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Science Forum

  1. 09 May '11 23:41
    This site's fuzzy thinkers make me so sick on the Debates Forum, I just gotta ask:

    Does ANYONE here on the Science Forum really think the moon landings were faked?

    Seriously?
  2. 10 May '11 03:23
    Originally posted by Sam The Sham
    This site's fuzzy thinkers make me so sick on the Debates Forum, I just gotta ask:

    Does ANYONE here on the Science Forum really think the moon landings were faked?

    Seriously?
    It is possible that it was faked, who's to say for sure.

    Humans believe much more outlandish things, for example, that God flooded the earth and Noah build a gigantic boat and saved 2 of every animal. People believe that blindly with absolutely no shred of evidence.

    I think people will pretty much believe anything as long as you tell them the story in a very convincing and charismatic way, and smile a lot.

    I'm feeling really sarcastic today!
  3. 10 May '11 11:31 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by mlprior
    It is possible that it was faked, who's to say for sure.
    The technology required to fake the moon landings is more advanced than the technology required to actually go there. As we do not yet have the technology to convincingly fake the moon landings, and it certainly did not exist in the 1960's then I can say with absolute certainty that the moon landings were not faked. Thus in answer to your, possibly rhetorical question, 'I can say for sure', as can anyone else with half a brain and basic knowledge of physics.
  4. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    10 May '11 12:51
    I can say for sure in MY mind the moon landings were not faked. I was an Apollo technician, my field was Apollo timing and tracking, I can explain in detail if you wish. I was trained and worked at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland for several years, and saw the operation from inside and out.

    For instance, I found out my next door neighbor was a geological tech who also worked at Goddard on the moon rocks, his job was to slice them into thin specimens able to be analyzed by the chief scientists involved.

    One day he invited me into his lab, which was another building at Goddard. He showed me the huge bank vault containing the moon rocks and casually brought one over to me and let me hold it in my hand. That little specimen was clearly extremely alien, no doubt in my mind it came from the moon.

    There was no way anywhere on the planet in the '60s and '70s and '80s and '90s and probably to this day that anyone could have accurately duplicated the moon rocks picked up by the astronauts.

    Like the guy said, it would have been more difficult to fake the moon landings than to actually do them.

    There is a film I came across, an Aussie one, called 'Dish'. A true story of how the first transmission from the moon, The Eagle has landed, one step for man, etc., almost did not happen at all due to the fact that at the time of the moon landing, there was only one radio telescope able to pick up the landing transmissions due to the fact it has to be line of sight from the lander to the radio telescope and that scope was the only one available.

    It had problems that were resolved maybe 5 minutes before the transmissions happened, a riveting story for sure. Get it on Netflix if you can. That wasn't faked, it would have been impossible for the technology of the day to fake that transmission. It would be hard even today to fake the signals, for instance, the exact angle the radio telescope is pointed was recorded, the exact times, the exact frequency of transmission and such, could not be faked.

    Some people here, Skeeter for one, adamantly vows it to be faked, and he or she, whatever, has inside information nobody else does. I think that is the gist of that person's myth.

    But I can say, I was there, I saw the operation from the inside and there was no way literally thousands of hard working technicians and scientists could have been duped, for instance, if it was faked, why did Russia and China, who would have had a field day with such an event, why did they acknowledge the feat? The Russians were pretty close to a moon landing themselves and had a space program more advanced than the US program early on, but depended on a propulsion system of many small rocket motors that proved impossible to co-ordinate and ended up blowing up all the large lifters and as a result could not get the job done in time to beat the US to the moon.

    If the Russians had beaten the US to the punch in that race, there would have been no conspiracy theories, it is only the hatred of the US and people who want to make a buck on conspiracy theories that allows such utter rot to happen. It is a slap in the face of one of the crowning technological achievements of the 20th century and reprehensible on the face of it.
  5. 10 May '11 16:03
    If my memory serves me correctly, some retroreflector mirrors were put on the moon by astronauts on the Apollo missions and tiny amounts of reflected laser light beamed from the Earth to those mirrors that were put on the moon have been detected by powerful telescopes on Earth.
    This evidence alone would largely disprove the claims made by the Apollo hoax believers.
  6. 10 May '11 16:16
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    If the Russians had beaten the US to the punch in that race, there would have been no conspiracy theories, it is only the hatred of the US and people who want to make a buck on conspiracy theories that allows such utter rot to happen.
    That's funny, because IME it's mostly hick Merkins who claim the moon landing was a hoax. Maybe it's a hatred of Yankeeland specifically rather than the USA as a whole, but IYAM it's just the same old kind of redneckery which also makes people claim that Lincoln burned the constitution.

