China now.

    Hmm. Perhaps the best way to support manned space exploration is to shop at Walmart? What a crazy world we live in.

  91. Anchor

    Ah, yes, I see Mark @17 and Jim @35 spotted Phil’s error earlier.

  92. Nic (#53):

    Also the first ‘pinpoint’ landing after a significant ‘miss – some miles’ of the intended target on Apollo 11. How the engineers ‘told’ the simple computers of the time to how to achieve a perfect, exact landing in this case is an interesting story in itself.

    Actually, the computers were going to land the Eagle in a place that was strewn with boulders and small craters. Armstrong had to take over manual control to find a safe place to land. They only had a few seconds of fuel left by the time he finally touched down. (Read the transcripts, or listen to the audio. When you hear things like “60 seconds” and “30 seconds”, that’s the fuel remaining.)

    But, yes, my iPod Touch has more computing power than the LEM’s computers.

  93. Jim W.:

    What can 10 year old children watch today to inspire them to dream dreams like Apollo. Are what they are watching worthy of there dreams?

    Well, my 12-year-old daughter asked me a few days ago if we could watch the Apollo 11 DVDs I have on my shelf, as well as the “Apollo 13″ movie.

    Perhaps the next generation could be inspired enough to ask “why could we do this 40+ years ago, but we can’t do anything remotely close today?”

  94. Gary Ansorge

    I remember Apollo. I also remember the Communist paranoia rampant in the 1950s. I was 14 years and seven days old when Sputnik went into orbit. My grandmother came rushing in to tell me the USA was DOOMED,,,she didn’t understand my laughter. Kept insisting I was too young to understand the ramifications. I responded with “Well Grandma, now you’re going to see a real race,,,”

    I was so much smarter then,,,

    Gary 7

  95. Mark

    The wonderful thing about science is that, when it works, it is everlasting. We can still find beauty in the works of Archimedes and Galileo, even though they have long, long since passed. The wonder brought to us by Carl Sagan, our lunar astronauts, the achievements of the past, will always inspire.

    And yes, our contemporary examples of pushing the boundaries of science are either lacking, underfunded, under-appreciated, or delving into principals too complex to grasp.

    How long has Bill Nye been without a cable TV show?

    How little of Niel DeGrasse Tyson do we see, when we should see so much more?

    Stephen Hawking, despite making heroic efforts above and beyond his condition, is dabbling in some of the most complex ideas ever to grace our species; ideas that intelligent adults cannot grasp, let alone curious schoolchildren.

    It is a shame that the children of today cannot grow up with what they deserve; mankind setting foot on Mars. But the deeds of the past will never, ever leave us. They will continue to inspire. And the rest of us, however humble, however lacking in PhDs or orbital rockets or particle accelerators, will continue to tell the story of how Pete Conrad lost a bet because he said “stuff” on the Moon.

    And as we lean back and chuckle at the notion, we hope that, through our efforts, many generations from now, another person in our shoes will do the same. Because the ideas are as everlasting as a human boot-print on the surface of the Moon.

  96. Joseph G

    @64 TechyDad: I like the idea of them being the hoaxers or being hoax-ed, though. Ask them if it’s possible that the Moon landings were real and some super secret group is trying to plant doubt to make people *think* they were faked. Of course, by “super secret group”, I mean the conspiracy theorists themselves, but conspiracy theorists need a “super secret group” to oppose. End with “You’re not foolish enough to fall for the Super Secret Group’s Moon Landing Hoax Hoax, are you?” Then sit back and watch their brains explode. ;-)

    Bahaha! Brilliant!

    Reminds me of recently, when I was listening to Alex Jones’ show (don’t judge, it was late at night, and it was on a station I normally listen to during the day. I was tired and too lazy to change it. Plus, there’s a certain morbidly fascinating quality to his rantings sometimes. But I digress). He was complaining about how people keep sending him all these e-mails asking him if he’s actually a Freemason, or working for the Vatican, or the Church of Scientology, or the CIA, or (insert group here). He was really getting flustered about it. I very much wanted to grab him by his lapels and yell “WHAT DO YOU EXPECT, YOU MORON!? You spend hours a day telling these same people to see conspiracies EVERYWHERE. You reap what you sow, assh**e!”

  97. Jeff

    surprisingly, I am a long time, (and my deans and students say a good one) physics professor, but I am a reformed moon hoax believer, can you believe that. I was always faced with kids in class who always split 50/50 HBers/non-HBers and I decided to have it out with a group who knew: the folks at the BAUT forum. I argued for a week with them, playing the devil’s advocate, and by the end of week, I fessed up that they had more evidence , so yes now I am a full believer that Armstrong, Buzz, et al really did land on moon. These hi res lunar orbiter images should convince even the die hard HBers.

    So those HB people just wasted 40 years of a stupid argument that shouldn’t have happened.

  98. Andrea

    Hey, it seems that the intrepid is the only thing with a very black shadow there; why its shadow it’s so black compared to any other shadow in the picture?

  99. lee

    Dang, now I have to dust off my copy of “From the Earth to the Moon”…

  100. Anchor

    @ KenN#97, “Perhaps the next generation could be inspired enough to ask “why could we do this 40+ years ago, but we can’t do anything remotely close today?””

    You want to get even more depressed, it’s been fully a half-century ago now since we began to aim at the Moon as a definitive target, and we did it back then from SCRATCH, within 8 years of the first man to orbit…and every budget estimate today is more expensive by a minimum of an order of magnitude (not counting overruns) and feasibility studies suggest it would take at least twice as long (IF a project even ever gets off the friggin’ ground without getting cancelled).

    The Space Age began in 1957…54 years ago this October.

    Think what progress we had made in the 54 years following the Wright Brothers short but historic flight in 1903…

    That’s right: we had arrived at the doorstep of the Space Age. FROM SCRATCH.

    Then extrapolate: Surely the LAST 54 years can have by now seen us with permanent bases on the Moon and manned missions to Mars and a number of asteroids and yes, REAL space stations that serve as orbital maintenance facilities and assembly garages and refueling depots for parts beyond…but for the failure of vision of political leaders, the military and captains of industry, who mindlessly conspire to drain the American taxpayer dry by manufacturing toys for playful wars designed to increase their wealth and power instead of actually getting us all to a wonderful and economically-robust place we all use to identify with The Future.

