Independent evidence for Apollo Moon landings
Independent evidence for Apollo
Moon landings is evidence from independent groups that supports the idea that NASAconducted manned Moon landings. One of the reasons for such an endeavor is to counter the Apollo Moon Landing hoax theories, by showing there is evidence independent of NASA and the US government that the manned moon landings really happened as NASA claims.
Existence and age of Moon rocks
A total of 382 kilograms (842 lb) of
Moon rocksand moon dust were collected during the Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17 missions of the Apollo program.cite journal | last = James Papike, Grahm Ryder, and Charles Shearer | title = Lunar Samples | journal = Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry | volume = 36 | pages = 5.1–5.234 | date = 1998 ] Some 10 kg (22 lb) of the moon rocks have been destroyed during hundreds of experiments done by both NASA researchers and planetary scientists at research institutions unaffiliated with NASA. These experiments have confirmed the age and origin of the rocks as lunar and were used to identify lunar meteorites subsequently collected from Antarctica. [ [http://www.space.com/news/spaceagencies/apollo_moonrock_000927.html House passes bill to award Apollo astronauts moon rocks] 27 September 2000] The Moon rocks are up to 4.5 billion years old [cite journal | last = James Papike, Grahm Ryder, and Charles Shearer | title = Lunar Samples | journal = Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry | volume = 36 | pages = 5.1–5.234 | date = 1998 ] , making them 700,000,000 years older than the oldest Earth rocks, which are from the end of the Hadeanperiod, 3.8 billion years ago.
Evidence of landing
The presence of
retroreflectors(mirrors used as targets for Earth-based tracking lasers) from the Lunar laser ranging experiment(Laser Ranging RetroReflector; LRRR) left on the Moon is evidence of a landing. [ [http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2004/21jul_llr.htm What Neil & Buzz Left on the Moon] July 20, 2004] [cite web
title = Laser Ranging Retroreflector
work = NSSDC Master Catalog Display: Experiment
publisher = National Space Science Data Center, NASA
url = http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/database/MasterCatalog?sc=1971-063C&ex=8
accessdate = 2007-02-07 ] Quoting from James Hansen's biography of
For those few misguided souls who still cling to the belief that the Moon landings never happened, examination of the results of five decades of LRRR experiments should evidence how delusional their rejection of the Moon landing really is. ["", by James R. Hansen, 2005, Simon & Schuster, pp 515-16.]
The NASA-independent "Observatoire de la Côte D’Azur", McDonald, and Haleakala observatories are regularly using the Apollo LRRR. [cite web|url=http://syrte.obspm.fr/journees2005/s1_20_Bouquillon.pdf|title=Contribution of SLR Results to LLR Analysis|format=PDF|accessdate=2007-07-26] The photo on the left shows some of the most un-ambiguous evidence. This experiment repeatedly fires a laser at the moon, at the spots where the Apollo landing were reported. The dots show when photons are received from the moon. The dark line shows that a large number come back at a specific time, and hence were reflected by something quite small (well under a meter in size). Photons reflected from the surface would come back over a much broader range of times (the whole vertical range of the plot corresponds to only 30 meters or so in range). This only happens when the laser is aimed at the spots where the lunar landings were reported, otherwise the expected featureless distribution is observed. [cite web |url=http://physics.ucsd.edu/~tmurphy/apollo/apollo.html |title=the Apache Point Observatory Lunar Laser-ranging Operation |author=Tom Murphy ]
Although the reflectors are strong evidence that human-manufactured artifacts currently exist on the moon, they do not prove humans have visited the moon. Similar retroreflectors were carried by un-manned missions such as
Lunokhod 2, and like the Apollo reflectors, are still in use today [ [http://ilrs.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/williams_lw13.pdf Lunar Geophysics, Geodesy, and Dynamics] , James G. Williams and Jean O. Dickey] .
Apollo missions tracked by independent parties
Aside from NASA, a number of entities and individuals observed, through various means, the Apollo missions as they took place. On later missions NASA released information to the public explaining where third party observers could expect to see the various craft at specific times according to scheduled launch times and planned trajectories.
