There are countless theories people have developed about space over time and why not? The universe is massive, and there is no way that us puny Earthlings could understand it in its entirety... maybe we never will. We don't know much about our own galaxy let alone solar system or even our own Moon!
I wanted to focus on a mission, Apollo 11, that marks a dramatic historical time for NASA and the United States. Of course, the US was in the middle of the "Space Race" with Russia and really wanted to get to the moon... and fast. A lot of people still claim that there were a lot of weird coincidences surrounding the mission that might mean it was a hoax. Conspiracy theories can be interesting, but in these cases, we have proof that they're not necessarily true. Certainly not 100% proof, though.
Here are 9 Apollo 11 theories that came up over time, only to later be debunked by science and facts... you know, that boring stuff that ruins all the fun. Let us know if you ARE... or AREN'T so sure though...
1. The flag waved when they landed... there's no wind in space!
At first, this seems like a fair and legitimate claim. However, you have to realize the flag is held up by a horizontal bar and simply moves as the astronauts fixed it into position. The flagpole is light, flexible aluminum and keeps vibrating after the astronauts let go, therefore giving the impression of blowing in the wind. "No wind in space" is true and valid, but in this case the flag waving is not wind of any kind.
2. But there are no stars in the background!
The Apollo landing took place during a lunar morning, when the Sun shines brightly. The stars aren't bright enough in this light to be captured by photographs.
3. No blast crater is visible in the pictures taken of the lunar landing module!
Okay, the landing module touches down on solid rock, covered in a layer of fine lunar dust, so therefore there's no reason for it to create a blast crater. If you think about it, even if the ground weren't so solid, the amount of thrust being produced by the engines at this point is nearly inconsequential. Without that gravitational pull you have on Earth, the landing and take off force from the engines is super minimal. Admittedly, visualizing it is kind of hard if you've never been to space... like I have.
4. Follow-up question: if there's no impression left by the module, why can you see footprints?
The layer of lunar dust is definitely thin, so the landing module sits on the solid rock. The dust, however, while blown away by the blast from the descent engines, quickly settles back on the ground and is under the astronauts when they embark on their moonwalk.
5. But the footprints in the fine lunar dust, with no moisture or atmosphere or strong gravity, are unexpectedly well preserved, as if made in wet sand.
This goes back to the same original point about lack of wind. The footprints from Apollo 11 are actually STILL there today, which is pretty mindblowing to think about.
6. There is no visible flame from the rocket when the landing module leaves the Moon!
The landing module comes equipped with rockets that use fuel containing a combination of hydrazine and dinitrogen tetroxide. They burn with no visible flame.
7. The astronauts would not have survived the trip because of exposure to radiation from the Van Allen radiation belt
Okay, first off, nah... A Russian cosmonaut theorized back in the day that this could be a problem, but NASA even back then, had highly developed spacecraft protection that would keep exposure to radiation extremely low.
8. Scientists have found moon rocks that look strikingly similar to the ones we found on the moon!
Geologists who study this stuff all day long have confirmed with total certainty that the Apollo rocks must have been brought from the Moon by man.
9. All six Moon landings happened during the Nixon administration. No other national leader has claimed to have landed astronauts on the Moon, despite 40 years of rapid technological development.
This one may actually be one of the more difficult to explain, partially due to the fact that Nixon's presidency ended with impeachment and the idea that, "yeah, why would no other president do that?" Or, "what about some other world leader or organization?" Well, the answer is fairly simple. Once the race was won by the USA, there wasn't enough money to continue doing it. The USSR didn't want to come in second and politicians on both sides realized lower-orbit missions were probably a better use of funds for commercial and military findings.
Are you 100% convinced that the moon landing was real?