Moon Landings

Nonsense from the Fringe

I got an email a week or so back from a guy claiming that he had proof (proof! mind you!) that all Moon missions, including the latest Chinese mission, were faked and filmed on Hollywood sets. How the hell do you even take something like that seriously?  First, Hollywood would have half-dressed women (one of the few nits I picked about “Gravity” by the way) prancing around on the lunar surface, and square-jawed heroes achieving unbelievable feats simply by bending some tin with their bare hands.

No, it’s not Hollywood that got us to the Moon (and yes, to my friends in Hollywood, I’m not totally dissing your work, I know what you have to do to get a project greenlighted and I love you anyway).  It was actual human ingenuity that got us to space (and still gets us there). Smart people doing smart things. Dreaming of doing lunar missions in English and Russian and Chinese and Hindi. And, actually doing them.

I know that’s a hard fact to accept in a world where conservatives claim to be compassionate while people starve, financial “geniuses” figure out it’s okay to swindle investors and not get punished, some politicians tear down the government they swore an oath to protect and defend, and science education is regularly gutted in favor of religious indoctrination.

But, the truth is, science and the PEOPLE who DO science achieved great things. They’re still doing it. They’re part of a great and grand leap forward that has given us a great many useful things, even life-saving things. A couple of years ago I had a neck disk blow out. It hurt like hell. And it was life-threatening. The surgery to fix it was amazing. It used space-based technologies to save my life, as well as my ability to walk and use my right hand. Now tell ME that human ingenuity that got us to space didn’t invent that. Go ahead. Try me. I will call mule muffins on that nonsense (as Sherman T. Potter used to say).

Any crackpot who wants to feed me that line of nonsense is invited to NOT use medical technology, the internet, the Web, a smartphone, and a host of other things made possible for our modern life by NASA-inspired achievements to bloviate their “facts” and “theories”.  In fact, I invite such crackpots to stop using the internet and Web altogether. Otherwise, they’re tacitly accepting technology that they otherwise inconsistently ascribe to a Hollywood back lot. Pure nonsense.

We went to the Moon. I’ve met the men who did it. We have sent and are sending missions to Mars, the outer planets, the inner planets, and so on. We have a space station orbiting up there. Not on a back lot somewhere, but UP THERE.  I’ve met the scientists who did all this. I’ve met the men and women who have worked in space. I studied the science that made their work possible. I KNOW how they did it.  I even did some of that science for a while. It wasn’t oogie-boogie crackpot weirdness. It was science, pure and simple.  It’s also something anyone can learn, provided they take off the alien-colored shades and free their minds of seven impossible things before breakfast.

Sorry crackpots. I know reality bites. But, it’s also very refreshing, once you get used to it.

3 Comments »

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  1. Well put Carolyn! It never ceases to amaze me how persistent these jokers are. One’s amazement of their preposterous claims is challenged only by the level of stupidity required to make and adhere to them. Alas, its a serious disease of culture not limited to moon-landing hoax-mongers – the amazing aspect is the intensity of the psychological refusal to accept evidence, no amount or quality of which will sway let alone soothe their chosen belief system. It’s just one example of the hideous consequences of the popular (and strongly promoted) cultural meme that encourages people to imagine that opinion are equivalent to scientific evidence – or worse, ought not to be refined by such evidence from natural reality, and that science (ever increasingly – and quite ominously – viewed as a product of big government) is to be distrusted if not despised. As I suspect you well know, it seems to be getting worse. That is a disquieting and daunting challenge writers and artists like you and me – those who are committed to help convey the wonders of nature as revealed by science to the public in a dignified and effective way – must, of course, endeavor to champion. We also know – or should at long last admit – that most scientists themselves, and their elaborate institutional ‘outreach’ programs, are evidently inept at making any discernible difference.
    Take care – adolf

    Comment by Adolf Schaller — February 4, 2014 #

  2. By the way – speaking of the ‘amazing’ capacity Hoaxers attribute to NASA and/or the film industry…Its a thing I happen to know a little bit about: Hollywood and its alleged imagination couldn’t pull off special visual effects at a scientific accuracy and intrinsic realism quality of that sort if their collective lives (or past lives) depended on it. No amount of money even today could buy that level of hard and consistent actuality recorded on film and video which was beamed back from the Moon. The whole notion is so ludicrous its difficult not to respond with uproarious laughter.
    take good care of yourself! ;)

    Comment by Adolf Schaller — February 4, 2014 #

  3. Adolph,

    Thank you for commenting. I agree about the difficulties of communicating just how cool science is in the face of exaggerations, denials, and outright lies from those who fear science and indeed, seem to fear learning about the universe. But, I keep plugging away. ;)

    take care and stay warm

    carolyn

    Comment by C.C. Petersen — February 4, 2014 #

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Copyright 2013, Carolyn Collins Petersen
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Image of Horsehead Nebula: T.A.Rector (NOAO/AURA/NSF) and Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA/NASA)

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