Observers of all missions
The Soviets monitored the missions at the Space Transmissions Corps, which was "fully equipped with the latest intelligence-gathering and surveillance equipment". [cite book
David Scottand Alexei Leonov
year = 2004
title = Two Sides of the Moon
St. Martin's Press
pages = 247
Vasily Mishin("The Moon Programme That Faltered."), in Spaceflight. 33 (March 1991): 2-3 describes how the Soviet Moon programme lost energy after Apollo.
The missions were tracked by radar from several countries on the way to the Moon and back. [ Harvard reference
Title=First Man: The Life of
Neil A. Armstrong
Simon & Schuster
ID=ISBN 978-0-7432-5631-5 ]
Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Stationmonitored transmissions from Apollo missions, from:
* Tidbinbilla radio telescope made observations.
* Carnavon received radio transmissions
Deaking Switching Stationwas the switching station for the Apollo television broadcasts. Apollo 8
* December 21, 1968 - 18:00 UT - Amateur astronomers (H.R. Hatfield, M.J. Hendrie, F. Kent, Alan Heath, and M.J. Oates) in the UK photographed a fuel dump from the jettisoned
Pic du Midi Observatory(in the French Pyrenees); the Catalina Station of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (University of Arizona); Corralitos Observatory, New Mexico, then operated by Northwestern University; McDonald Observatoryof the University of Texas; and Lick Observatoryof the University of Californiaall filed reports of observations. [http://www.astr.ua.edu/keel/space/apollo.html]
* Dr. Michael Moutsoulas at Pic du Midi reported an initial sighting around 17:10 UT on December 21 with the 1.1-meter reflector as an object (magnitude near 10, through clouds) moving eastward near the predicted location of Apollo 8. He used a 60-cm refractor to observe a cluster of objects which were obscured by the appearance of a nebulous cloud at a time which matches a firing of the service module engine to assure adequate separation from the
S-IVB. This event can be traced with the Apollo 8 Flight Journal, noting that launch was at 0751 EST or 12:51 UT on December 21. [http://www.astr.ua.edu/keel/space/apollo.html]
* Justus Dunlap and other at
Corralitos Observatory(then operated by Northwestern University) obtained over 400 short-exposure intensified images, giving very accurate locations for the spacecraft.Fact|date=February 2007
* The 2.1 m Struve telescope at McDonald, from 01:50-2:37 UT observed the brightest object flashing as bright as magnitude 15, with the flash pattern recurring about once a minute.Fact|date=February 2007
* The Lick observations during the return coast to Earth produced live TV pictures broadcast to West Coast viewers via
KQED-TVin San Francisco.
*An article in the March 1969 issue of "
Sky & Telescope" ("Optical Observations of Apollo 8" by Harold B. Liemon (Geo-Astrophysics Laboratory, Boeing Scientific Research Laboratories), pp. 156-160) compiled a number of observations [http://www.astr.ua.edu/keel/space/apollo.html] (Boeing was a NASA subcontractor).
* The first post-launch sightings were from the
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory(SAO) station on Maui, and observed the TLI burn near 15:44 UT on December 21. (The Smithsonian Institute is funded by the US government).
* Table Mountain, a
Deep Space Networkstation, reports that they tracked all the Apollo lunar missions except 17.
* Bernard Scrivener (at Honeysuckle Creek) personally recorded forty-five to fifty hours of the radio conversation between Houston and Apollo 8. These are recordings of the raw audio, not what was released to the public through NASA. [ [http://www.honeysucklecreek.net/msfn_missions/Apollo_8_mission/index.html A Tribute to Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station ] ]
* A list of sightings of Apollo 10 were reported in "Apollo 10 Optical Tracking", "Sky & Telescope", July 1969, pp. 62-63.
Bochum Observatorydirector (Professor Heinz Kaminski) was able to provide confirmation of events and data independent of both the Russian and US space agencies. [http://www.honeysucklecreek.net/other_stations/bochum/index.html]
* A compilation of sightings appeared in "Observations of Apollo 11", Sky and Telescope, November 1969, pp. 358-359.
