Moon Hoax Debate
Events: Apollo Moon Landings
Created 12/13/2001 - Updated 8/3/2005

Intro | Unanswered Questions | Best Answers: 1 | 2 | 3 | News | Refs

Some Answers - page 2

Astronauts should have seen stars

CLAIM: It is implied that the Sun overpowers the stars to human eyes as well as to the cameras on the moon. However, A. National Geographic January 1965 stated "From 100 miles up, you can see pinpoint stars in a black sky and a sunlit blue-green Earth, stretching almost 900 miles to the horizon. B. In a 1996 UK TV documentary, a female space shuttle astronaut stated that she enjoyed looking at the stars out in space.


"And so they did, unless they happened to be looking roughly in the direction of the sun, or at the lunar surface. In those cases their eyes would have adjusted for the strong light and not been able to pick out stars (see how many stars you can see if you walk outside from a brightly lit room; it takes several seconds of looking at the dark sky to see the stars clearly). However, the astronauts all recorded seeing stars if they looked into the sky away from the sun" - Jason Thompson

Van Allen Belt radiation would kill any astronauts

CLAIM: The Van Allen Radiation belts extend from 300 miles to 54,000 miles up. Astronauts going to the moon would have to spend two hours in each direction traveling through these belts. The exposure rate (unshielded) for the center of the inner radiation belt is 1000 rem/hr. 1

According to NASA "After almost four decades of human spaceflight, we still are grappling with the challenge of protecting space crews from cosmic rays and other radiation hazards." Another NASA statement approved, Feb 15, 2001 by James L. Green says, "Spacesuits are designed with only a small amount of shielding so astronauts have to be constantly on the watch for solar storms. Fortunately, no astronaut has ever died from radiation exposure." 1


"As for NASA's statement about still trying to work out effective shielding, this is for long-term space missions. Astronauts in the space station routinely pass through the lower edge of the Van Allen belts, so would accumulate a damaging dose without shielding (so it is heavily shielded in crew areas). Longer space trips would require more shielding because of longer exposure than suffered by the Apollo astronauts." - Jason Thompson

BACKGROUND: Immediate or deterministic effects of radiation are such that a dose of 75-100 rem will result in disabling effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (NVD) and the destruction of the cells lining the stomach. At 310-490 rems NVD effects 100% of people in the first day, plus inflammation of lung tissue, bone marrow damage, permanent sterility at about 350 rems, and vision impairing opacity of the lenses of the eye. At this dose, 50% of people die in 30 to 60 days. Anything above 960 rem results in incapacitation almost immediately and 100% death in 1 to 7 days. A "rem" is a Roentgen Equivalent Man, a unit of biological response to radiation dose calculated by adjusting the rad by a quality factor (Q).

Some Q factors are x-rays, gamma rays and beta particles: 1, slow neutrons: 2.5, fast neutrons and alpha particles: 10, heavy nuclei or galactic cosmic radiation (GCR): 10-15. A rad is a unit of energy equal to 100 ergs delivered to 1 gram of tissue. One erg is 0.0000001 Joules. An erg is roughly the kinetic energy of a slow-flying mosquito, or about the energy of one flea jump.

Radiation Suit Technology today shows space suits in the 1960s could not have protected astronauts

CLAIM: No American or soviet nuclear plant workers or Chernobyl disaster area workers benefited from technology that supposedly kept radiation from killing the astronauts. For 10 days beginning April 26, 1986, the burning Chernobyl reactor belched out over 100 times more radioactive material than the Hiroshima bomb. In late in 1986, workers at the Chernobyl clean up like physicist Alexander Borovoi wore bulky lead suits which made movement very difficult. 1


"The Chernobyl reactor put out material emitting hard gamma radiation (a wave form which requires heavy metals such as lead to shield from). The Van Allen belts are mostly particle radiation, which is entirely different. Light metals like aluminum, or plastic sheeting, is adequate to shield against most particle radiation." - email from Jason Thompson


Solar Particle Flares would have cooked any astronauts

CLAIM: Not even 30 cm of aluminum prevents astronauts from receiving a disabling or even lethal dose (above 100 rem) of radiation from Solar Particle Events. These SPEs which are a particular kind of solar flare can give a dose of hundreds to thousands of rem over a few hours at a distance of miles from the Earth. Such doses are fatal and millions of times grater than the permitted dose. The Apollo missions were scheduled during the time of the 11 year solar maximum flare cycle, the time of highest risk. During the alleged nine trips to the Moon 1,506 solar flares were recorded (16.92 average per day per mission.) Statistically, the astronauts should have encountered 16 to 33 Class M events and at least one Class X event on each mission. NASA claims to have kept a very close watch out for solar flares, but they admit that they are unable to predict them at all.


