Chandrayaan 2, India's most anticipated space mission is about to conclude on a historic note. As the world eyes India, this mission will make India the fourth country in the world to attempt a soft landing on the moon successfully. It will also be the first time a country has attempted to successfully land on the lunar south pole. The moon has fascinated mankind for centuries and has been the subject of multiple scientific studies and pop-culture events. In July 1969, Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first men to land on the surface of the moon.
Since then, over 10 astronauts from NASA have landed on the moon. However, despite the immense amount of scientific, photographic and archival evidence that confirms the Moon landings took place, conspiracy theorists have come up with some bizarre myths and theories about the Moon. Here, we list down the top five moon conspiracy theories that will totally blow your minds!
That's right, folks, there are people who believe that the Apollo 11 landing never happened! According to conspiracy theorists, the moon landing was an elaborate hoax that was concocted by the US government in order to place itself ahead of its then arch-rival, the Soviet Union, in the Space Race of the 1960s. They have also gone ahead to suggest that the US government wanted to distract the American public from the unpopular and disastrous Vietnam War campaign that was going on that time. The landings were also supposedly staged on the desert dunes of the US state of Nevada. Obviously, this is not true as the moon landings did take place, and there are a number of archival evidence to confirm this.
When the first photos of the Apollo 11 moon landing surfaced, conspiracy theorists arrived at a profound conclusion - there are no stars. (Really?) They supported their claim by saying that because there is no atmosphere on the moon, the stars should be highly visible. However, this theory found few takers because of its scientific inaccuracies. Much to the dismay of the theorists, NASA successfully countered with the fact that the earth and the moon both reflect enough sunlight that makes the sunlight invisible.
Another infamous moon landing conspiracy theory is that the US flag is not fluttering. When Neil Armstrong first landed, he planted the US flag into the surface of the moon. Conspiracy theorists hold the view that the because there is no atmosphere on the moon, the chance of the Star-Spangled banner fluttering is second to none. However, NASA famously countered with the statement, “Unfurling a piece of rolled-up cloth with sore angular momentum will naturally result in waves and ripples—no breeze required.”
Imagine if ET or 'Jaadu' from 'Koi Mil Gaya' arrived on our planet from the moon! Well, conspiracy theorists believe that the moon is not real, but in fact, an alien space station that secretly spies on our planet. As fascinating and crazy as it sounds, this is not true at all. NASA outrightly rejected this bizarre claim by calling it simple mind tricks or a psychological phenomenon called 'pareidolia.' This term is used to perceive a meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern. This theory, too, found only a few takers.
One of the best conspiracy theories that exist is that there was an absence of a crater under the engine of the Apollo 11's lunar lander. Conspiracy theorists also suggested that when the Apollo 11's lander impacted on the surface of the moon, a huge cloud of dust didn't blow up. NASA stated that the soil on the moon is pretty rough, so it deflected force from the lander’s thrusters. They also stated that the landing did kick up dust; however, it was similar to what we experience on the surface of the Earth.
There are a number of conspiracy theories on the moon that abound on the internet. We collated the best conspiracy theories that revolve around our beloved satellite. However, Chandrayaan 2 will make its landing today, and we are super excited about it. Catch all updates on the Chandrayaan 2 mission right here.