1. Sceptics say there
are no stars in the black sky, despite zero atmosphere to obscure the
view. The first man in Space, Yuri Gagarin, pronounced the stars to
be "astonishingly brilliant". See the official NASA pictures above
that I have reproduced that show 'stars' in the sky, as viewed from
the lunar surface.
This is not what skeptics say. Skeptics don't say there aren't
any stars visible in space. They say there should be no stars visible
from the surface of the moon, for reasons given here. Gagarin saw stars because he spent 45
minutes on the night side of earth, out of the sun. That was plenty
of time for his eyes to adjust to the darkness as they would at night
The "official photos" Dave reproduces showing alleged stars are
the low-quality JSC scans that have white specks everywhere as a
result of the hurried scanning process.
In any case, this is an example of the tautological reasoning from
this conspiracist. He considers it suspicious both that no stars are
visible, and that some stars are visible. He can't make up his mind.
2. The pure oxygen
atmosphere in the module would have melted the Hasselblad's camera
covering and produced poisonous gases. Why weren't the astronauts
This is a paraphrase of the argument given in Bennett and Percy's
Dark Moon, and it is actually reproduced incorrectly. Bennett
and Percy do not claim the leatherette cover would have "melted" but
rather that it would have "outgassed" in the low-pressure environment,
producing annoying and/or toxic fumes. And this is likely true, and
so the leatherette covers were removed from the Hasselblad cameras
supplied to Apollo.
The astronauts were not affected by this environment because they
pre-breathed with oxygen to purge the nitrogen out of their
bloodstreams prior to doffing their helmets inside the spacecraft.
3. There should have
been a substantial crater blasted out under the LEM's 10,000 pound
thrust rocket. Sceptics would have you believe that the engines only
had the power to blow the dust from underneath the LEM as it
landed. If this is true, how did Armstrong create that famous boot
print if all the dust had been blown away?
The question of a crater under the LM is discussed here.
Photos taken of the lunar surface directly beneath the descent
engine show it to have been swept and scoured. However, there is no
justification for arguing that the dust for any appreciable radius
around the engine nozzle would have all been blown away.
Recall that the foot of the ladder is some fifteen feet (five meters)
away from the exhaust nozzle.
The photograph sometimes published as "the first footprint on the
moon" is actually a photo of a compression test done by Aldrin some
distance away from the LM. There is no photograph of the first
footprint on the lunar surface.
4. When the LEMs were
supposedly leaving the Moon, they should have produced a large bright
exhaust flame from the rocket propellant. Instead, zero exhaust. (I
have turned this one around and have found evidence of a flame on one
ascent of the LEM... just to prove the sceptics wrong!)
The question of ascent engine plume visibility is covered here.
Contrary to having "turned the tables" on skeptics, Dave has once
again tried to have his cake and eat it too. He says the lack of
flame is suspicious, and simultaneously the presence of the flame is
suspicious. He should decide whether a flame is visible or not so
that he can get straight what is supposed to be suspicious.
5. Footprints are the
result of weight displacing air or moisture from between particles of
dirt, dust, or sand. The astronauts left distinct footprints all over
This theory of impressibility is, to say the least, very odd.
Since we can point to differences in impressibility of various
particulates under identical conditions on earth (i.e., dry sand
versus dry flour) it stands to reason that the shape of the
particulate grain has something to say about how impressible it is.
In fact, the impressibility of the lunar dust derives from the
relatively uneroded shape of the grains. Under their own weight --
quite insubstantial in lunar gravity -- they "settle" into a loosely
packed layer at the very surface. When compressed by an astronaut's
footstep, they are artificially compacted into a much tighter matrix
where the individual grains interlock.
6. The Apollo 11 TV
pictures were lousy, yet the broadcast quality magically became fine
on the five subsequent missions.
The reasons for the reduced quality of Apollo 11 television are
In fact, this is quite good evidence of the progressive nature of
Apollo technology. Television coverage was not strictly required in
order to accomplish the landing on time, and so high-quality
television for lunar EVA was deferred in its development until later
in the program.
7. In most Apollo
photos, there is a clear line of definition between the rough
foreground and the smooth background.
This is a natural feature of contour on the lunar surface. It is
not always possible to distinguish by color or shading the crests of
8. Why did so many NASA
Moonscape photos have non parallel shadows? (sceptics will tell you
because there is two sources of light on the Moon - the Sun and the
Earth... That maybe the case, but the shadows would still fall in the
same direction, not two or three different angles.
Skeptics say no such thing. In fact, shadows in sunlight should
be expected to appear parallel in photography only under very special
circumstances. In all other cases they will appear to converge or
diverge. See here.
9. Why did one of the
stage prop rocks have a capital "C" on it and a 'C' on the ground in
front of it?
This is covered here.