"Only if they were a) very strong ones (most are harmless), and b) directed precisely at the Earth / moon system. SPEs are like shotgun blasts in that they are quite directional. The Earth / moon system provides a very small target for the main thrust of the events." - email from Jason Thompson


Micro-meteorites would have cut the astronauts to shreds

CLAIM: Micro-meteorites travel at 64,000 miles per hour, 30 times faster than the speed of military rifle bullets. These particles contain up to 2 gigavolts (2 billion eVs) of power. A few layers of cloth, doped with silicon rubber, aluminum and a coating of Teflon could not have stopped them. They would have passed through the spacecraft, through the astronaut's skulls, and out the other side of the spacecraft.


"An astronaut is a VERY small target for a micrometeor. In two weeks the chances of being hit by one are virtually nil (how many shooting stars, which are only micrometeors burning up in Earth's atmosphere, do you see on average in two weeks, and how many such micrometeors have hit the various satellites and stations that have orbited Earth in the last forty years?)" - email from Jason Thompson


Rocket technology has decreased since Apollo

CLAIM: If Apollo's Saturn V rocket performed as claimed, why spend over three times as much on the Shuttle rockets which can only lift 1/7th (others calculate 1/16th) the claimed ability of the Saturn V? The Space Shuttle generates a lift off thrust of 6.6 million pounds while the Saturn V Boosters have 7.5 million pounds of thrust. The Space Shuttle can take 40,000 pound payloads into low earth orbit. A Saturn V rocket apparently took the complete 108,000 pound ( 49,376 kg ) lunar lander all the way to the moon. The Saturn V could therefore carry 280,000 pounds into low earth orbit. One Saturn V launch is equivalent to seven Space Shuttle launches. Sure, the Space Shuttle was designed differently in that it was re useable, but what about Russia's giant Energiya booster rocket, from 1985? It can lift 200,000 lbs / 100 tons / 90718 kgs of payload in low earth orbit, still less than the Saturn V. Even more recently, Boeings new Delta 4 rockets have a maximum payload into Low Earth Orbit of 50,794.5 lbs / 25.4 tons / 23,040 kgs.

How did 30 year old 1969 Saturn V technology lift 280,000 lbs / 140 tons / 127,000 kgs into Low Earth Orbit and 108,000 lbs / 54 tons / 49,000 kgs all the way to the moon? 14


Simple answer: The calculations above ignore the respective weights of the different craft. "Because the space shuttle Orbiter – the reusable winged vehicle that carried the crew and the “40,000 pound payloads into low earth orbit” (actually, capable of carrying upwards of 65,000 pounds of payload) – itself weighs over 100 tons. Additionally, the space shuttle and Russia 's Energia are smaller in size (which means it also carried less fuel) in comparison to the Saturn V.

Additional, detailed background: The Saturn V's first stage generated 7.5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff – but needed additional stages (the S-IIC and the S-IVB), and its corresponding propulsion systems (five J2s in the S-IIC and a single J2 in the S-IVB) to get into low earth orbit at 17,500mph. Then it was a matter of re-igniting the S-IVB on a trans-lunar injection (TLI) burn to increase its escape velocity from 17,500mph up to 25,000mph in order to be placed on a coasting trajectory toward the Moon – or anywhere else in the solar system.

The space shuttle's three main engines (SSMEs) are smaller in size compared to the Saturn Vs five F-1 engines, but they burned a much more efficient and higher impulse of liquid oxygen and hydrogen, whereas the Saturn V's S-1C (first stage) burned a denser and therefore heavier combination of liquid hydrogen and kerosene.

