moon landings

moon landings

The Moon Missions were Faked by NASA

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The Moon landing conspiracy theories claim that some or all elements of the Apollo program and the associated Moon landings were hoaxes staged by NASA and members of other organizations. Various groups and individuals have made such conspiracy claims since the mid-1970s. The most notable claim is that the six manned landings (1969--1972) were faked and that the twelve Apollo astronauts did not walk on the Moon. Conspiracy theorists (henceforth conspiracists) base their claims on the notion that NASA and others knowingly misled the public into believing the landings happened by manufacturing, destroying, or tampering with evidence; including photos, telemetry tapes, transmissions, rock samples, and even some key witnesses. The first book about the subject, Bill Kaysing's We Never Went to the Moon: America's Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle, was written in 1974, two years after the Apollo Moon flights had ended, and self-published in 1976. The Flat Earth Society was one of the first organizations to accuse NASA of faking the landings, arguing that they were staged by Hollywood with Walt Disney sponsorship, based on a script by Arthur C. Clarke and directed by Stanley Kubrick. Folklorist Linda Dégh (de) suggests that writer-director Peter Hyams' 1978 film Capricorn One, which shows a hoaxed journey to Mars in a spacecraft that looks identical to the Apollo craft, may have given a boost to the hoax theory's popularity in the post-Vietnam War era. The United States government deemed it vital that it win the Space Race against the Soviet Union. Going to the Moon would be risky and expensive, as exemplified by President John F. Kennedy famously stating that the United States chose to go because it was hard. A main reason for the race to the Moon was the Cold War. Philip Plait says in Bad Astronomy that the Soviets—with their own competing Moon program, an extensive intelligence network and a formidable scientific community able to analyze NASA data—would have cried foul if the United States tried to fake a Moon landing, especially since their own program had failed. Proving a hoax would have been a huge propaganda win for the Soviets. Bart Sibrel responded, "the Soviets did not have the capability to track deep spacecraft until late in 1972, immediately after which, the last three Apollo missions were abruptly cancelled." However, the Soviets had been sending unmanned spacecraft to the Moon since 1959, and "during 1962, deep space tracking facilities were introduced at IP-15 in Ussuriisk and IP-16 in Evpatoria (Crimean Peninsula), while Saturn communication stations were added to IP-3, 4 and 14," the latter having a 100 million km range. The Soviet Union tracked the Apollo missions at the Space Transmissions Corps, which was "fully equipped with the latest intelligence-gathering and surveillance equipment." Vasily Mishin, in an interview for the article "The Moon Programme That Faltered," describes how the Soviet Moon program dwindled after the Apollo landings.