While we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the first man on the Moon, July 20, 2019, the “moon hoax” (“moon hoax”) is as popular as ever. In 2018, an Ifop poll revealed 16% of French supporting “fully” the idea that Americans were never went to the Moon. It was also the case for 7% of Americans in 2013. This “lie” would have been released by the us government to recognize the superiority of the United States over Russia in their race to the conquest of space and thus win the cold War.

Very popular, this conspiracy theory has seen the light of day in 1974 and has been broadcast by a… American. Two years after the end of the lunar programme american, Bill Kaysing published We never went to the Moon: the american con to thirty billion dollars . It develops the main arguments now advanced by the complotistes. For him, everything has been turned in to a military base secret that is installed in the Nevada desert, with the complicity of Hollywood and its special effects, such as those of the film 2001: a space Odyssey , Stanley Kubrick, released in 1968. Indeed, Kubrick would not be foreign to this stage, dare to even the author.

With the advent of the Internet and social networks, the “moon hoax” is experiencing a resurgence of notoriety. This is yet another american chain that boosts the machine: in 2001, the Fox network television broadcast a “documentary” titled conspiracy theory: did we aluni? NASA takes things very seriously: in 2002, she orders a book to refute point by point the arguments of the complotistes, before retracting to not give too much credit for the attacks, preferring, however, focus on a few points.

Click on the yellow dots numbered in order to access the explanation:

1. The flag that “fleet”

You swear that it floats, this flag, don’t you think? However, this is impossible: the Moon has no atmosphere.

Except that the flag does not float. It is maintained deployed using a horizontal rod rigid. As for the folds that give the impression of floating… what are those flag crumpled by a space flight hectic. For proof, just look at these two photos taken a few seconds apart: the flag does not move.

2. The shadow of the flag in the “wrong direction”

in the photo above, the shade of the flag appears to be in the wrong direction, if one compares it to that of the astronaut Buzz Aldrin. But by observing other shots, it is understood that it is the shadow of the collector of the solar wind (see photo below), a tube of 1m high, lying outside the field of the first frame.

Buzz Aldrin in front of the collector of solar wind. Handout ./REUTERS 3. What happened to the stars?

The lack of stars in the lunar sky asks: shouldn’t there be even more visible from the Earth?

In fact, not. The Apollo 11 mission took place in full moon day, under a strong sun exposure. “The stars in space, it is in the science fiction films”, plays François, an astrophysicist and research director at the CNRS. “The moon is illuminated by a sun very powerful, which is not attenuated by clouds or the atmosphere, a bit like a dazzling sun in the middle of the desert,” he continues. Neither the human eye nor a camera does not have the sensitivity sufficient to distinguish the stars. It is a bit like a football stadium lit at night: the light is so strong that we see the lawn and the players, but not stars.”

4. The footprint of “too significant” Footprint of one of the first steps on the Moon. Handout ./Reuters

And these footprints as clear as if Aldrin walked on the wet sand, while the soil of the Moon is more similar to the dry sand?

The lunar soil is composed of regolith, a very fine dust produced by the impact incessant meteorites, closer to the volcanic ash as sand. This particular composition, and the absence of atmosphere explain these footprints.

Buzz Aldrin descending the steps of the lunar module. NASA NASA/REUTERS 5. Combinations that shine

The weirdness of the two astronauts reinforces the impression of filming the studio… Their combinations “shine” even in the shade of the vehicles, as if they were placed at the heart of a spot of artificial light!

again, the sun pleads guilty. The main Source of light, its reflection on the Earth and on the soil of the moon, the properties of highly reflective, explains why Aldrin seems very informed on this photo, although taken in the shade.

6. Lack of impact crater and dust

How to gear several tons, have they been able to land without leaving marks? It is fishy!