Pound for pound, the SSMEs are therefore better technology than the Apollo program – plus the fact they're also reusable (the Saturn V's F-1s were used just once to get the entire Apollo vehicle off the launch pad . . . and then discarded). However, the three SSMEs on the orbiter are not sufficient to get the entire space shuttle vehicle into orbit. Hence, the need for the two Roman candle-like Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) that each generate approximately 1.2 million pounds of thrust for the first two and a half minutes of flight.

After that, the shuttle orbiter, fueled by the large External Tank (ET) which it essentially also carries as dead weight almost all the way into low-earth orbit -- carrying the remaining liquid oxygen and hydrogen -- burns for another six minutes before discarding the ET. Without additional fuel from the ET to power the SSMEs, the shuttle orbiter is limited to propulsion carried via the OMS (Orbital Maneuvering System) pods.

-- Jim Spellman

The LM engine used hypergolic propellants and should have produced red exhaust

CLAIM: The makers of the film Apollo 13 used red exhaust from the LM engine. All of the gasses produced during tests in California were red. George Pinter, who was actively involved in the development of cryogenics for the Lunar Module stated on June 15, 1996 that the red gases were the tests for chemicals used for the attitude control thrusters and the actual exhausts were white.


"You cannot simply say that because it did something in a test in an atmosphere it will do exactly the same in a vacuum. Some of the exhaust products react spontaneously with oxygen, producing a red gas. No oxygen in space = no reaction = no red gas." email from Jason Thompson

fuelvisible fuvelvis

Not all hypergolic engines behave in the same way. The lunar module ascent engine and the space shuttle RCS systems use different fuel. The space shuttle's RCS jets use monomethyl hydrazine (MMH). The lunar lander's ascent engine used Aerozine 50, a trade name for a half-and-half mixture of hydrazine and unsymmetric dimethylhydrazine (UDMH) developed for the Titan 2. The photograph above (right) shows a Titan 2 booster with its Aerozine 50 engines firing. In fact, once in operation the Aerozine 50 exhaust plume is essentially colorless and transparent.

invisfuel The photo on the far left is a rocket burning Aerozine 50 and nitrogen tetroxide, the exact mixture of propellants used on visiblefuelthe lunar module's ascent and descent stages. The exhaust plume is nearly invisible.

In comparison the photo on the (right) is a solid fueled rocket motor burning in the same test chamber, photographed from a slightly greater distance away. The plume is bright and opaque. Someone accustomed to the smoky, bright plumes of the Saturn V or the space shuttle is likely to be surprised by the clean pale plume of the Aerozine 50 engines.

Because the word "hydrazine" appears in the names of several fuels and also appears alone as a third type of fuel it's understandable that lay persons will confuse them, or assume they're largely the same substance. They aren't. Hydrazine, MMH, UDMH are significantly different in chemical formulation. The substances are related, of course, but not in visible combustion characteristics. We might draw a parallel between gasoline, kerosene, and diesel fuel. These are all hydrocarbons and share many chemical properties. But each has a unique combustion characteristic.

More here:


The LM engine smoke should have totally obscured the windows of the LM during landing

CLAIM: Hypergolic fuels are those that burn upon contact with each other. Tests at Simi Hills, CA produced thick, dense, opaque, dark red smoke. The TV frame of Apollo 17 taking off shows no smoke or rocket exhaust whatsoever. George Pinter stated that gases must disperse very widely and must have become so thin as to be invisible in a vacuum. As he worked on these engines he should know. However, if the TV footage is factual, the thick smoke somehow dispersed instantly on take off. Nitrogen tetroxide (the oxidiser) and Aerozene-50 (the fuel--a blend of hydrazine and unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine) are used today in the Orbital Maneuvering system in the space shuttle. This mixture is clearly visible when firing. The same fuel and oxidiser were used in the LM that somehow produced invisible thrust.


