“One small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind. ” As Neil Armstrong uttered these words, he was leaving humanity’s first imprint on space exploration. An estimated 530 million people watched Armstrong’s televised image and heard his voice describe the event as he took “… one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind” on July 20, 1969 (Loff, Sarah). Countries all over the world had raced to be the first to send a human to the moon. The United States of America set its goal in sight and entered the race.
Working tirelessly and diligently, day and night, the men and women of NASA pushed themselves to solving the big question that was riddling even the most renowned scientists. How can NASA send someone to the moon safely? On July 16, 1969, NASA launched a space craft housing Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Together, the NASA program and the two men created monumental history. The mission was called Apollo 11, and it lasted for eight days, three hours, and eighteen minutes.
The scientists knew that the moon’s surface was tricky and could potentially put the astronauts’ lives in danger, so they created the Hazard Detection and Avoidance. The purpose of Hazard Detection and Avoidance (HDA) is to autonomously detect these hazards (hazard detection) near the landing site and then determine a new landing site that is free of hazards (safe site selection)” (Johnson, Andrew E). July 20th marks the day that the crew landed and took their first steps on the moon. Aldrin and Armstrong spent twenty-one hours on the lunar surface collecting data and scouting the landscape. After they finished exploring, the crew returned home on July 24, 1969.
Strangely enough, even with reliable sources stating facts about the lunar landing, people have an inclination to believe the whole mission was staged. Throughout this essay, I will attempt to convince the reader that despite other allegations, the United States did, in fact, send astronauts to the moon. People have speculated for decades about Apollo 11. Did the government and NASA really send humans to the moon or did Hollywood construct the whole ordeal and make it seem like they had? Many believe this conspiracy: NASA is in trouble.
Contractors on the upcoming space mission were negligent, and made a mistake on one of the parts they were building. The mistake was discovered too late, and the part is already integrated with the rocket. They know the part will fail, ending the mission in catastrophe, so they tell NASA. However, NASA officials are under intense public pressure for a successful launch. They know that if they admit there is a problem, the space program (and therefore their paychecks) will grind to a halt. So they decide to launch anyway, knowing the mission will fail.
But the rocket they launch is a dummy, with no one on board. The real astronauts are spirited away to the Nevada desert to a hastily assembled movie set. Under physical threat, the astronauts are forced to obey the NASA officials, faking the entire mission. What they don’t know is that NASA plans on murdering them to protect the secret, then claim that astronaut error killed them upon reentry. NASA officials would take a hit but eventually would be exonerated (Plait, Philip C, p. 155). This conspiracy may seem plausible in general, but it has many holes. For instance, Neil Armstrong did not die until 2012.
That is forty-three years after the Apollo 11 space mission. Forty-three years is plenty of time to release a classified government secret. Buzz Aldrin is still alive to this day. Therefore, NASA did not kill the gentleman involved the lunar landing mission, because if they had wanted to kill them, they would have done it soon after the space mission was complete. Also, regarding the “astronaut error that killed them on reentry” as stated before, both of the men lived many years after the mission. Thus, this disproves a majority of the most believed conspiracy with reference to the lunar landing.
Many of the conspirators base their claims on four main reasonings: 1) there are no stars in the background of the astronomers’ photos, 2) the astronauts would not be able to survive the radiation through duration of the mission, 3) the astonishing high temperatures on the moon should have killed the astronauts, 4) there is dust on the lunar lander, 5) the light and shadows on the surface argue that the photos are artificial (Plait, Philip C, p. 157). 1. There are no stars in the background of the astronomers’ photos Over the years, everyone has seen a picture of the astronauts on the moon.
In a typical elementary school science class, one can most definitely find the classic gray and white photo of an astronaut and a starless background. Non-believers say that because of the starless background, the photos are fake. They say that because the sky is black, it should be filled with thousands of stars as it is on Earth. Why should one be able to see stars in the earth sky but not in space where the stars actually are (Plait, Philip C, p. 158-160)? The answer is simple: the stars are not visible because they are too faint in the photos. The camera setting is the reason the stars are not visible!
The exposure on the camera is too short, which makes it seem that the stars are not actually there. Think of it this way: if you take a picture of the stars in a cloudless night sky, you may not be able to see the stars. Why? The sighting depends on the exposure on the camera. More stars are visible with longer exposure. Suppose that the operation had been faked, and NASA was scraping to save the program. They constructed sets and sent the astronauts to the sets to take pictures to make it seem as though they had gone to space. NASA is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
If they had created fictitious photos, why would they not put stars in the background (Plait, Philip C, p. 158-160)? Even though the astronauts had a black space behind them, it was considered day during the time that they took pictures. Because it was day, the space explorers used a shorter exposure on the camera; therefore, the stars were too faint to see (Plait, Philip C, p. 158-160). 2. The astronauts would not be able to survive the radiation through the duration of the mission 1. The hoaxbelievers based this theory on the Van Allen belts, which are doughnut shaped zones of intense radiation within.
They state that because of the radiation, the astronauts would not be able to survive the trip. NASA tested and modified the equipment. They “hardened” the spacecraft, which, in turn, limited the amount of radiation that astronomers would be exposed. “In the end, over the course of their trip to the Moon and back, the astronauts got, on average, less than 1 rem, a unit of effective absorbed dose of ionizing radiation in human tissue, of radiation, which is about the same amount of radiation a person living at sea level accumulates in three years” (Plait, Philip C, p. 60-163).
3. The astonishing high temperatures on the moon should have killed the astronauts It is true that the temperatures on the moon can reach very high. The heat can reach up to the 248 degrees Fahrenheit. That is enough to heat water! As a result, no, astronauts cannot stand those extreme temperatures. Consequently, though, the moon only rotates every twenty-seven days. This means days and nights both last for two weeks. In the same way that earth does not immediately warm when the sun rises, the moon does not either.
Scientists at NASA knew this and set the landing time to be at sunrise, so the astronauts could withstand the heat (Plait, Philip C, p. 165-167). 4. There is dust on the lunar landing The surface of the moon is dusty. Before proper tests were done, no one knew what the moon’s surface would be like. The scientists did not want the astronauts and the shuttle to sink into an unknown depth of dust. The Soviets and Americans sent probes to test the surface. They found that the claim that the mission was not real because there is no water on the moon, but the lunar lander had dust on it.
This is not true if you think about it in a different light. Flour does not have to be wet for someone to leave a footprint in it. The same principles apply to the dust on the lunar landing (Plait, Philip C, p. 163-165). All things considered, why would the United States government plan a hoax this scandalous? What does the government have to lose if NASA comes to the conclusion that a lunar landing is impossible? In hindsight, they might receive little, if any, backlash from the public for spending so much money on space exploration.
It might halt the space program, but surely, it would not stop all together. In conclusion, the Apollo 11 space mission was an authentic and successful operation. Of course, people have and always will be skeptical. Still, in my opinion, the opinion of NASA, and the opinion of millions of others, the space mission did actually happen. “In the end, truth and logic prevail. America did send men to the Moon, and it was triumph of human engineering, perseverance, and spirit” (Plait, Philip C).