Not that much. On the Moon, no air movement. “The rétrofusées have raised a lot of dust, but in the absence of atmosphere, they are benefits immediately”, describes François Forget. As for the modules, “they have not created the craters, but the halos, which have been observed since by other satellites, well after Apollo 11, as the Lunar reconnaissance orbiter, launched in June 2009, of which the images are so precise that we can still see the path of travel to the foot of the astronauts ! Moreover, these traces have also been observed by satellite missions in japan (SELENE), india (CHAN DRA YAAN) and china (CHANG-E 1 and 2). “And nobody expects that China, India or Japan manipulates images to appeal to NASA,” noted astrophysicist.

Buzz Aldrin, in the lunar module deploys an arsenal of scientific on the surface of the Moon, 20 July 1969. NASA NASA/REUTERS 7. A “C” on a rock lunar

The devil is in the details, the plots also. On a picture of NASA, it is believed to distinguish a letter “C” on a rock, lunar: the “evidence”, once again, that it would be a movie set.

The explanation of NASA? A hair… or a hair, which would be slipped over the plate during development: the “C” does not appear on the original film.

8. Too dangerous?

The expedition lunaire provides for the crossing of the “Van Allen belt”, an area at the exit of the earth’s atmosphere containing such a high density of energetic particles that astronauts would not be able to survive the radiation.

False, answers NASA. The space suits they wore protected them, and the crossing only lasted a few hours, which limited the irradiation.

where the complotistes have “reason”, it is that these expeditions were far more dangerous than those conducted today. During the mission of Apollo 13 (April 1970), an accident – which fit pronounce astronaut Jack Swigert these famous words: “Houston, we’ve had a problem” – could have cost the lives of the crew. “Going to the Moon was a mission of national interest which justified all the risks, recalls Xavier Pasco, author of the New space age. Of the cold War to the New Space, (CNRS editions). The astronauts were test pilots, belonging to an elite corps. Since then, the sociology of crews has changed”. In 1986, for the first time, an astronaut non-professional is part of the crew of the shuttle Challenger: the schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe. A few seconds after takeoff, the shuttle disintegrates in front of millions of viewers, which took the lives of seven astronauts. A real trauma for Americans, which urges the NASA to limit its risk shipments.

9. On the moon in 1969… and not on Mars by 2019?

If we had really been on the Moon in 1969… Why are we not able to go on Mars by 2019?

“once the american domination on the soviets demonstrated, it has stopped everything,” says Xavier Pasco. Winning the cold War at any price, even the most colossal: in 1965/66, the budget of NASA has reached 4% of the us federal budget, which is 8 to 10 times more than its current budget. “In the early 1970s, this budget was again divided by eight. And then NASA has entichée an illusion: a system of access to the space bit expensive, the space shuttle. But the budget proved to be much too high,” says François Forget. The amounts invested were then cut short to the other projects.

After the trauma of Challenger, the arrival of new security requirements, with updates to the technology standards, has further increased the cost of a space flight. “Return to the Moon in 2019 is finally almost as difficult as in 1969,” sums up Xavier Pasco.

10. An interview with Buzz Aldrin himself

But since Buzz Aldrin himself has admitted everything! In 2018, a video interview with the astronaut, dated as of 2015, made its small effect on the social networks. Interviewed by a little girl, he responds: “we are not gone”. The worst!

Yet, just listen to the interview to understand that the astronaut evokes the reasons why the Americans are “not gone” to new times on the Moon in recent decades…

The ultimate proof: 382 kg of lunar rocks reported on Earth

Still not convinced? There is yet another tangible evidence: samples of 382 kg of rock lunar routed to Earth by the astronauts of the six missions american on the Moon between 1969 and 1972. These samples, authenticated by scientists around the world were able to be compared with the few grams of lunar samples brought back by the Soviets: they found that they had the same origins.

This has not prevented the Russian authorities, who had until then never questioned the first steps on the Moon, to create the doubt in June 2015, asking for an international investigation on the Apollo missions. The origin of this provocation-like the cold War, the investigation of corruption, launched a month earlier by the FBI against Fifa, in the framework of the awarding of the world Cup 2018 hosted in Russia.

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