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  • Siddharth Madhan

Debunking Apollo 11 Conspiracy Theories

It took 400,000 Nasa employees and contractors to put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon in 1969 – but only one man to spread the idea that it was all a hoax. His name was Bill Kaysing.

There were a lot of conspiracy theories floating about. Apparently, British and American citizens preferred conspiracies to what was going on in real life. I've compiled a list of some of the most popular conspiracy theories, about the moon landing, over the years.

Conspiracy theory 1: Apollo astronauts could not have survived Earth's radiation field.

The 'Van Allen' radiation belt is a zone of charged particles that surrounds the Earth. If that's the case, how did the Apollo astronauts avoid being harmed while travelling through the Van Allen radiation belt and out of Earth's orbit? Isn't it safe to say that the amount of radiation they were exposed to would have killed them?

The solution is straightforward. Firewalking. If you've ever tried firewalking, you'll know that the one thing you don't do is stand in the middle of the firepit for too long. You try to cross as swiftly as possible. Similarly, at the start of the Apollo missions, the transit time across the Van Allen radiation belt was incredibly short. If you travel quickly enough, you can pass safely over the Van Allen radiation belt.

Conspiracy theory 2: Why are there no stars in pictures of the NASA Moon landings?

Here is the solution: The Sun shines strongly on both the astronauts and the lunar surface. Although the sky appears to be dark, keep in mind that it is midday on the Moon.

If you want to photograph a highly lit scene, you'll need a quick shutter speed and a narrow aperture on your camera. Stars and other dim objects will obviously not show up under the situation.

Conspiracy theory 3: The American Flag planted on the moon by the Apollo 11 astronauts is waving in the wind, but there is no wind on the moon.

The short answer is that it isn't waving because it isn't a regular flag. If the astronauts had planted a standard flag on the moon, it would have hung slack, as flags do when there is no wind on Earth. NASA devised special flags for astronauts to take with them because this wouldn't make for a very appealing shot (all six Apollo missions that made it to the moon planted an American flag there).

The inside of these flags included a horizontal rod that allowed them to stick out from the flagpole. The astronauts on Apollo 11 had problems stretching the rod all the way, which generates a ripple effect in still photos that makes the flag appear to be blowing in the breeze.

Hence, we can conclude that the moon landing wasn't fake and all the theories continue to remain false.

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