  101. ND

    Jeff,

    Umm, what had convinced you that the moon landings were a hoax to begin with?

  102. Steve Jones

    I can well remember the first moon landing when I only 9 years old and it was all so normal and exciting. I kind of expected it to just go and on until we even headed for Mars. I am not too worried about us never going back. We took a great leap forward but were not really sure what to do afterwards. We’ll eventually figure what to do next but I’ll probably be dead by then anyway.

  103. NF

    I’m one of the naysayers because the only arguments ever presented are “it happened so there!”.

    Being a naysayer allows me to step up the game of believers by challenging them to actually think, and research, and question the assumptions. Oh, I admit, many of the conspiracy theories out there make me shudder and wonder at the mental states of some people, but when asked questions about the technical aspects there are no answers provided. People just search for a group of like minded individuals and use the sense of community as confirmation of being right, when none in the community can simply answer the questions asked. I think we should all be better than that and if I have to jump in the unpopular camp to do it, then so be it.

    In this photo, no proof do I see. This is like the photos of the loch ness monster, bigfoot, ufos and other such phenomena. It’s not clear, this is not hi-res. Billions of dollars spent on cameras that can’t take a clear photo of the body that they’re orbiting isn’t suspicious, it’s just stupid. For years, we’ve been showered with legends of how satellite cameras can tell if the dime in your pocket is facing out with heads or tails (yes, I exaggerate slightly), but they can’t get a detailed or clear photo of something the size of a camper on a plain background. It’s a splotch. Seriously, this is not the proof that we’ve all been waiting for, this is an insult. I think that we all deserve better than this, and since apparently NASA has been buying it’s “hi-res” cameras at Wal-Mart, the good people of the USA deserve an explanation of budget expenditures.

    I can’t even accuse this of being shopped, it has to be true. With today’s technology, nobody would present a fake of a quality this poor. That’s really the only convincing evidence that this photo presents.

  104. Jeff

    106:

    I don’t know really. I am a type who “never believes nothin’” from nobody to be blunt, which is why I’m a good professor. I constantly am evaluating all hypotheses against the evidence to see which convinces me is the best explanation. I have trust in my judgement, and I 100% of the time come around to the mainstream view on things, but I must evaluate it myself before I’m convinced, then I can lecture to the students my thought process.

    Too many people in our society just repeat without critically thinking what others says. Sure, social media are great, but the trouble is, it doesn’t encourage critical thinking. A non-thinking society is a future 3rd world society.

  105. NF

    109:

    I agree with this completely. So many people here have already repeated the comments about how we did this 40 years ago, but now we can’t. Apparently we’ve lost something in 40 years, and it appears to be the ability to think and learn.

    We need to challenge each other, as much as support. The other path leads to decadence and collapse.

  106. Dan

    According to the authors of the seminal book, Rare Earth, debris from the Apollo missions will still be detectable on the moon in 6 billion years when the sun becomes a red giant. They will be among the last human artifacts in existence.

  107. don gisselbeck

    At last, a hoxer (#108). For starters (on technical aspects) you should spend a few days on the Lunar Surface Journal site, then get back to us. As for the community answering the questions asked, that has been done over and over by many people, not least Phil Plait.

  108. Peter B

    NF @ #108 said: “I’m one of the naysayers because the only arguments ever presented are “it happened so there!”.”

    Well, gee, I’m pretty sure there are Apollo supporters out there who present a bit more than that!

    “Being a naysayer allows me to step up the game of believers by challenging them to actually think, and research, and question the assumptions.”

    Absolutely the right idea. And no Apollo supporter should ever have to fear that.

    “Oh, I admit, many of the conspiracy theories out there make me shudder and wonder at the mental states of some people…”

    You mean like the people who simultaneously believe that astronauts have never been to the Moon, and found aliens when they got there?

    “…but when asked questions about the technical aspects there are no answers provided.”

    Why not ask a few of those questions here, or at the Apollohoax or BAUT forums, and we’ll see what we can do.

    “People just search for a group of like minded individuals and use the sense of community as confirmation of being right, when none in the community can simply answer the questions asked. I think we should all be better than that and if I have to jump in the unpopular camp to do it, then so be it.”

    Fair enough. Ask your questions.

    “In this photo, no proof do I see. This is like the photos of the loch ness monster, bigfoot, ufos and other such phenomena. It’s not clear, this is not hi-res.”

    You’re right. It’s not proof. It’s supporting evidence. Along with the photos and video footage taken on the missions, the rocks the astronauts brought back, the scientific instruments they placed (and in some cases brought back), the radio signals which could only have originated on the Moon, and the occasional conversations between astronauts and Mission Control which discussed real-time events back on Earth.

    “Billions of dollars spent on cameras that can’t take a clear photo of the body that they’re orbiting isn’t suspicious, it’s just stupid. For years, we’ve been showered with legends of how satellite cameras can tell if the dime in your pocket is facing out with heads or tails (yes, I exaggerate slightly)…”

    If you do the maths, you can calculate the extent to which you should believe those claims. That would explain the level of resolution available.

    “…but they can’t get a detailed or clear photo of something the size of a camper on a plain background. It’s a splotch. Seriously, this is not the proof that we’ve all been waiting for, this is an insult. I think that we all deserve better than this, and since apparently NASA has been buying it’s “hi-res” cameras at Wal-Mart, the good people of the USA deserve an explanation of budget expenditures.”

    The explanation is that the camera’s job is not to take tourist photos of the Apollo landing sites. That’s icing on the cake. The camera’s job is to take high resolution images of the whole Moon. Have you looked at those images? Do you know what the LRO’s mission is?

    Consider that Hubble’s resolution at the Moon is about 150 metres per pixel – if it had imaged the landing sites, the pictures above would consist of about four pixels. On that basis, don’t you think the above images are a reasonable improvement?

    “I can’t even accuse this of being shopped, it has to be true. With today’s technology, nobody would present a fake of a quality this poor. That’s really the only convincing evidence that this photo presents.

    I’m sorry you’re unimpressed. Like I say, it’s an improvement on Hubble.

  109. Dan

    The tracks going around both sides of the same crater represent some of the best proof that the landing wasn’t a hoax. If someone had done a hoax, why would they have had tracks go around both sides of a crater? When you look at it, you think, hey, what happened there? It’s too imperfect to be a hoax.

    I recognize that by even recognizing that some people think it’s a hoax and trying to disprove them, I’m perpetuating the existence of the hoax. So that will be my last anti-hoax comment. My mother always told me never to argue with a fool.

  110. Robin

    Isn’t a bit backwards requiring that someone have to prove that Moon landings took place? I mean, a professor and others should realize that extraordinary claims (i.e., the landings were hoaxed) require extraordinary proof, and here the burden of proof is on the hoaxers. After all, millions saw the launches. The vehicles specs are known, and models can be constructed to absolutely show that the physical requirements for getting to the Moon and back were met by said vehicles. Regularly data is collected from instruments left on the Moon by the men who were there (like laser rangefinders reflecting from corner-cube arrays there). In fact, we get a return from the LRRR left by Apollo 15, seen near foot trails left by Apollo 15 astronauts, and that return can be localized to that area. Quelle coincidence! In fact……wait……..wait……..

    There’s no “in fart” needed. If one is needed it’s that in fact, the hoaxers haven’t provided a single fact that proves the landings were hoaxed. Not a single fact. Not a single valid ort of proof. Not one wafer thin reason to even begin to believe that the landings did not happen. “In fact”, the hoaxers can’t seem to even wrap their minds around what actual proof means. In that respect, they have everything in common with the anti-vaxers and the folks who think the Earth is only 6000 years old.

    I suggest that the hoaxers save their allowances so that they can design a probe with a camera with the requisite resolution to see fine detail of the objects left on the Moon from the Apollo missions and pay to launch that probe into lunar orbit with sufficient orbital dimensions to resolve those details; and build a mission control center and a communication network so that they can communicate and receive data from their probe……….all so that they can try to prove the hoax was in fact perpetrated. Surely, they can accomplish that, given the wealth of intellect and creativity in the Moon Landing Hoax community. Good luck and God speed. I’d start by reading a few Wikipedia entries on optics, imaging, orbital mechanics………and so on. Please let us know if you find Elvis along the way.

  111. I love these quixotic attacks at the hoaxers. You all know that none of them would change their minds even if you stuck them in a rocket and sent them to the moon to walk around the landing site. They would say you had really set it all up on a huge sound stage. The would be willing to believe you had put them in a super secret holodeck stolen from an alien ship in the 50s before they would accept the lunar landings as real.

  112. Freerefill

    @108

    You’re asking for proof, when there is none. Scientifically speaking, there’s no such thing, and there never will be. Even the laws of nature are only laws because we have not once, ever, seen them altered. They obey the theories we put to them in every single instance, everywhere. There is not a single shred of evidence to suggest that they might possibly be false, regardless of from what perspective the issue is attacked.

    Yet, there is always the chance. Just because 100% of the available evidence is pointing to a particular conclusion, it does NOT mean there is ANY shred of PROOF. It is possible that something could be observed, documented, and confirmed repeatedly that knocks that 100% down a notch; and that could very well undermine everything we know about physics. This is highly unlikely (in the case of the natural laws) but it is still possible.

    You’re asking for proof where none exists. You’re demanding it. But, philosophically speaking, it does not exist. You can doubt photos. You can doubt rocks. You can be launched into orbit and doubt that the ship your on could take you to the Moon. You can actually go to the Moon and doubt the technology that’s been up there since the 60′s with your own eyes. You can do these things, because none of them are proof. Proof does not exist. You are barking up a non-existent tree for a non-existent cat.

    The proof is in the pudding, and the pudding is evidence. That is all we have, that is all you will ever get, ever, for as long as you exist. Once you stop asking for proof and start asking for evidence.. you’ll get it. And the facts, the evidence, is clear. We went there. Just like our natural laws, there is not a single shred of evidence to say that we didn’t. There may be alternative theories, or alternative interpretations, but there is absolutely no confirmed evidence that knocks us away from 100%. The fact that we went to the Moon is as real as the fact that we came back to Earth.

  113. Nigel Depledge

    Jim W (91) said:

    Not to forget those who waited above Collins, Gordon, Roosa, Worden, Mattingly, Evans.

    I think these six guys had an especially tough role. These were the guys who had to contemplate returning alone if anything went wrong while the CDR and LMP were on the surface.

  114. Nigel Depledge

    Jim W (91) said:

    And Question two. What can 10 year old children watch today to inspire them to dream dreams like Apollo. Are what they are watching worthy of there dreams?

    Dawn
    Juno
    New Horizons
    Messenger
    Cassini
    MRO
    Opportunity

    And that’s just NASA.
    (Well, OK, Cassini is a joint NASA – ESA – ISA programme.)

  115. Nigel Depledge

    Vince RN (94) said:

    @Jim #91 – Not the same at all, Spain lost much of the new world though they struggled desperately to hold onto it, fought wars to hold onto it. They tried their best and lost. We, on the other hand, got to the Moon, look around and said “Nah, let’s stay home instead, no point it coming here anymore.”.

    Plus, also, NASA didn’t ship a couple of hundred tons of gold back home.

  116. Nigel Depledge

    Ken B (96) said:

    But, yes, my iPod Touch has more computing power than the LEM’s computers.

    I dislike comparisons like this one.

    While it is technically true, it is completely irrelevant. A processor such as that in your I-Pod Touch (yes, I disagree with Apple mucking about with the rules of English too) is a general-purpose entity with nearly all instructions executed in software by assembling sequences of simpler instructions that are hard-wired into the processor. The Apollo processors (both in the LEM and the CM) were purpose-built to navigate to, from and around the Moon. They didn’t have anything resembling the operating system that your handheld device operates, because nearly all the instructions were hard-wired into the processor. The software and commands entered by the pilots comprised noun-verb combinations (where each noun or verb was represented numerically), sometimes with the expectation of a numerical parameter too. There is no comparison.

  117. Messier Tidy Upper

    Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins, Charles “Pete” Conrad, Alan Bean, Richard Gordon, Jim Lovell, John Swigert, Fred Haise, Alan Shepherd, Edgar Mitchell, Stuart Roosa, David Scott, James Irwin, Alfred Worden, John Young, Charlie Duke, Ken Mattingly, Eugene Cernan, Harrison Schmitt, Ronald Evans & Thomas Stafford.

    All these brave and good men flew to the Moon, many of them landing upon the silver regolith and lived to tell the tale. Most are still alive today.

    The Moon Hoax Conspiracy Theorists (MHCTers) effectively call all of these heroes – and hundreds even thousands of others who aided their missions – liars – and not just liars but perfect liars who have never been caught out telling a mistruth or slipping up or breaking ranks and revealing “teh Reel Deal.”

    The Apollo astronauts who put their lives on the line, plus the rocketship builders and thousands who worked on getting them there and making it happen those four decades and more ago, are vindicated by this – yet again.

    The MHCTers are made to look incredibly silly by these wonderful images -yet again. But then a few seconds thoughtand some basic reserach makes the MHCTers look very silly – and like insultingly dumb fools everytime.

  118. Nigel Depledge

    Gary Ansorge (99) said:

    I was so much smarter then,,,

    All 14-year-olds are smarter than adults. It’s part of the fabric of the universe.

    Mark (100) said:

    And the rest of us, however humble, however lacking in PhDs or orbital rockets or particle accelerators, will continue to tell the story of how Pete Conrad lost a bet because he said “stuff” on the Moon.

    Erm, well, getting a PhD is mainly about persistence, there’s nothing intrinsically about it that demands any special gift or innate talent. As for particle accelerators, can you not enjoy the LHC vicariously? And as for Pete Conrad, Wikipedia implies that he won his bet (but does not mention if the journalist paid up).

    Jeff (102) said:

    So those HB people just wasted 40 years of a stupid argument that shouldn’t have happened.

    From what I have read, the Moon Hoax didn’t really enter popular culture until about 1979, so that would be just over 30 years, not really 40. AFAICT, at the time it was happening, everyone believed it was real. Maybe if we had kept visiting the moon, the hoax would never have started.

    Andrea (103) said:

    Hey, it seems that the intrepid is the only thing with a very black shadow there; why its shadow it’s so black compared to any other shadow in the picture?

    Probably because the Intrepid’s Descent Stage is the only thing in the scene that is both large and sticking up vertically from the surface.

    Anchor (105) said:

    Then extrapolate: Surely the LAST 54 years can have by now seen us with permanent bases on the Moon and manned missions to Mars and a number of asteroids and yes, REAL space stations that serve as orbital maintenance facilities and assembly garages and refueling depots for parts beyond…but for the failure of vision of political leaders, the military and captains of industry, who mindlessly conspire to drain the American taxpayer dry by manufacturing toys for playful wars designed to increase their wealth and power instead of actually getting us all to a wonderful and economically-robust place we all use to identify with The Future.

    Well, perhaps. Note that the focus of technological development in that time has been on computers, television, video games, phones, cars and so on. IOW, communications media and personal goodies. Sure, there was Shuttle, which was (essentially) a big Earth-to-LEO truck. During the same period, science has developed so many new imaging and sensing technologies that our ability to learn about something from a distance has increased by orders of magnitude (thus decreasing the need to send people).

  119. Nigel Depledge

    NF (108) said:

    In this photo, no proof do I see. This is like the photos of the loch ness monster, bigfoot, ufos and other such phenomena. It’s not clear, this is not hi-res. Billions of dollars spent on cameras that can’t take a clear photo of the body that they’re orbiting isn’t suspicious, it’s just stupid.

    So, wait. Are you saying that a photo taken at a distance of 21 km, with a resolution of roughly 1 metre per pixel isn’t high resolution?

    Out of interest, what would you consider to actually be high resolution?

  120. Mark

    @123,

    That was a different bet :P

    The journalist had questioned the astronauts as to whether the things that they had said on the Moon were scripted. NASA, of course, took public relations very, very seriously, so the question had merit. Was Armstrong’s first words handed down to him by NASA bigwigs? Was Pete, the goofball of the astronaut corps, going to say something thoughtful and considerate with his first steps? Pete said no, I assure you, we just make this stuff up. To prove his point, Pete’s first words when he got there were, as we all know,

    “Whoopee! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that’s a long one for me.”

    Clearly demonstrating that these phrases were not handed down by NASA bigwigs. And yes, as far as I know, Pete was never able to collect on that bet.

    However, the bet I was referring to was a different one. Pete was intelligent, as all astronauts were, but he was more efficient than eloquent, and tended to use slang language where applicable. It helped to get his point across easier, it was more effective communication, and it was what made Pete Pete. It was also improper, from a scientific and public relations perspective. So when Pete was training, whenever he would describe something to Mission Control, say a rock or a soil sample, he would refer to it as “stuff”; “Hey, I’ve got some great stuff here” or “Al, I’ll bet you a dime that this stuff is a real Moon rock!” Naturally, the geologists and NASA public relations officials didn’t want their commanding officer on the second Moon landing to use the word “stuff” in their air-to-ground transmissions. But this is Pete we’re talking about. The running joke became that Pete would not be able to use the word “material” on the Moon, that he would end up using the word “stuff”. In classic Pete Conrad fashion, he took that bet. And he did remarkably well, but time went on and mission goals became critical, not to mention the physical burden, so he did end up saying “stuff” about 12 times (I think) over the course of the two EVAs and was thus forced to pay for a few drinks.

    Just imagining Pete, on the Moon, aiming his palm toward a nifty Moon rock, pausing for a beat, and thinking to himself, “‘Material’, not ‘stuff’” makes me giggle..

  121. Nigel Depledge

    Jeff (109) said:

    I am a type who “never believes nothin’” from nobody to be blunt, which is why I’m a good professor. I constantly am evaluating all hypotheses against the evidence to see which convinces me is the best explanation.

    This is interesting.

    So, given that the historical record (including pretty much every newspaper from the time, loads of TV footage, plus NASA’s own records) indicates that the Apollo programme succeeded in sending men to the moon several times, and that the Hoax claims only surfaced several years later, why did you not apply that attitude to the Hoax claims (because, seriously, not one of the hoax claims holds water)?

    On a slightly different slant, how do you judge ideas in fields that are removed from your area of expertise. Say, for example, in biology (given the prominence achieved by anti-evolution campaigns in the last 20 years)?

  122. Nigel Depledge

    @ Mark (125) -

    OK, I got it now. There were two bets.

  123. Nigel Depledge

    @ Freerefill (117) -

    Yes, definitely.

  124. Ross Hagemann

    Hey Doc, it seems like a bit of coincidence that I mentioned the 13 mile LRO images yesterday on one of your other sites and today we see a new blog. I’m flattered as hell, but also require a huge reward! Kidding, of coarse, but spacetoys has full scale Lunar Modules for sale. If you could just have one delivered, that would be great.

  125. ND

    Jeff,

    Nigel Depledge stated what I was trying to get at. You appear to have been compelled by the hoaxer arguments without applying much skepticism. The evidence for the moon landings and the major problems with the hoaxer arguments are nothing new, they’ve always been there. The BAUT is not the primary source on the Apollo moon program. The people on BAUT understood the evidence, how come you didn’t? That’s what I’m puzzled about.

  126. Devils Avocado

    @Nigel Depledge (too many to list) -

    You are a massive pedant…though I can’t help but respect that.

    I believe the whole moon hoax theory came about by poor media management on NASA’s part during the the early cold-war era. They seemed to have released media of test flights as actually Apollo mission photographs. Resulting in folks spotting intact antennae on crew pods being retrieved from the ocean, etc. Most of the rest of you are correct, it only takes a bit of scientific research to confirm that humans – decked out in the correct kit – can travel outside the Van Allen belt and did in fact reach the moon in the late 60′s/early 70′s using the best tech available to them at the time. I love those guys and I am lucky enough to have shaken Neil Armstrong’s hand. It shows a great disrespect of their (and NASA’s) acheivement to try and claim it as hoax. Furthermore, it dishonours the names of those who lost their lives to the Apollo program.

    9/11, that’s another story…again clarified by the most rudimentary of scientific research. The deeper one looks, the more truth is revealed. However, most humans do not care to look and instead are content to believe all that they see and hear, after all, we all have to turn out for work in the morning and pay our taxes right?. The most shocking and terrible crime of our generation.

    /flame on!

  127. Scott

    Why spend 100s of millions of tax money when I could have done this in photoshop on my lunch break for 50 bucks. And thats a deal! PDF extra. I would have increased the dpi to 300 and added a sharpen filter.

    Who cares if we went to the moon. We’ll just bring disease and kill the moondians, then squeeze anything moon can give us until we find the next planet to suffocate. Maybe we need to fix the one we have then move on to the next.

  128. Ross Hagemann

    Oh, and Nigel Depledge, you rule!

  129. Peter B

    Scott @ #132 said: “Why spend 100s of millions of tax money when I could have done this in photoshop on my lunch break for 50 bucks. And thats a deal! PDF extra. I would have increased the dpi to 300 and added a sharpen filter.”

    Assuming this isn’t a Poe, it’s because you can’t provide all the other images and data the LRO has provided us with. The pictures of the Apollo landing sites are icing on the cake; they weren’t the reason the LRO was sent to the Moon.

    “Who cares if we went to the moon.”

    See above. Confirming the reality of Apollo wasn’t the LRO’s mission.

    “We’ll just bring disease…”

    The Moon is about the best place to take things to kill them. Germs aren’t an issue on the Moon.

    “…and kill the moondians…”

    So [i]is[/i] this a Poe or are you serious?

    “…then squeeze anything moon can give us until we find the next planet to suffocate. Maybe we need to fix the one we have then move on to the next.”

    Why can’t we do both?

  130. Christopher Robert

    Well now we have solid evidence that the lunar landings actually occurred. This is analogous to the release of Obama’s birth certificate. The truth doesn’t lie.

  131. Enraged_Progressive

    I saw there was one dumbass that took an opportunity to bash the 9/11 Truth groups. Not only was it off-post, but the evidence once you decide to tone out the the MainStreamMedia and the deception groups out there flooding the movement with non-evidence in an effort to mislead the public, and evaluate the evidence with your own mind, you realize that certain cold facts point only one way. Today was a good day to review the research of Dr. Jones and several others concerning the samples collected from the 9/11 dust, some of it from a lady who lived across the street from the WTC buildings and was exposed to an inch or more of dust in her apartment when the buildings imploded. The samples point to a material that can only be made in government labs, in particular Livermore. We do not seek to accuse anyone of any crimes; we only ask that certain questions be answered by the authorities, such as why did building 7 come down at freefall speed, when it was essentially untouched by significant fire; why was the FEMA triage and mortuary team on the pier Monday 9/10/01; how did Rudolph Guiliani know the towers were going to come down within the hour, when previous experience with skyscrapers with enrobed beams of this sort had always burned, sometimes 15 hours or more, but never suffered from collapse. We would like to know whether the Mossad agents, arrested for filming the attacks from a New Jersey rooftop, were debriefed by the FBI, and what the extent of those conversations provided; what was operation ABLEDANGER? Was it an process to fund those involved in the coverup, like some contend? In the weeks following 9/11, it was reported in international media that at least 9 of the so-called 19 hijackers were reported alive and well. We need the statement repeated from the FBI that the identification of half of the hijackers was actually mistaken and never verified; and we need media and authorities to stop repeating the identification of the hijackers as a sure thing. And we need Tom Keane, who was in charge of the government whitewash called “The 9/11 Report”, to explain in more detail his comments concerning the veracity of the report. THAT’S FOR STARTERS, my ostrich friends.

  132. Enraged_Progressive

    And yes, we went to the moon. Looking back at their methods, the lack of redundancy and failsafe mechanisms points to a real bunch of optimists and stalwarts, but wait for the future when we send a contingent to Mars knowing that the price for this journey is essentially a death sentence – doubtful such a team will be able to return. We all live essentially under the same set of rules, the reality that some day we shall cease to exist, but the primitive animal brain only considers the task of immediate survival. Being gulagged on a faraway world in the name of science will require some quite intrepid individuals!

  133. Nigel Depledge

    Devil’s Avocado (131) said:

    @Nigel Depledge (too many to list) -

    You are a massive pedant…though I can’t help but respect that.

    :-)

  134. Nigel Depledge

    Ross Hagemann (133) said:

    Oh, and Nigel Depledge, you rule!

