Star-blind On The Moon: Tales from Apollo Days
By Morgan Reynolds
June 3, 2015
When it comes to the Big Lie we have a deep assortment from which to choose thanks to our ever-busy government. So many lies, so little time. For me the Apollo moon landing is its most daring whopper, allegedly one of the greatest moments in history. To land humans safely on the lunar surface and return them unharmed to earth was technologically impossible back in 1969 and sure looks like it remains so today.
Too bold for you? “But I saw it on television” some might counter. Yes, NASA showed us stuff on TV alright but not the “right stuff,” it was the wrong stuff. Most things on television are fake. It’s called acting, fiction, special effects, Hollywood, show biz baby, not reality. “But, but…our government would not stoop that low!” “You cannot be serious,” as John McEnroe would say. This nation is a swamp of 7/24 propaganda, the most and best in history.
An avalanche of unsolved engineering problems continues to block human space travel beyond the safety of low earth orbit (LEO) to this day. Chitchat about “further” manned missions into deep space—a “return” to the moon or voyages to an asteroid or Mars—is so much moonshine.
Problem One is how to shield astronauts from lethal radiation from three sources: the Van Allen radiation belts, galactic cosmic rays throughout deep space, plus frequent and unpredictable radiation-spewing solar flares (an astounding 16.9 flares per day during the Apollo missions). Here an Orion NASA engineer even admits the Van Allen belts are deadly and demand new technology. The Apollo spacecraft shells of thin aluminum could not cut it. It would take a meter of lead or its equivalent. The radiation facts are merciless and irrefutable.
Then there are meteorites and micrometeorites peppering an unshielded spacecraft and an unprotected surface of the moon without interruption, a bit of a problem for Moonwalks in linen-based space suits produced by Playtex (Bennett and Percy, Dark Moon, p. 104). And what about an unsteerable, top-heavy vertical landing and take-off, two-rocket engine Lunar Module? Oddly, there is little evidence that the public has caught onto these or hundreds of other problems with the Apollo tales, in fact, NASA remains popular in the public mind. Oh yes, national pride.
The truth is that NASA authorities, acutely aware of their engineering “challenges” from 1958 forward, set up the Apollo Simulation Project early, as documented by Bill Kaysing (pdf), a whistle-blowing technical writer at Rocketdyne and pioneer skeptic of Apollo. Kaysing reveals, in the spirit of Simon and Garfunkel’s 1967 hit, NASA’s real motto was: “…fakin’ it, I’m not really makin’ it.”
On a recent trip to Texas I visited the NASA Space Center Houston hoping to see a Moon landing module, mainly to marvel at what a piece of junk it was. I saw an example years ago at Clear Lake City. No such luck this time around, though the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum has LM #2 on display. One door closes and another opens: I spied a Houston Space Center diorama with two astronaut figures standing on a nondescript sand (“Moon”) set with a pitch-black background. No stars were represented, in other words. The sign read as follows:
NASA has a lot of chutzpah to take up the “star-blind” issue at all since it generally prefers to ignore critics as “conspiracy theorists” despite their reliance on facts establishing that the six moon landings were faked. Its game is myth preservation, staying above the fray, plausible deniability and all that. NASA implicitly (and wisely) delegates maintenance of the Apollo lie to propagandists like Phil Plait, Roger Launius and Jay Windley. Yet the sign in Houston responds directly to critics. Wow, an opportunity.
As critics and virtually all astronomers point out, astronauts on the moon or traveling in deep space would see stars in unalloyed brilliance and enormous quantity because there is virtually no atmosphere to impede visibility in the celestial heavens. Earth’s atmosphere, by contrast, scatters sunlight during the day, makes the sky look blue instead of black, and obscures stars from view. Our “dirty” atmosphere interferes with night visibility too. With no interference by a lunar atmosphere, the sky is always black on the Moon. These facts render NASA’s signboard ploy about a similarity between daylight on the Moon and Earth (“Just as stars are not visible on Earth during the day, they are not visible from the surface of the Moon during lunar days”) an outright lie. If we set aside NASA’s twisted term “long, two-week lunar days” here (a lunar day is about a month) just designed to sucker the gullible, any and all juxtapositions of lunar day with Earth days in terms of star visibility has zero scientific merit.
NASA’s next statement (“…reflection of light from the Sun off of the surface of the Moon is so bright”) is a more serious if egregiously defective attempt to explain the lack of stars in its lunar sky diorama. The albedo (surface reflectivity) of the Moon is in the neighborhood of 7-12% because of its dull surface, about as reflective as worn asphalt, as shown in NASA’s Apollo moon sets on TV. The Earth’s albedo is about 37%, figures undisputed by NASA. Yet we’re supposed to believe “the light from the Sun off of the surface of the moon is so bright, that the pupils of the astronauts’ eyes contracted”? Baloney. NASA nerve is marvelous, simply marvelous. A Moon of Saturn—Enceladus—is supposed to have one of the highest known albedos in the solar system at 99%. If astronauts faked a landing on Enceladus, they might more plausibly claim they were “albedo blind” and could not see stars. Antarctica’s albedo averages just over 80%.
But even that would not work because astronauts could still see and photograph stars on a higher-albedo Moon, at least if they had cameras and film stock that could work at temperatures of ± 250° F! Look at the sky away from directly at the Sun and away from the surface and stars and planets would dazzle against the blackness of space and cameras would capture the images. As Ralph Rene’ wrote: “…for some undiscoverable reason every astronaut could see the stars and the planets while he was on Earth, but the instant he hit space this was no longer true. The disease apparently occurred only under conditions of zero gravity. It seems a cosmic joke that just as man reaches for the stars he becomes star-blind” (p. 31). Rene’ added: “Even morons know that if they shield their faces from the Sun they can see objects very close to it. Don’t you find it strange that not one of these men (with The Right Stuff) knew how to do this? Stranger still is the fact that when they complained about this to NASA not one of the people knew how to do this!” (p. 36).
The reason NASA and its astronauts lie about star-blindness, of course, is too many independent astronomers would know where stars should be, and un-fooled, would quickly expose the inevitable errors found in any NASA attempt to fake the stars and planets in the background of its Moon sets. There probably are a few million amateur astronomers in the U.S. alone. Rene’ makes another great point: “…but if the stars in space really were ‘dim and fuzzy’, why didn’t they recognize this as a great scientific discovery that it should have been” (p. 159). How come NASA never tried to dispel the bright-star myth the scientific community continues to labor under?
At a joyless and uncomfortable Apollo 11 post-flight press conference in 1969 Neil Armstrong responded to a question by stating: “We were never able to see stars from the lunar surface or on the daylight side of the moon by eye without looking through the optics during the period of time we were photographing the solar corona.” Michael Collins chimed in: “I don’t remember seeing any.” Armstrong, probably a touch brighter than Collins, registered annoyance at this embellishment. Collins allegedly flew the command module in orbit around the moon, dark side included, shielded from direct sunlight yet he could not remember seeing any stars? This guy had a serious short-term memory loss or he was lying his face off.
At a White House ceremony on the 25th anniversary of the first Moon landing Armstrong spilled a few beans: “Today we have with us a group of students, among America’s best. To you we say we have only completed a beginning. We leave you much that is undone. There are great ideas undiscovered, breakthroughs available to those who can remove one of the truth’s protective layers. There are many places to go beyond belief. Those challenges are yours–in many fields, not the least of which is space, because there lies human destiny.” Much has been left undone all right.
More of the right stuff: