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Was the Moon Landing a Hoax?


During a time when there was major conflict in the world, Americans gathered together around Project Apollo. Leading up to the actual launch of the project, which would place the first humans on the moon, the media portrayed the Soviets’ as having the upper hand in the race to the moon. In 1958, Congress passed the Space Act which ultimately created NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration).

On July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 mission launched. Four days later, the first man walked on the moon. Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin are names that will go down in history. Before Apollo 11, there were other missions that edged America closer and closer to their goal. 

Controversy Origin

The original controversy began with William Kaysing who was a writer and briefly worked with a company that created rocket engines. After Apollo 11, he immediately called out America claiming the landing was staged. Thus starting the debate for truth behind the moon landing.

Additionally in 1978, a movie entitled Capricorn One, depicted a journalist who exposes the moon landing as a hoax by the government. At the time, many thought that it could easily be faked because we were ahead of the Soviets’ in movie making capabilities.

The main question that it comes down to is why would the government fake a moon landing? The answer is simple: to become more powerful than every other nation and show other countries that we are more powerful. 

  1. There are no stars in any of the pictures captured on the moon.
  2. The flag moved in the video even though there is no air in space.
  3. The shadows did not line up with the light source.
  4. There were reflections of stage lights in the astronaut’s helmets.
  5. There was no dust when the lunar module landed on the moon.

This article debunks all the misconceptions above about the moon landing.

Persuasion and Tactics

From the beginning, even before the first talk of going to the moon, Americans had great distrust in the government. Having the Watergate scandal, the Vietnam War, and the Cold War occur right before talk of going to the moon, did not help with gaining the trust of the people. 

However, President John F. Kennedy ignited the moon race in 1961 when he boldly claimed that the United States would put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. This public speech was televised across America starting the conversation of moon landings among the ordinary people of America. The president is one of the most influential people in America because of his authority and position. When people are in power, we tend to listen and be more influenced by their words and actions.

After the President’s speech and leading up to the launch of Apollo 11, the media and the news reported the moon race with enthusiasm and excitement. The race to the moon became everyday public knowledge. 

“Public media emphasized the expansion of scientific knowledge during a time of highly charged tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union.”

Rae Kennedy

The media played a large part in propaganda. However, William Kaysing was the person who started the conversation about the moon landing being a hoax in the first place. Because the moon landing was so widely watched, Kaysing used that to his advantage. For instance, the moon landing itself was a huge production on television with almost 650 million viewers watching live.

Old newspaper image with the headline text: "Men Walk on the Moon'One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Mankind'"
New York Daily News Archive

The news wasn’t necessarily creating the propaganda but they were reporting it. The moon landing was a part of the daily conversation, talked about in news and on the radio. As we learned in our readings this week, persuasion goes way beyond advertising.

After the moon landing, companies all over started using astronauts and space in advertisements. Clearly shaping the public opinion of space and astronauts.

Vintage Tang advertisement with space gear entitled "The life support system of an Apollo astronaut"
Tang Vintage Advertisement

Is the Issue Resolved? 

Today, most people believe that the moon landing was real. According to a poll, only “5-6% of Americans currently believe the moon landing was staged, a far cry from the nearly 30% in the 1970s.

Articles and news stations still cover the topic and issue today because there are still doubts regarding the validity of the moon landing. Shane Dawson posted this youtube video explaining the reasons why he and others like him think the moon landing was faked. Which way will you be influenced?

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”