    Thank-you sir. *blushes*

  135. Nigel Depledge

    Christopher Robert (135) said:

    Well now we have solid evidence that the lunar landings actually occurred.

    We’ve had solid evidence that men landed on the moon since 1969.

    Moon rocks, photographs, radar tracking data, millions of people witnessing the launches, international news crews following and broadcasting every aspect of the early missions, etc.

  136. Nigel Depledge

    Enraged_progressive (136) said:

    Today was a good day to review the research of Dr. Jones and several others concerning the samples collected from the 9/11 dust, some of it from a lady who lived across the street from the WTC buildings and was exposed to an inch or more of dust in her apartment when the buildings imploded. The samples point to a material that can only be made in government labs, in particular Livermore.

    Wow!

    So, what was this mystery substance, exactly? And what is the evidence that suggests it can only be made in government labs (as opposed to, say, any university chemistry lab)?

    And how come it managed to not get contaminated with ordinary house dust? Or, indeed, the concrete of which the towers were partly made?

    . . . how did Rudolph Guiliani know the towers were going to come down within the hour,

    Did he? What evidence is there to indicate this?

    when previous experience with skyscrapers with enrobed beams of this sort had always burned, sometimes 15 hours or more, but never suffered from collapse.

    You are aware, are you not, that the towers were struck by airliners? When their design remit had covered strikes by light aircraft only (i.e., roughly one-hundredth the mass of an airliner).

    We would like to know whether the Mossad agents, arrested for filming the attacks from a New Jersey rooftop, were debriefed by the FBI, and what the extent of those conversations provided;

    Wait, are you trying to tell us that people were arrested for filming the attacks from a rooftop in NJ, but the news-crews who filmed them from the streets of NYC itself (or from helicopters) were not arrested? Who were these alleged Mossad agents? On what premise were they arrested (AFAICT, filming stuff is not sufficient grounds for arresting someone).

    And the rest of your comment just sounds paranoid. Have you considered seeking help?

  137. Nigel Depledge

    Enraged_progressive (137) said:

    And yes, we went to the moon. Looking back at their methods, the lack of redundancy and failsafe mechanisms points to a real bunch of optimists and stalwarts,

    All critical systems were redundant, some of them doubly so.

    When Apollo 13′s oxygen tank exploded, it was bad luck that the second tank got damaged at the same time, otherwise they might have been able to continue.

    The Ascent Engine of the LEM used a highly corrosive hypergolic fuel (a fuel in which the oxidiser and fuel explode on contact) to obviate the need for an ignition system, and a high-pressure-helium fuel feed system to avoid the need for pumps. The only moving parts in the LEM’s Ascent Engine were the valves. This eliminated most of the potential failure modes. And that’s just one example.

    The Apollo astronauts were closely involved in the manufacture processes and the development of procedures to minimise risk. Sure, it was dangerous, but all the risks were mitigated as much as was practicable.

    but wait for the future when we send a contingent to Mars knowing that the price for this journey is essentially a death sentence – doubtful such a team will be able to return. We all live essentially under the same set of rules, the reality that some day we shall cease to exist, but the primitive animal brain only considers the task of immediate survival. Being gulagged on a faraway world in the name of science will require some quite intrepid individuals!

    Sure, going to Mars and back will be a huge challenge, but it won’t happen if anyone really believed it meant marooning the crew there. (In fact, it may not happen for a very long time because of the cost, but that’s a different argument.)

    All of the challenges involved in getting a crew to Mars and back are surmountable.

  138. Ross Hagemann

    Obama’s new plan is to send a manned vehicle to an asteroid. Am I wrong in assuming that he means to send people to the asteroid belt, beond Mars, or would it be some rouge asteroid? He was so quick to cancel the Constellation programme, which would have got us back to the Moon and beond, and now this? Sounds preposterous to me. IF, these new space exploration adventures are to evolve, going back to the Moon is PARAMOUNT, in order to test the new vehicles and crew. It happened in the ’60s with Gemini, Apollo 7, etc, before going to the Moon on Apollo 8.
    I think that a lot of un-manned trips to Mars are necessary, previuos to a manned journey to leave things like fuel, consumables, and even a habitat, of some kind to arrive to.
    Have seen the high-res Apollo landing site images on the local news, which is terrific!

  139. Nigel Depledge

    Ross Hagemann (143) said:

    Obama’s new plan is to send a manned vehicle to an asteroid. Am I wrong in assuming that he means to send people to the asteroid belt, beond Mars, or would it be some rouge asteroid?

    IIUC, a target has yet to be selected, but there are plenty of asteroids with orbits that pass closer to Earth’s orbit than does Mars’s orbit, and many asteroids with orbits that actually cross Earth’s.

    He was so quick to cancel the Constellation programme,

    Constellation never received the funding from Congress that it would have needed to fulfill its remit. IIUC, the programme was in serious trouble from the get-go, and cancellation was pretty much only a matter of time.

    which would have got us back to the Moon and beond, and now this?

    Had Congress multiplied NASA’s budget by a factor of 10, Constellation might have done this. Otherwise, it had pretty much no chance.

    Besides, the Orion capsule envisaged for Constellation was not really suitable for a mission to Mars, being too close a relation to the Apollo CM (again, IIUC). Any mission to Mars needs to factor in several parameters that are nearly irrelevant for a moon voyage:

    1. Medical care. The journey will be long enough that you need to take medical staff with you, to care for anyone who becomes ill or injured. Thus, the vehicle needs to be large (to support a large crew), and the Orion capsule is just too small.
    2. Loss of muscle and bone mass. Spending 6 – 9 monthis in microgravity would mean the crew could achieve nothing when they got to Mars. The vehicle needs to be large enough that at least part of it can rotate and simulate gravity (in fact, the easiest way to do this would be to have the entire vehicle rotate, with a very large internal gyroscope spinning in the opposite direction to prevent the gyroscopic effect from sending the vehicle in the wrong direction).
    3. Protection against radiation. You have two effects you need to account for. First is the solar wind. In an 8-day journey to the moon and back, the solar wind is almost irrelevant, but in a mission lasting at least 18 months it becomes important. The fabric of the spacecraft will need to be a little bit thicker than that of the Apollo vehicles (but it doesn’t need to be particularly massive, either). The second effect is that of short-lived but intense events such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). If one of these should happen to send a burst of intense radiation towards your vehicle, the crew need to have some form of shelter (or maybe just orient the vehicle so that the engines and support systems are between the crew capsule and the incoming radiation).
    4. Fuel. This is probably the biggest problem. There’s no way that Constellation could have carried enough fuel to Mars for the return journey. So, it was reliant on the development of technology to manufacture rocket fuel from resources available on Mars (or on unmanned vehicles taking a fuel dump to Mars). Add to this the fact that you would need to send a robotic fuel-factory to Mars ahead of you and then need to land in the same place, or have to travel across Mars to reach it, meant that using Constellation to get to Mars would have been a very long-term project indeed.

