The Moon landings of 1969 saw man take the first steps on the Earth’s natural satellite. Some 400,000 NASA employees worked to land Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin on the Moon 50 years ago. The magnitude of the event left many people in disbelief, some of whom still refuse to accept the landings happened at all.
The Apollo 11 flag was waving in the ‘wind’ on the Moon
The US flag on the Moon is one of the most iconic images from the 1969 landings.
Many who have seen the photo are preoccupied with the way it ‘waves’ since there is no wind in the vacuum of space.
Looking closely at photos of the expedition reveals there is a telescopic pole attached to the top, which keeps the flag ‘flying’.
The flag had also crumpled during the four-day trip to the Moon, and it stayed this way when taken out of the flight due to the lack of gravity.
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Why were there no stars in the Apollo 11 photos?
Conspiracy theorists are also concerned by the lack of stars in the Apollo 11 photos, since they would logically appear anywhere you look in space.
In reality, the cameras used by the Apollo 11 crew were set up with fast exposure times.
Stars are also millions of light-years away, meaning their light was too faint for photography to capture.
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Apollo astronauts would never have survived Earth’s ‘radiation field’
There are regions around the planet where radiation from the Sun is trapped in ‘pockets’ in the atmosphere.
If people were to travel slowly through this region – dubbed the ‘Van Allen belt’ – they would be exposed to extremely high dosages of radiation.
Professor Anu Ojha, Discovery Director at the National Space Centre, said passing through the belt at speed means this radiation doesn’t have time to affect space shuttle passengers.
She told Royal Museums Greenwich: “Travelling through the Van Allen radiation belt if you are going fast enough – which you need to be if you’re going to the Moon – is no problem whatsoever.”
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Humanity hasn’t returned to the Moon since 1969
Since the Apollo 11 landing was so famous, most people believe NASA stopped with the 1969 visit.
There were another five landings in November 1969, February and August 1971, and April and December 1972, before the shuttle programme was discontinued in 2011.
The reason for the first landings was to display US dominance in the Cold War ‘space race’.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the US hasn’t felt the same urgency to return.