Not moonstruck

18 August 2006
3:50 PM

Recently the moon has been in the news. Earlier this week, NASA reported that it can’t find the original tape of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon. I can’t help but think that this problem could have been avoided had NASA’s mother been more insistent that it keep its room clean. In any event, news of the missing tape was significant enough that it made the Chilean evening news. As a result, people here are abuzz talking about the moon.

That doesn’t shock me. I figure the moon is as good a conversation topic as any other. What shocks me is how often I hear it suggested that the U.S. never actually went to the moon, and it’s just a giant conspiracy. Do many people really believe that? I suppose conspiracies aren’t impossible, but I’d hate to be in charge of planning one because it seems awfully difficult to execute. There have been exposés on various peculiarities about the moon trip. There’s also some compelling evidence that people went there: photos, videos—in the era before Photoshop and blockbuster Hollywood effects—soil samples, rockets, witnesses. I’m interested to know if the Hubble telescope could focus on the various objects left on the moon (allegedly, I should say): the flag, plaque, lower section of the lunar lander.

Fortunately, NASA says it has started looking for its missing tape. In the meantime, myth busters are working on the non-believers.

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