    There are several other challenges that would need to be addressed, but these are the main ones that the Constellation programme kinda swept under the carpet.

    Sounds preposterous to me. IF, these new space exploration adventures are to evolve, going back to the Moon is PARAMOUNT, in order to test the new vehicles and crew.

    Going to the moon would not be a suitable test of most of the new technologies that would be needed, because the journey is too short. Any new technologies for which going to the moon is a suitable test could be tested almost as well in NEO. Although I do agree that going to the moon is a good idea for other reasons (immense radio telescope on the far side, anyone? Never mind a Square Kilometre Array, how about a 10,000 square kilometre array?)

    It happened in the ’60s with Gemini, Apollo 7, etc, before going to the Moon on Apollo 8.

    Apollo 8′s trip to the moon was a big risk, and was only done because the LEM was not yet ready for testing. As originally planned, Apollo 9 was to be the first circumlunar flight, but the development of the LEM was not on schedule to be finished when the Apollo 8 launch date was due, so it was decided to swap the mission parameters of 8 and 9.

    However, your more general point is taken, but a modern space vehicle designed to visit an asteroid would probably make several unmanned test flights before it was used for a manned mission.

    I think that a lot of un-manned trips to Mars are necessary, previuos to a manned journey to leave things like fuel, consumables, and even a habitat, of some kind to arrive to.

    Yes. Although there is still much debate about what people can achieve on Mars that we cannot do using robotic probes. If you are going to send half-a-dozen unmanned vehicles to land on Mars, why not use them to do the science that the manned mission could do? Personally, I don’t find this argument fully compelling (because any manned mission to Mars would do a hell of a lot more than mere areology), but I do recognise it needs to be suitably addressed.

  140. Ross Hagemann

    Nigel, I realize that Lougheed’s Orion capsule is not even in the ballpark for a Mars mission. Neither is there a booster, and many other new technologies, that don’t even exist yet, have to evolve. I still insist that a Mars crew must go to the Moon once, just to see if they can handle the emotional shock of seeing planet Earth no bigger that 1 inch at arms length.
    It just bothers me than when so much money and man hours are spent (Constellation) and with basically no warning, are discarded like that.
    However, if you can believe the politics lately, things are looking good for the space program. The Shuttle program ate up a lot of funds. Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) is working closely with NASA to develope a LEO vehicle, much sooner than I thought. Also, a heavy lift vehicle, with about 8 million lbs. of thrust is in the works from ATK. Finally, something with even more snort that the Saturn V! Unless I’m six feet under, I’m gona see that baby launch right from the Cape.

    http://spaceflightnow.com

  141. Nigel Depledge

    Ross Hagemann (145) said:

    Nigel, I realize that Lougheed’s Orion capsule is not even in the ballpark for a Mars mission. Neither is there a booster, and many other new technologies, that don’t even exist yet, have to evolve. I still insist that a Mars crew must go to the Moon once, just to see if they can handle the emotional shock of seeing planet Earth no bigger that 1 inch at arms length.

    OK, I guess it makes sense to send your crew candidates somewhere that counts as deep space as part of their assessment / training. It could as well be a near-Earth asteroid during a close-ish pass or a Lagrange point as the moon.

  142. Henk

    So obviously faked… you can clearly see that, thos pictures are just recreated in a studio with fake lighting &some volcanic dust from Hawai. LOL

    But seriously, that is some facinating images. I’ve heard that the resolution will become much sharper soon. can wait to see them. Apollo 15,m my favorite is the one i wat to see the most. Of all the mission’s that is my favourite by far. Landing inbetween those mountains by the rile, i wouold give anything to see that IRL.
    Good Job Nasa. What has happenend to America that they left our amazing companion alone all these years.

  143. Pascal

    Seriously, these LRO photos are a joke!
    the lander does not even look like the lander at all, it looks completely ridiculous.
    And why are the tracks dark?
    They should not be dark, they should be the same color as the ground they left their print on.
    When I see the LRO photos, I am still more convinced the moon landings never happened, a total joke!

  144. Pascal

    If Apollo was honest, I would not hesitate to celebrate it.
    But every fiber of my being tells me it is a joke.
    Obviously faked photos, videos full of jokes, a completely weird insane computer, electronic interfaces full of intentional incoherencies and aberrations, a LM and a CM which behave in a completely unphysical way, no way that I can believe in this joke!
    The effects of the radiation was never seriously tested before sending the astronauts, and the LM was never seriously tested; landing on the moon is very different from landing on the earth because of the absence of air, and thinking that the LM would successfully land at the first attempt without having been seriously tested before in the conditions it had to land on the moon is pure fantasy.
    And how is it that the LM affords to waste fuel by flying over the CM (see photos AS11-37-5445 to AS11-37-5447) when the LM had less than a minute fuel left when it landed on the moon?
    It makes no sense!
    Apollo fills me with anger!

  145. Ross Hagemann

    I have nothing but sympathy, Pascal. Stupid and angry are not personality traits that create envy.

  146. Pascal

    I don’t ask you to understand me, Ross Hagemann, but I know deep inside I am right.
    I know that all I have found about Apollo is correct, and that there is an incredible heap of incoherences and aberrations in Apollo.
    Some day you’ll find out I was right and not an idiot who simply denied the landings out of ignorance.

