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Apollo conspiracy theories still going strong

Apollo 11 photograph: too good to be true? (NASA).

By Hamish Johnston

Today is the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s stroll on the Moon so it’s not surprising that conspiracy theorists are one again arguing that the Apollo programme was a hoax.

This morning Marcus Allen, UK publisher of Nexus Magazine — which specializes in conspiracy theories — was interviewed on BBC radio.

He thinks the Apollo landings were hoaxes, partly because of the “high-quality” of the photos taken by crews on the moon. In particular, he claimed that it would be impossible to take such nice photos under the extreme conditions on the Moon — and even if you could, the film would be fogged by the ambient radiation experienced by the mission.

Martin Ward, Head of physics at Durham University, was on hand to debunk the debunker. He explained that the extreme temperatures are a red herring because the lack of atmosphere on the Moon means that the camera and film would take a long time to heat up or cool down once outside the lunar module. As for the effects of radiation, Ward pointed out that lots of other photos have since been taken in space and have not been fogged.

You can listen to their exchange here.

Although I have no doubt that the Apollo missions were real — it’s interesting to ask the following question:

“Would it have been much easier (and much cheaper) to fake the Apollo programme and cover it up for 40 years, than to actually put people on the Moon?”

If you apply Occam’s razor to this question, you may find yourself siding with Marcus Allen…which is what makes the the Apollo missions all the more amazing!

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