    Richard
  7. 10 May '11 17:27 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Shallow Blue
    That's funny, because IME it's mostly hick Merkins who claim the moon landing was a hoax. Maybe it's a hatred of Yankeeland specifically rather than the USA as a whole, but IYAM it's just the same old kind of redneckery which also makes people claim that Lincoln burned the constitution.

    Richard
    Generally, I don't think the conspiracy theorists are motivated by hatred towards the US or anyone else but I would make an educated guess that conspiracy theorists are motivated by a combination of general paranoia, distrust of authority, and an emotional need for there to be actual conspiracies.
    I guess that if you point out something to a conspiracy theorist that disproves his conspiracy theory, then, in his mind, you and that evidence simply just comes part of the same conspiracy. So I guess that generally makes a conspiracy theorist incurable.

    Here is an interesting read:
    http://race42012.com/2011/05/01/the-profile-of-birthers-and-conspiracy-theorists/
    “....
    …..
    ….What distinguishes them from the rest of us isn’t a big bankroll or a particular political persuasion — it’s a twisted relationship with reality. Conspiracy theorists retreat into fantasy worlds, bending fact and history to meet their psychological needs and emotional motivations. Here’s a taxonomy of true fake believers: …
    …..
    ...”
  8. 10 May '11 18:27 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    There was no way anywhere on the planet in the '60s and '70s and '80s and '90s and probably to this day that anyone could have accurately duplicated the moon rocks picked up by the astronauts.
    Accurately duplicated what? Who then or now knows what a 'moon rock' looks like except based on those samples?
    What was 'alien' about them? Surely they are essentially the same minerals found on earth and must match pretty closely rocks found somewhere on earth?

    According to Wikipedia, moon rocks are now priceless and 0.2 g were sold for US$ 442,500. You should have chipped a bit off when he wan't looking!
  9. 10 May '11 19:00 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I can say for sure in MY mind the moon landings were not faked. I was an Apollo technician, my field was Apollo timing and tracking, I can explain in detail if you wish. I was trained and worked at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland for several years, and saw the operation from inside and out.

    For instance, I found out my next door neighbor was a g ning technological achievements of the 20th century and reprehensible on the face of it.
    I was thinking that NASA did NOT have the technology in 1969 to land on the moon.
    Coming from a purely engineering standpoint, I don't believe the technology was there at the time. Granted, NASA probably had more technology than the average person, but I'm still not sure it was there.

    I also don't think strange looking rocks prove anything.

    I'm not saying it didn't happen either, I just have a hard time believing that NASA would be able to pull it off given the technology that was available. Maybe some day if I have some time, I will do some research on what was available in 1969, just doing a quick search, it looks pretty limited.
  10. 10 May '11 22:36
    Originally posted by mlprior
    I was thinking that NASA did NOT have the technology in 1969 to land on the moon.
    Coming from a purely engineering standpoint, I don't believe the technology was there at the time. Granted, NASA probably had more technology than the average person, but I'm still not sure it was there.

    I also don't think strange looking rocks prove anything.

    I'm ...[text shortened]... research on what was available in 1969, just doing a quick search, it looks pretty limited.
    OK as you say , you should do some research .....before voicing an opinion.
  11. 10 May '11 22:53
    Originally posted by mlprior
    I was thinking that NASA did NOT have the technology in 1969 to land on the moon.
    Coming from a purely engineering standpoint, I don't believe the technology was there at the time. Granted, NASA probably had more technology than the average person, but I'm still not sure it was there.

    I also don't think strange looking rocks prove anything.

    I'm ...[text shortened]... research on what was available in 1969, just doing a quick search, it looks pretty limited.
    Surely, if the technology wasn't there in 1969 we would have done it by now? Except that there is no point in doing so because we've been to the moon plenty of times.
  12. 10 May '11 23:07 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by mlprior
    I was thinking that NASA did NOT have the technology in 1969 to land on the moon.
    Coming from a purely engineering standpoint, I don't believe the technology was there at the time. Granted, NASA probably had more technology than the average person, but I'm still not sure it was there.

    I also don't think strange looking rocks prove anything.

    I'm research on what was available in 1969, just doing a quick search, it looks pretty limited.
    OK, well first they DID land on the moon, so they obviously had the tech to do it but lets break it down and see what you need bare minimum to do it.

    In no particular order you need:

    1) space suits, capable of keeping the astronaut in a liveable temp range and in breathable oxygen in a vacuum.

    In the 1950's U2 pilots were already wearing the precursor to the Apollo era space suit.
    At 50K+ feet the air is as close to vacuum as makes no diff (as far as the human body is concerned). So check 1.

    2) a space capsule also capable of keeping the 3 astronauts in breathable air, but also of withstanding re-entry, and landing in the ocean.

    the trips to the moon were short, so life support mostly comprised taking a weeks supply of food/water/air with them so that's easy.
    Scrubbing CO2 out of the air is 19th century chemistry.
    Fuel-cells and batteries both existed in the 60's so that's your power source.
    The capsule itself had to hold a 1 atmosphere pressure differential, again easily possible in the 60's.
    And had to have a aerodynamically stable shape for launch and re-entry, the cone shape is a very simple shape that is reliably stable in both orientations (with the right weight balance) and doesn't need advanced computer aided design, simple wind tunnel testing and back of envelope maths let you test stability so that's 60's compatible.
    As for the re-entry itself, it has to withstand a few thousand deg K, while experiencing several G's for several minutes.
    This is not in itself hard the trick is making it do it while still being light enough to launch.
    Tricky but not impossible, and you did see the size of the thing they used to launch it ;-). So again check 2.

    3) a communication system capable of operating through a vacuum to the moon.

    We had radios, and radio telescopes, they work in space.... check 3

    4) a guidance system that works in space.

    Gyroscopes, radios, computers, clocks, windows + math. check 4.

    5) computers capable of fitting inside the capsule (another major advantage the Americans had over Russia)

    just, barely. had less memory than the typical chip and pin credit card of today and less power than my calculator but it did one thing, just well enough. solve Newtonian physics equations in real-time.
    The computer on the eagle crashed several times on approach so Neil Armstrong landed on manual. so yes, just about, check 5.

    6) a launch system capable of accelerating the capsule to almost escape velocity (they were going to the moon rather than leaving the earth completely so they essentially only had to get halfway there then the moon's own gravity did the rest, and ditto for the return journey)

    you need rockets, preferably liquid rockets, which were seriously developed by the Nazis during the 40's. Then improved upon in the intervening years, mostly by people trying to make better nuclear missiles. and if you want to know if they were good enough to put stuff into space then yes, of course they were, we had the first satellites, and manned space missions years before Apollo. check 6.

    7) a vehicle capable of landing on the moon and taking off again.

    again tricky but possible, mainly due to the moons low gravity. similar demands as the main capsule but without the re-entry/aerodynamics side. Lack of computing dealt with by good piloting skills. check 7


    Radiation is an issue but they were not in space for all that long, so exposure was limited.

    There 'may be' a couple of things I have missed (and it was a huge engineering challenge don't get me wrong, when I say easy here I mean easily possible not necessarily easy to actually do) but really the basics behind the Saturn V / Apollo space craft are really simple.

    It was a giant firework with a tiny life support capsule on the top.
    The details of how that giant rocket worked were complex, but that's basically just plumbing, all the pipes and wires.
    Nothing inherently sophisticated about it other than the overall complexity (which was huge).
    It was the quick and dirty way of going to the moon, which was totally possible in the 60's.

    And as I said earlier, Faking the moon landings among other things REQUIRES sending a transmitter at the very least to radio signals back from the moon.

    If you're sending a rocket to the moon anyway, making it carry people is mostly just a matter of scaling it up (yes I know scaling up is hard but the question is possible not easy, as the man said they weren't trying to go because it was easy.).

    You also have to fake microgravity for the flight there and back (yes they did it for the Apollo 13 film in the vomit-comet.... in 2 minute segments and good cutting).
    And the reduced gravity of the lunar surface, which is MUCH harder (I hold this still can't be done convincingly today, even the best CGI can be detected and doing it practically has the same issues you would have had in the 60's), and can't be done with wires, or in a plane (sets would be too big).

    They left reflectors on the moon which are used near daily to measure the earth moon distance with lasers.

    And the rocks they brought back don't match the chemistry of ANY rocks naturally found on earth.

    Lastly, there is no group of people in the world as big as NASA was then (and you better believe Russia among others had spies in their ranks) that can keep something that big a secret this long.

    WE LANDED ON THE MOON.
    It's not rationally disputable.
    Pose any question you like about how it was done and we can find the answer (or you can find them yourself), but it WAS DONE.

    BTW anyone who thinks I missed a major element you have to have to go to the moon feel free to add it.

    EDIT: also http://latenightastronomy.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/lunar-landers-pictured-by-moon-orbiter.jpg
  13. 11 May '11 01:58
    Originally posted by Sam The Sham
    OK as you say , you should do some research .....before voicing an opinion.
    Ha Ha!

    Research is not required to voice an opinion...I'm sure you know that already though.
  14. Standard member mikelom
    Ajarn
    12 May '11 10:23
    Originally posted by mlprior
    Ha Ha!

    Research is not required to voice an opinion...I'm sure you know that already though.
    Exactly!

    So what about the famous pictures of shadows in the wrong places, and a blowing flag?

    Just a passing question....

    -m.
  15. 12 May '11 11:29
    Originally posted by mikelom
    Exactly!

    So what about the famous pictures of shadows in the wrong places, and a blowing flag?

    Just a passing question....

    -m.
    Just hoax nonsense, there is no "blowing flag" or shadows that aren't where they belong.