The launch of the United States space program took place under the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower as president of the United States. Apollo was the codename given to the program, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was placed in charge of it (NASA).
When John F. Kennedy took over as president from Dwight D. Eisenhower, the general public in the United States finally became aware of the significance of this mission and its ultimate goal, which was to put a human being on the moon.
The surface of the moon. Photo by Project Apollo Archive CC BY 2.0
At that time, the United States and the Soviet Union were engaged in the infamous “space race.” Both nations were eager to outdo the other and explore new lengths of human exploration, beyond the very atmosphere of our very own home planet.
After that, the Apollo program continued to send no less than 12 operations into space between the years 1969 and 1972, with half of them successfully reaching the surface of the Moon.
Neil Armstrong photographs the Moon. Photo by Project Apollo Archive CC BY 2.0
Apollo 1, which was supposed to be the first of the missions, did not actually launch at all. Due to a technical malfunction, it was unable to take off from the surface of the planet. The subsequent four launches, which were the Apollos 7 through 10, were orbiting missions designed to test different components and take photographs of the lunar surface topography.
But it was the Apollo 11 mission that would truly be known throughout history. This expedition, which was manned by Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin, not only reached the Moon but also successfully landed there, allowing both Armstrong and Aldrin to step out onto the surface of the moon for the first time.
American flag on the Moon. Photo by Project Apollo Archive CC BY 2.0
During their moonwalk, the two men spent a couple of hours taking photos, recording their experiences, collecting rock samples, and planting the American flag. As a result, the space race ended for good, and the United States cemented its position as the winner.
Astronauts driving on the Moon. Photo by Project Apollo Archive CC BY 2.0
Michael Collins, a member of the crew who stayed on the command module throughout the mission, is commonly overlooked even though he played a significant role in ensuring its success.
Earth from the Moon. Photo by Project Apollo Archive CC BY 2.0
As was mentioned earlier, there were a few other operations that were successful in reaching the Moon, but none of them could really generate the same excitement as Apollo 11. Millions of people around the world have viewed and shared the incredible video that shows Neil Armstrong making his first steps on the surface of the Moon. Following the successful completion of the mission, multiple photographs were also taken and made available to the general public.
First human footprint on the Moon. Photo by Project Apollo Archive CC BY 2.0
First Moon Landing. Photo by Project Apollo Archive CC BY 2.0
In spite of all of that evidence, as well as the proof from other space missions that were successful, there are still many people who contend to this day that the whole thing was a hoax. In point of fact, moon landings are one of the most widely discussed topics among conspiracy theorists all over the globe. These individuals propose a number of different explanations for the footage and photos that were taken during the moon landings.
Some people have suggested that the whole thing was a complex hoax concocted by the American government in an effort to compete with Russia and gain status with the general public. Others have suggested that the whole thing was shot on a Hollywood film set, with funding provided by Walt Disney and directed by Stanley Kubrick. Some people have found alleged errors or inconsistencies in the footage to support their claims, while others have suggested that the whole thing was shot by Kubrick.
Neil Armstrong put his left foot on the rocky Moon. Photo by Project Apollo Archive CC BY 2.0
These conspiracy theories have been around for a very long time, but they continue to be popular in this day and age. This is especially true in light of the recent rise of the Flat Earth Movement and the growing popularity of the concept that NASA has been telling lies to the general public for many years. In the past, NASA has largely chosen to ignore the claims made by conspiracy theorists; however, in 2016, the agency made the decision to issue a strong statement.
The first photograph was taken by Neil Armstrong on the surface of the Moon, in 1969. Photo by Project Apollo Archive CC BY 2.0
Over 10,000 photographs of the first moon landing were made public by NASA, along with almost every picture that was ever captured during the Apollo missions. These photographs are available on NASA’s public Flickr account for anyone to view and analyze.
By doing so, NASA effectively shut down a lot of the ideas that were hanging around among the conspiracy theorists. Faking one film or a couple of photos might seem plausible enough, but it would be a truly impossible undertaking to pretend thousands of shots from different angles, times, and dates at one time.
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