Lunar conspiracy theories debunked on Discovery Channel
Some say Neil Armstrong's giant leap for mankind in 1969 was an elaborate hoax. They point to details like non-parallel shadows on lunar photos (said to be impossible with a single light source), sketchy details on the lunar surface that may indicate a model moon, and the possibility that slowed-down camera work could have been used to create the illusion of moonwalking.
A pair of special effect gurus have gone to elaborate lengths to test these conspiracy theories by making their own Earth-bound re-creations of the moon landing, and their findings will be broadcast tonight on the Discovery Channel during a special episode of MythBusters.
Popular Mechanics has published a preview of the show, and it sounds like the two had an entertaining time debunking the naysayers. They systematically take each theory and attempt a re-creation with interesting results, at times flying around using trapeze ropes and zero-gravity machines. Their conclusions aren't definitive--which they admit would be an impossibility--but they arrive at some pretty persuasive arguments that Neil was no fraud.
Ever since man went to the moon—and still today as America plans to go back (via DIY, NASA or the next president) —there have been those who said we never actually made it there in the first place. Instead, they say, the whole moon landing was a massive conspiracy perpetrated by NASA using elaborate sets and special effects. And they support their claims with what they believe to be irregularities in photography and film taken on the moon.
Sounds like a case for MythBusters and special-effects gurus Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, who take on the most popular lunar conspiracy theories tonight at 9 pm on the Discovery Channel with the help of a vintage NASA camera, a purpose-built rig and an airplane.
The bottom line, Savage insists, is that we went to the moon. "The fact is, science isn't about coming up with the ultimate truth," he says, "because there is no such thing. It's about looking at the evidence and coming to conclusions. And if a conspiracy theorist wants to come to the most complicated possible conclusion based on the evidence, what we've done in this episode is shown that in fact going to the moon is a simpler solution than the conspiracy theory. And given Occam's razor and general scientific principle, that's the most likely explanation for all the evidence we have that we went to the moon: that we actually did."