10. How did the
fibreglass whip antenna on the Gemini 6A capsule survive the
tremendous heat of atmospheric re-entry?
It wasn't extended until after splashdown. It was in its
retracted position during re-entry.
11. In Ron Howard's 1995
science fiction movie, Apollo 13, the astronauts lose electrical power
and begin worrying about freezing to death. In reality, of course,
the relentless bombardment of the Sun's rays would rapidly have
overheated the vehicle to lethal temperatures with no atmosphere into
which to dump the heat build up.
No. The thermodynamics of the Apollo CSM were well known. No
atmosphere is needed in order to reject heat. Spacecraft reject heat via radiation,
either through specifically engineered sublimator and radiator systems
or through direct radiation through their skins.
The Apollo spacecraft skins reflected away most of the sunlight
that struck them. It was actually necessary to use the heat from the
electronics to keep the cabin at a comfortable temperature. With
those electronics turned off, as for Apollo 13, the spacecraft would
indeed be expected to radiate away most of its heat.
12. Who would dare risk
using the LEM on the Moon when it was never, ever tested successfully?
Would you send a relative to the Moon in a vehicle that had never been
The lunar module was tested successfully numerous times in vacuum
chambers to verify its pressure integrity. It was tested in space on
Apollos 5, 9, and 10 prior to the first landing. Every aircraft or
spacecraft has a first flight test, and it's always a white-knuckle
flight, but to say the LM was untested is absolutely false.
13. Instead of being
able to jump at least ten feet high in "one sixth" gravity, the
highest jump was about nineteen inches.
See here. David Percy has indirectly
acknowledged this footage.
14. Even though slow
motion photography was able to give a fairly convincing appearance of
very low gravity, it could not disguise the fact that the astronauts
travelled no further between steps than they would have on
Whether filming in slow motion gives a convincing appearance of
diminished gravity is a matter of opinion. It does not, for example,
render horizontal motion correctly.
The astronauts most frequently used normal-sized strides, but
there are plenty of examples of longer strides. The question is why
that should be expected in all cases. You must still retain control
no matter how much gravity there is. There is still inertia -- and lots of it -- to be dealt
with. The astronauts reported requiring lots of "baby steps" to stop
or change direction.
15. If the Rover buggy
had actually been moving in one-sixth gravity, then it would have
required a twenty foot width in order not to have flipped over on
nearly every turn. The Rover had the same width as ordinary small
This argument is based on a hypothetical study conducted in about
1960. The vehicle in that study was to have a three-foot (one-meter)
ground clearance. A taller vehicle necessarily requires a wider
stride in order to maintain stability.
Since the Apollo lunar rover was designed for only a 14-inch
ground clearance, it does not require as wide a stride as proposed.
In fact, the Apollo rover has more lateral stability than the
16. An astrophysicist
who has worked for NASA writes that it takes two meters of shielding
to protect against medium solar flares and that heavy ones give out
tens of thousands of rem in a few hours. Why didn't the astronauts on
Apollo 14 and 16 die after exposure to this immense amount of
Mauldin is here speaking of long-term interstellar travel, not
short trips to the moon. Those are entirely different problems, and
the conspiracists don't have the scientific understanding to know the
difference. Interstellar radiation is stronger than cislunar
radiation because the sun's solar wind pressure keeps out harmful
radiation from interstellar space. Mauldin's scenario was a
generation ship, which would subject people to interstellar radiation
for their entire lives.
The general discussion of radiation and the solar environment is
here. None of these extremely powerful
solar events occurred during any of the missions. The events
experienced by Apollos 14 and 16 were quite mild.
Further, the plans for the Soviet lunar spacecraft do not include
two meters of shielding.
17. The fabric space
suits had a crotch to shoulder zipper. There should have been fast
leakage of air since even a pinhole deflates a tire in short
The fabric outer layer is not the layer that retains air
pressure. The inner pressure garment assembly is what retains the
air. And although leakage was inevitable, it was replaced by oxygen
from the PLSS to maintain pressure.
Rubber flaps behind the zippers make a tight seal. The zipper is
there for mechanical fastening alone. The flaps behind the zipper
retain the pressure, being held in place to do so by the zipper.
18. The astronauts in
these "pressurized" suits were easily able to bend their fingers,
wrists, elbows, and knees at 5.2 p.s.i. and yet a boxer's 4
p.s.i. speed bag is virtually unbendable. The guys would have looked
like balloon men if the suits had actually been
There is vast difference between a teardrop-shaped speed bag
packed tightly in leather, and a space suit specifically engineered
Constant-volume "bellows" joints are provided at the shoulder,
elbow, knee, and hip. Cable retention systems provided additional
tension to counteract stiffness. A retention layer prevented it from
bulging. Knobby knuckles in the inner neoprene pressure gloves (not
the bulky outer gauntlets) allowed for finger dexterity.
