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 is actively trying to prove the earth is flat, and wants 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:

Apollo 11 landing site captured from 24 km (15 miles) above the surface by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Credits: NASA Goddard/Arizona State University

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.

Apollo 15 landing site imaged from an altitude of 15.5 miles (25 km).
Credits: NASA Goddard/Arizona State University

In this one, taken by the same orbiter, you can clearly see the Apollo 15 descent stage, lunar rover, and the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP), along with a bunch of tracks left by either Astronauts David Scott and James Irwin, or by Stanley Kubrick’s location scouts as he planned to film yet another sequel to NASA’s historic fakery.  You can decide for yourself.

Apollo 11: One of the most significant events of the 20th century

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Of course, if all of this doesn’t do it for your conspiracy-minded friends, there is an ongoing competition among private companies to land rovers near the Apollo 11 landing site, who will be awarded extra money if they’re able to transmit back images of these locations from the lunar surface.

Whether or not this kind of evidence will suffice for great scientific minds like B.o.B. or Tila Tequila (a fellow former celebrity and flat-earther) is up for debate, but it ought to be enough for the rest of us.

To see more images of Apollo landing sites taken by NASA’s Lunar Orbiter, you can go here.


Images courtesy of NASA