Liquid-fueled rocket engines, including the hypergolic engines we are considering, often smoke during ignition and then burn very cleanly after liftoff. This is because the engines run roughly during the ignition process and then settle down into a steady state of operation. During this ignition transient unburnt propellants can be ejected from the nozzle as smoke. Similar "smoky" ignition transients can be observed in commercial jet engines and even some cars.

titanlittlesmokeThe duration of the ignition transient increases with the size and complexity of the engine. Large engines like the space shuttle main engines, with many internal pumps and turbines, take almost six seconds to reach steady-state operation. Small engines like the LM ascent engine with few moving parts reach steady-state operation in a fraction of a second and thus produce little if any smoke. Above is a Titan 3B rocket being launched, producing comparatively little smoke.

framesThe conspiracist examples of hypergolic engine ignition and operation are always tests conducted in an atmosphere. For Aerozine 50 and nitrogen tetroxide this presents a special additional concern, since each of these chemicals reacts spontaneously with air. Nitrogen tetroxide produces an opque orange vapor cloud on contact with air, and Aerozine 50 produces a white vapor cloud.

To ignite an Aerozine 50 engine, you typically first begin injecting nitrogen tetroxide into the combustion chamber, followed a split second later by the fuel. In an atmosphere, the nitrogen tetroxide will immediately begin to react with the atmosphere and produce a cloud. In a vacuum this does not happen.

The video frames at right show the ignition of a Boeing Delta-II second stage, powered by an Aerojet AJ10-118K engine burning Aerozine 50 and nitrogen tetroxide. The engine shown is virtually identical in size and operation to the TRW TR-201 engine used as the ascent stage motor on the Apollo lunar module.

The numbers in the upper right corner of each frame are the elapsed time in seconds between each video frame. From ignition to steady-state operation requires less than one second, produces no significant smoke, and the steady-state plume is invisible. This is how an Aerozine 50 engine normally behaves in a vacuum, and it is entirely consistent with the video footage of the lunar module liftoff.

The complete six-minute Real Video footage of this launch sequence is available from the Kennedy Space Center.

More here:


Based on the weight of the Lunar Module, it wouldn't have had enough fuel to leave the moon

CLAIM: The Eagle's descent fuel tanks held 8 tons of propellant while the ascent tanks stored 2.3 tons according to David Baker's A History of Manned Spaceflight (1982). If Armstrong landed with 2% of fuel remaining when he missed the landing site by 1000 ft and had 400 lb. of fuel in the descent tanks this does not add up. If 400 lb. of fuel is 2% of the total, then there must have been 20,000 lb. to start with, which is 9 tons, one more ton than the LM had when it was launched!


David Baker's numbers may be in error, but assuming they are correct, the tanks for landing had 8 tons (16,000 lb.) and the tanks for taking off had 2.3 tons (4,600 lb.). The total is 20,600 lb. of fuel. Two percent (2%) of this is 412 lb. The numbers actually add up but it is likely, as James Spellman Civ 60 MDG/PA pointed out to me via email, that the numbers were rounded to 20,000 and 400 for simplicity.

"Besides, the argument ignores/misdirects away from the purported 2.3 tons of fuel in the ascent stage – which was obviously enough to get the crew back off the lunar surface at 1/6th the gravity of Earth (you don't need as much to leave)." - James Spellman Civ 60 MDG/PA.

If history records that the Eagle had only 2% of its total fuel left (412 lb.) that would be a problem. However, if the Eagle had only 2% of the landing tanks ( 320 lb.) plus what was in the take off tanks (4,600lb.) there'd be no problem. What was the moon-weight of the LM when it landed? How much thrust does a lb. of LM fuel provide? We'd need to know these facts as well.



Communications Delay Wrong

CLAIM: There should have been more than a two-second delay in two-way communications at a distance of a quarter million miles. Delays were about half a second.

Here is an MP3 from ABCTV of the apollo 11 moon landing. There is a delay for the mission control signal to get to the moon and then for the reply. Is the time delay correct? Listen yourself. Send other samples if you find them.


"If TV station's rebroadcasts haven't edited 2-4 second gaps for time/spacing and pacing, some of the transmission responses were being sent from NASA's capsule communicator (aka CapCom) while the astronauts are already talking, making it sound as if the time lag is shorter, due to overlapping conversations." - James Spellman Civ 60 MDG/PA.

If we are hearing the earth side of the conversation, we could hear a half-second delay in the response from mission control to what is said on the moon, but there should still be more than a two-second delay in actual answers from the moon to what is said by mission control unless the gaps have been edited out. Additional comments can come in from the moon with less of a delay if the person on Moon talking isn't pausing to wait for the reply from the Earth.







Now here.


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