19. How did the
astronauts leave the LEM? in the documentary 'Paper Moon' The host
measures a replica of the LEM at The Space Center in Houston, what he
finds is that the 'official' measurements released by NASA are bogus
and that the astronauts could not have got out of the
James Collier actually measured the hatch in various mockups, some
of which were faithful replicas and some were not. He did not actually
measure an LM hatch. His measurements of LM-2 are largely invalid
since LM-2 was never meant to have a human crew. His measurements of
LTA-8A are valid, but since Collier never measures or test fits a
suit, there is no evidentiary value in his opinion. Collier simply
measures the hatch at 32 inches square and then declares that's too
narrow without any further argument or evidence.
20. The water sourceair
conditioner backpacks should have produced frequent explosive vapor
discharges. They never did.
No, they shouldn't have. Nickel porous plate sublimators are
among the most common devices used in space engineering.
21. During the Apollo 14
flag setup ceremony, the flag would not stop fluttering.
... until the astronauts let go of the flagpole and waiting for
the elastic oscillations to stop.
22. With a more than two
second signal transmission round trip, how did a camera pan upward to
track the departure of the Apollo 16 LEM?
Because the liftoff time on the synchronized mission clocks was
well known, and Ed Fendell simply tilted the camera upward two seconds
prior to the designated time.
23. Why did NASA's
administrator resigned just days before the first Apollo
It's unclear what is meant by "the first Apollo mission." If
Apollo 11 is meant, then James Webb resigned months before its launch,
in September 1968. This is because a Republican administration was
likely to take office after the elections in November 1968, and Webb
was a Democratic appointee. It is common for the appointees of one
political party to resign their posts when the opposing party takes
24. Another overlooked
intriguing fact is that NASA launched the TETR-A satellite just months
before the first lunar mission. The proclaimed purpose was to simulate
transmissions coming from the moon so that the Houston ground crews
(all those employees sitting behind computer screens at Mission
Control) could "rehearse" the first moon landing. In other words,
though NASA claimed that the satellite crashed shortly before the
first lunar mission (a misinformation lie), its real purpose was to
relay voice, fuel consumption, altitude, and telemetry data as if the
transmissions were coming from an Apollo spacecraft as it neared the
moon. Very few NASA employees knew the truth because they believed
that the computer and television data they were receiving was the
genuine article. Merely a hundred or so knew what was really going on;
not tens of thousands as it might first appear.
This is cribbed from Bart Sibrel's web site. It is covered here.
25. In 1998, the Space
Shuttle flew to one of its highest altitudes ever, three hundred and
fifty miles, hundreds of miles below merely the beginning of the Van
Allen Radiation Belts. Inside of their shielding, superior to that
which the Apollo astronauts possessed, the shuttle astronauts reported
being able to "see" the radiation with their eyes closed penetrating
their shielding as well as the retinas of their closed eyes. For a
dental x-ray on Earth which lasts 1/100th of a second we wear a 1/4
inch lead vest. Imagine what it would be like to endure several hours
of radiation that you can see with your eyes closed from hundreds of
miles away with 1/8 of an inch of aluminium shielding!
It is not true that the space shuttle's radiation protection is
superior to that of the Apollo capsules. The Apollo spacecraft were
designed to operate in and beyond the Van Allen belts. The space
shuttle was designed to operate solely within their protection.
The ability to "see" the effects of radiation (i.e., particle
impacts on the retina) is not any quantitative indication of the
amount of damaging radiation to which they may have been exposed. The
astronauts wore radiation dosimeters which gave a much more usable
The lead vest worn during dental x-rays is for legal reasons, not
because you would suffer ill effects because of it. Keep in mind that
while the vest protects your blood-forming organs -- the most
susceptible to radiation -- the x-ray machine is pointed rather
directly at your head, exposing it to the brunt of the emitted
x-rays. The practice of wearing a lead vest essentially allows you to
undergo as many dental x-rays as you need without worrying about
26. The Apollo 1 fire of
January 27, 1967, killed what would have been the first crew to walk
on the Moon just days after the commander, Gus Grissom, held an
unapproved press conference complaining that they were at least ten
years, not two, from reaching the Moon. The dead man's own son, who is
a seasoned pilot himself, has in his possession forensic evidence
personally retrieved from the charred spacecraft (that the government
has tried to destroy on two or more occasions).
Grissom and crew were understandably upset about the state of the
command module simulator, but one man's opinion of the timetable
shouldn't necessarily take precedence over those who had more
information available. In fact, the problems discovered during Apollo
1 had more to do with test procedures than with flight procedures and
engineering. In short, just because Grissom, in a moment of
frustration, gave an estimate of ten years doesn't mean that's the One
Scott Grissom has evidence of a missing page from a logbook, and a
piece of metal that looks like a shim. There are a number of
hypotheses that fit those data points. Scott Grissom, as a matter of
fact, does not believe that the lunar landings were falsified.