* The Madrid Apollo Station, part of the Deep Space Network, built in
Fresnedillas, near Madrid, Spaintracked Apollo 11. [http://www.honeysucklecreek.net/other_stations/fresnedillas/index.html]
Goldstone Tracking Stationin California tracked Apollo 11. [http://www.honeysucklecreek.net/other_stations/goldstone/index.html]
Jodrell Bank Observatoryin the UK the telescope was used to observe the mission, as it had been many years previously for Sputnik.cite web | url=http://www.open2.net/historyandthearts/history/three_transcript_p.html | title=BBC/OU Open2.net - History - The other space race: Transcript | accessdate=2006-02-06] Apollo 12
Paul Maley reports several sightings of the Apollo 12 Command Module. [http://www.eclipsetours.com/sat/debris.html]
Surveyor 3, which landed on the Moon in April 1967, were brought back to Earth by Apollo 12.cite journal | last = anon|title = 50th anniversary of first microbes in orbit | journal = Astronomy | volume = 35, #11 | pages = 22 | date = 2007 ] These samples were determined to have been exposed to lunar conditions. [http://www.physics.berkeley.edu/research/price/Bob.Walker.Biography.pdf] Apollo 13 Chabot Observatorycalendar records an application of optical tracking during the final phases of Apollo 13, on 17 April 1970. "Rachel, Chabot Observatory's 20-inch refracting telescope, helps bring Apollo 13 and its crew home. One last burn of the lunar lander engines was needed before the crippled spacecraft's re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere. In order to compute that last burn, NASA needed a precise position of the spacecraft, obtainable only by telescopic observation. All the observatories that could have done this were clouded over, except Oakland's Chabot Observatory, where members of the Eastbay Astronomical Society had been tracking the Moon flights. EAS members received an urgent call from NASA Ames Research Station, which had ties with Chabot's educational program since the 60's, and they put the Observatory's historic 20-inch refractor to work. They were able to send the needed data to Ames, and the Apollo crew was able to make the needed correction and to return safely to Earth on this date in 1970." [http://www.astr.ua.edu/keel/space/apollo.html] Apollo 14
Elaine Halbedel, from the Corralitos Observatory photographed Apollo 14. [http://www.astr.ua.edu/keel/space/apollo.html Telescopic Tracking of the Apollo Lunar Missions] May 2007]
Honeysuckle Creek tracked Apollo 16 and recorded the [http://www.honeysucklecreek.net/audio/A16_audio/HSK_Apollo_16_landing.mp3 Audio of the landing] .
Sven Grahn describes several amateur sightings of Apollo 17. [http://www.svengrahn.pp.se/trackind/Apollo17/APOLLO17.htm]
Long-exposure photos were taken with a special far-
ultravioletcamera by Apollo 16 on April 21, 1972 from the surface of the Moon. ( [http://www.astr.ua.edu/keel/space/Apollo16EarthID.gifThis photo] has some stars labeled.) Some of these photos show the Earth with stars from the Capricornusand Aquarius constellations in the background. The joint Belgium/U.K./Holland satellite TD-1 later scanned the sky for stars that are bright in UV light. The TD-1 data obtained with the shortest passband is a close match for the Apollo 16 photographs. [Keel, William C. "The Earth and Stars in the Lunar Sky", "Skeptical inquirer", Vol. 31, #4, July 2007, pp 47-50.]
Future plans that may generate evidence
As new research facilities such as orbiters and telescopes are built, the question naturally comes up whether they can see the Apollo artifacts on the moon. At least two scientific missions have capabilities that could make this possible:
* The Descent Module of the Apollo landers and
lunar rovers are planned to be photographed by the 2009 Lunar Reconnaissance Orbitercamera. [cite web |url=http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2005/11jul_lroc.htm |title=Abandoned Spaceships and Moon Buggies |publisher=NASA |author= Dr. Tony Phillips and Patrick L. Barry] The much smaller Mars landers have already been photographed from Mars Orbit. [cite web|url=http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/MRO/news/mro-20061204.html|title=NASA Mars Orbiter Photographs Spirit and Vikings on the Ground|date=2006-12-04|accessdate=2007-07-26]
* The landing sites may be visible with the
Very Large Telescope. [cite web|url=http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/11/24/1037697982142.html|title=Telescope to challenge moon doubters|date=2002-11-25|accessdate=2007-07-26]
Apollo Moon Landing hoax accusations
Examination of Apollo moon photos
* [http://www.astr.ua.edu/keel/space/apollo.html Telescopic tracking of Apollo lunar missions]
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