  147. Ed

    A couple years ago a Dutch museum checked out a moon rock given to it by NASA in 1969 and found it was a fake! It was petrified wood! NASA gifted the “rocks” to several countries. PROOF that what NASA puts out is a fraud! Here’s the link. Read it and weep.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2009-08-29/us-gave-fake-moon-rock-to-dutch-museum/1409064

    Where are the photos of the steam blowing off from their air conditioned space suits? Those suits had what, merely a quart or two of water to circulate the body in 200 plus degree sunshine and no condenser so the cooling unit blew off the hot waste water.

    How did they manage to snap any photos, let alone so many with big hard bulky gloves and cameras requiring manual lens settings and film replacements.I read somewhere there are so many photos they had to take at least one per minute they were out there.

    The photos and films are laughably amateuristic and could have easily been shot on stage.
    Even if the moon trips ultimately are proved true, I think they still faked the photos or passed off as real training photos from the PR dept.

    The reflecter on the moon could have been sent there like any planetary probe without humans putting it there.

    People saw the launch,yes, but the ship could have orbited the earth the time they were “on the moon” and later splashed down.

    Voices from moon could have come from the training sattelite they had up there broadcasting voices before apollo11 and subsequently NASA said was “lost” before the flight.

  148. SpaceStranger

    “No. Remember, these images are being taken by a satellite about 50 kilometres..”
    Well, 50 km is a tiny distance for a sattelite photography, modern earth sattelites operate at orbits as high as ~150 up to 700 km and their resolution is much better than in this case. For example, KH-11 military sattelite had an orbit with altitudes 298 up to 443 km and its resolution was 15 cm.. Think.

  149. Ross Hagemann

    SpaceStranger:
    A military satellite weighs between 25,000 to 30,000 lbs. The last time anybody sent anything that heavy to the Moon was during the Apollo programme.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_Reconnaissance_Orbiter
    This website says that the LRO (what this website is based upon) weighs 1846 kg. It also performs six other functions. It’s narrow angle camera lense is capable of 0.5 meter per pixel. Did you “Think” to check this out first? I thought not.

  150. edward

    Aaahhh! So you are still alive, Mr. Hagemann! As usual, trying your obnoxious and bombastic ‘techniques’ on ‘SpaceStranger’, viz: “Did you think?”, (post 154), and referring to ‘Pascal’ as ‘stupid’ (post 150). Yes, dear readers, Mr. Hagemann imagines himself to be the doyen of Apollo believers.

    What is amusing however, is that he now posts on this thread, but after I left a disturbing conundrum for him to answer on another thread, he has been conspicuously absent – deathly quiet, as it were. This after initially having plenty to say in posts on the topic.

    For anyone who would like to read my discovery and question to Mr. Hagemann (which has now remained unanswered for three full weeks) go to: blogs.discovermagazine.com/…/apollo-landing-sites-imaged… Read Post no. 969, and notice that Mr. Hagemann simply has not answered. Most likely he is hoping that anyone reading it will think that he has not seen it. Unlikely. He was very quick to ‘answer’ other comments of mine before that particular post.

    Pursuant to that posting, Apollo landing believers, when questioned as to why the American flag is brightly lit up on the Lunar Module (just writing that makes me laugh) when the rest of the craft is in deep shadow, and why Apollo astronauts’ suits are also quite brightly lit up when they should also be dark, always give the explanation that the reason is due to ‘scattered’ or ‘diffused’ light on the moons surface. They seem to have forgotten that there is no atmosphere on the moon – hence there can be no scattering or diffusion of light to illuminate flags, space suits, etc. Interested readers can look up the NASA web page which I refer to in post 969 mentioned above, where they make some interesting statements – to say the least.

    Americans are extremely patriotic, so the proud display of their flag was ‘de rigueur’ of course. It is odd that only the flag was brightly lit, but not any of the surrounding craft.

    To Christopher Robert (post 135) who says “The truth doesn’t lie.” Obviously Mr. Robert does not concur with one Neil Armstrong, who stated: “…there are breakthroughs available to those who can remove one of truths protective layers.” Truth’s protective layers!? Since when did the truth need to be protected with a layer? A layer of what? This could only be the case if the truth was not actually the truth, but a lie which was being ‘protected’ from being exposed as a lie, with a layer of ‘truth’.

    Obviously, in later years, Mr. Armstrong’s guilty conscience is causing him to utter words which make it very obvious that he is hiding something. Although not saying outright that he did not walk on the moon, (of course he wouldn’t), perhaps it is his way of making peace with himself, unburdening himself, so to speak, so that he can finally tell himself “Well, I did tell the public that we didn’t go – sort of.”

    There is one more thing, for now, Mr. Hagemann, on which you may ruminate. Isn’t it strange that in forty years since the last ‘moon landing’, NOT ONE other nation on earth has attempted to land anyone on the moon, notwithstanding the massive advances in technology during this time. Surely countries such as China, Japan, Germany, et al, would have been keen to put their own astronauts on the moon? Surely they would have been interested in putting the first woman on the moon? That would have been a major coup for a country, and excited a new generation of persons, fostering their interst in space science. Yet there has been no serious programme or attempt for forty years.

    Come now, Mr. Hagemann! Let’s hear your answer to NASA’s admission that without an atmosphere, stars would be extremely bright in the DAYTIME sky, easily visible and blazing right next to the sun – if for example there was no atmosphere on earth. On the moon, therefore, the black sky would have been filled with blazing stars. Yet NASA also state that “No stars were visible from the lunar surface”. They are not referring to stars not being able to be captured by camera, incidentally. The astronauts also contradict NASA’s admission by saying that they were not able to see any stars from the moons surface, (without the use of a camera) or even from atmosphereless moon orbit. So which is it? NASA contradict themselves, and the astronauts contradict NASA.

    Let’s have your answers, Mr. Hagemann!

  151. evilstoo

    LMFAO … hi res!!??? … why not throw some 3D in there as well… IMAX maybe!!?… more like BS! i realize it is hard to take a close up of objects on the moon but seriously all this does is make people question harder – this photo is crap.

  152. superdayve

    there’s some videos on youtube where this guy is showing evidence of alien buildings on the moon.. Where he sees a large skyscraper or a road, I see a couple similarly coloured pixels and a rock.
    I guess the point I’m making is people will see what their imagination wants them to.

  153. Bryan

    This is Photoshopped… I can tell by the words on the picture. O.o what

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