Its been 50 years since I watched amazed at the moon landing”s grainy TV pictures on July, 20th, 1969.
Big things were happening, not only the moon landing, but I was leaving in 2 days for England to get married to my first wife.
By 1969 there had been 8 years of Space Race with the Russians. The Apollo project was launched in 1961 by President Kennedy.
If you were within 3 miles of the launch pad your entire body would have shook!
It took millions of parts to build the Saturn rocket. 400,00 people worked on it from 2500 companies, costing 30 billion dollars.
I remember when it was uttered by Armstrong, “One small step for man, one giant step for mankind.”
People ask, why did we go to the moon?
We probably gained some technological knowledge.
The Russians were beating us in the Space Race and we had to prove our superiority.
Can you imagine, 3 men of identical stature, all were 5ft. 11 inches tall and weighed about 160 pounds, squeezing themselves inside the command Module onto couches built to fit them, facing a large instrument panel.
I don’t know whether we will ever go where no one has gone before again. There’s no political will and the money is required elsewhere.
But the Chinese have money to splurge on a trip maybe to Mars, to gain international political prestige.
Now, the reason this post is titled with a question mark is:
I ran into a guy, named Charlie, at a University of the Third Age meeting who is convinced the moon landing was faked!
He said, the Soviets had been first to get satellites into space and live animals into space and back, and a man and woman into space–so the USA had to do something to counter this.
The reasons he believes the moon landing was a hoax are:
None of the photos from the moon shows any stars in the sky.
This can be explained by the fact that the camera settings weren’t adjusted to capture them.
How come the landing vehicle’s thrusters didn’t create a large hole on landing?
This can be explained by the fact that the pressure was too low to blast a hole.
How come the flag was waving when there’s no wind on the moon?
The flag appears to be waving because when it was placed there the inertia from when they let go of it kept it moving.
These explanations didn’t convince Charlie. He still believes the government faked the landing on a large mock-up of the lunar surface in the Nevada desert.
When the Apollo craft was supposed to return to Earth, the astronauts got into a space pod and were transported over the ocean and pushed out.
So, according to Charlie, NASA was technically incapable of reaching the moon, but the race with the Russians forced them to fake it. Also, the government needed a distraction from the unpopular Vietnam War.
I left Charlie, the conspiracy nut, shaking my head.
I still think the mission was a remarkable technical feat and I am proud that we made it first to the moon.