Monday, July 20, 2009

Will the moon controversy finally rest?

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

If the biggest controversies of the last century are listed the NASA's Moon Landings will definitely be among the top. Apollo 11's landing on the moon stated America's superiority in the space race over the erstwhile Soviet Union. But many believed man never set his foot on the moon and the entire episode was fake and filmed on the earth. 40 years on the controversy refuses to die propelling news channels like Fox News to air the famous documentary 'Did we land on the moon?'

There was a saying in America “If you can't make it, fake it”. Many believed NASA made the most expensive movie ever by showing man's landing on moon which was filmed in America's heavily guarded Area 51 in Nevada desert . The footage and the pictures collected from the moon are full of inconsistencies and this has given the conspiracy theories over generations an opportunity to raise doubts over the authenticity of the moon mission. Some of the questions raised were

  • Why has there been no manned mission to the moon since 1972 with all the advancement in technology?
  • Why did USSR not send a man to the moon although they were ahead of USA in the space race?
  • Who took Neil Armstrong's picture coming out of the craft if he was the first man to land on the moon?
  • How does a US flag flutter in moon where there is no air? How does it appear bright when it was shot against the light?
  • Why do the shadows intersect and point to multiple light source where sun was the only known source of light?
  • Why is there no blast crater under the booster rocket which landed with a 17 tonne thrust where as the astronauts' foot marks have been pictured?
  • A camera panned upwards and shot the Lunar Landerlifting off the Moon. Who did the filming?
  • How did the astronauts always get perfect pictures with their chest mounted camera which had no viewfinders?

NASA has never been able to give scientific explanation to these questions although time and again they have dismissed these arguments as baseless. Now new photos of the moon have shown the leftovers from man’s exploration 40 years ago. This is for the first time any evidence of the landings has surfaced. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter launched last month has relayed such pictures back to the earth. It has even pictured tracks made by astronauts on the lunar surface.

Will these images silence the conspiracy theorists? Well the answer may be a clear NO as its the same NASA which is releasing these pictures. If NASA had pulled off the biggest hoax 40 years ago what prevents them from doing one again now? But at a time when 40th year of the Moon Landings are being celebrated by NASA the conspiracy still refuses to die. Perhaps some other space agency can throw some light on the issue in the future.


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