Command Module 012 has been in the custody of the United States
government since early 1967. If they had really wanted to destroy it,
it wouldn't have been too difficult.
27. CNN issued the
following report, "The radiation belts surrounding Earth may be more
dangerous for astronauts than previously believed (like when they
supposedly went through them thirty years ago to reach the Moon.) The
phenomenon known as the 'Van Allen Belts' can spawn (newly discovered)
'Killer Electrons' that can dramatically affect the astronauts'
The comment in parenthesis is not in the original report. It has
been added by conspiracists and it changes the meaning.
"More dangerous for astronauts" in this case is interpreted
relative to ISS astronauts who spend months on end near the Van Allen
belts going in and out of the Southern Magnetic Anomaly. This is a
much more dangerous circumstance of radiation exposure than a simple
round-trip passage through it.
Conspiracists interpret words like "more dangerous" and
"hazardous" as if they somehow mean "instantly deadly", which they do
not. The conspiracists cannot provide any quantitative argument for
how much they think the Van Allen belts would result in a human
absorbed dose. They simply use "scare" words to conjure up a sort of
Radiation Boogey Man.
In fact the ISS has been fitted with shielding to protect
astronauts from these "killer electrons". Predictably they are not
huge thicknesses of lead, but four-inch thick sheets of polyethylene.
That is the proper material for such shielding.
28. In 1969 computer
chips had not been invented. The maximum computer memory was 256k, and
this was housed in a large air conditioned building. In 2002 a top of
the range computer requires at least 64 Mb of memory to run a
simulated Moon landing, and that does not include the memory required
to take off again once landed. The alleged computer on board Apollo 11
had 32k of memory. That's the equivalent of a simple
See here. The Apollo Guidance
Computer was not intended to be a general purpose computer. It was
designed to fulfill its specific mission, and did so.
29. If debris from the
Apollo missions was left on the Moon, then it would be visible today
through a powerful telescope, however no such debris can be seen. The
Clementine probe that recently maps the Moons surface failed to show
any Apollo artefacts left by Man during the missions. Where did the
Moon Buggy and base of the LEM go?
Neither the Hubble Space Telescope nor the Clementine probe has
the required optical resolution to see objects on the lunar surface as
small as the Apollo hardware.
30. In the year 2002
NASA does not have the technology to land any man, or woman on the
Moon, and return them safely to Earth.
This does not prove it did not have the technology to do it in
1969. These are not skills and equipment on the same level as riding
a bike or building a birdhouse. These are design and construction
techniques which are highly specialized, and if not needed are not
undertaken. Ask an automotive engineer today to build a buggy wheel.
The fact that he can't do it doesn't mean that automotive engineers
weren't once able to build buggy wheels.
NASA's mission has changed. It has also been drastically scaled
back. If there were a mandate to maintain and use such technology,
there is plenty of design and manufacturing capability to undertake
it. Space exploration simply requires different skills and materials,
and must operate on a different set of resources.
31. Film evidence has
recently been uncovered of a mislabelled, unedited, behind-the-scenes
video film, dated by NASA three days after they left for the moon. It
shows the crew of Apollo 11 staging part of their photography. The
film evidence is shown in the video "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way
to the Moon!".
The footage as shown in Bart Sibrel's video is cut up and rendered
incoherent, and the voiceover makes it difficult to hear what the
astronauts are saying. Consulting the transcripts and the unedited
video, it is clear that the astronauts are practicing for their
upcoming live telecast, for which they had not been able to rehearse
ahead of time.
The interpretation that Sibrel puts on it -- one of preparing to
falsify the telecast -- is simply his interpretation. It is
not anything which is made plain in the video itself.
32. Why did ALL of the
blueprints and plans for the Lunar Module and Moon Buggy get destroyed
if this was one of History's greatest accomplishments?
The aren't all destroyed. Many of the detailed plans for
the Apollo hardware are on microfilm at the United States National
Unfortunately the design documentation for something as
complicated as a space ship or the lunar rover is not something that
just comfortably fits in a file cabinet. It typically occupies
several hundred thousand cubic feet. Grumman engineers were, at one
point, producing more than 4,000 drawings per week. In
addition, each unit produced requires installation, service, and
modification documentation for each individual part on the unit.
Congress provided no funding for the storage and archive of the
detailed design documentation. The private companies who had custody
of it did not have the funds nor the desire to archive materials that
required an inconveniently large building in which to house it. They
are for-profit companies, not museums. Thus the detailed
documentation was regretfully discarded while the basic documentation
There is a very large amount of information available on the
design and construction of these spacecraft, both in print and online.