On July 20th, 1969 mankind accomplished what may be its greatest feat to date, as American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin departed their Apollo 11 lunar lander and set foot on an alien world for the first time. It was a momentous victory for the United States over its competitors in the Soviet Union, but through hindsight, it was much more. Humanity had escaped the bonds of our pale blue dot and began an age of interplanetary expansion that is set to continue in the coming years with both government and private enterprises setting their sights on the Earth’s celestial neighbor, Mars.
Or did they? A cursory search about the Apollo missions that sent human beings to the moon will undoubtedly be met with a fair number of “skeptics” (read: conspiracy theorists) that believe the moon landing never occurred at all. Extensive evidence, a term used loosely in this context, has been presented on everything from poorly cobbled together blogs to feature-length documentaries. In the minds of many, this issue simply isn’t settled, and it seems somehow more likely that the hundreds of thousands of people involved in the Apollo program must all be keeping quiet in what amounts to the largest and most expertly laid out misinformation campaign ever levied by a formal government (depending on your stance on the Phantom Time Hypothesis and Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII).
The easiest way to debunk the nitpicking of Apollo footage, the suppositions that Stanley Kubrick actually faked the landing and then bragged about it via symbolism in movies like “The Shining,” and the angry internet commenters that just know the deep state is up to something in space… is to point to legitimate governmental attempts to cover things up. After all, a mere three years after Armstrong made “one small step for man,” the President of the United States was forced to resign in shame because his administration couldn’t keep a lid on a good old-fashioned breaking and entering case.
For some, of course, expecting a logical leap is asking too much. Just ask B.o.B. – a musician turned crackpot who has actively tried to prove the earth is flat, and expected you to pay for it via Kickstarter. In the face of self-celebrated ignorance, it can be tough to offer up well thought out and respectful rebuttals without relenting to frustration and shaking your fist in the air. In those moments, it helps to come prepared with some concrete evidence to support your position.
When it comes to the moon landing (which, depending on the poll, is thought to be a hoax by anywhere from 7-50% of the world’s population) there’s a ton of clear, testable evidence to support man’s jaunt across the sky to our closest neighbor – but most of them involve a bunch of numbers and a basis in logical reasoning, so much of it may be lost on the guy writing on your Facebook wall in capital letters about the Reptilian Illuminati. Instead, just use pictures:
In this image, captured by NASA’s lunar orbiter from just 15 miles above the Moon’s surface, you can clearly make out Apollo 11’s Landing Module base as well as debris left by the mission and the Passive Seismic Experiment Package (PSEP) Armstrong and Aldrin deployed.