Moon landing: How a NASA scientist exposed truth behind conspiracy ‘You would never know’

NASA has not returned to the Moon since 1972, prompting many wild theories and conspiracies about the Moon landing and why the US space agency has not been back.

On July 20, 1969, NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first men to walk on the surface of the Moon. Just three years later, in December 1972, Apollo 17 astronauts Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt were the last. In the 50 years since the Moon landing, human space exploration has been limited to low Earth orbit as humans have been living on the International Space Station (ISS) for close to 20 years now.


    The seeming lack of progress in sending crews to the Moon has led many to question whether the Moon landing ever happened at all.

    Even more bizarrely, many people have suggested over the years NASA did go to the Moon but something has prevented the agency from returning.

    A popular myth among online conspiracy theorists is Mr Armstrong saw something on the Moon’s surface that forced the US space agency to drastically alter its plans.

    Namely, some people believe the astronaut encountered an extraterrestrial or alien presence on the Moon.


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    On December 18, 2007, NASA was challenged to address the theory, putting to rest rumours of an alien base on the Moon.

    A question posed to the NASA Lunar Science Institute read: “If this is not true that Armstrong saw alien base camps on Moon then why no NASA plans for a base station at Moon and there have been no moon missions for the past 20 years or so?”

    The question was answered by Dr David Morrison, an astrophysicist who at the time served as the interim director for the institute, now the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute.

    He said: “Although you would never know this from the distorted perspective of some groups that post crazy claims on the internet, there is no scientific evidence for UFOs or aliens, no aliens or alien artefacts were seen on the Apollo or any other human space missions, and such false claims are irrelevant to the space policy of the United States or NASA.

    “There are many complex issues that have determined our human space programme for the past 30 years, mostly dealing with politics, technology, and availability of funding.

    “NASA started back on the road toward human Moon flights in response to initiatives from Congress and the President.

    “Fringe groups who believe in UFOs and aliens do not influence NASA space policy, fortunately.”

    The scientist then faced a similar question in November of the same year.

    A person asked: “My first question is that after Neil Armstrong did any other missionaries were sent to Moon?

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    “Secondly, what about the fact that there are aliens on Moon on the other side as mentioned by Neil Armstrong that they saw alien base camp? How far it’s true?”

    Dr Morrison replied: “It is not true. On the basics, twelve American Apollo astronauts landed on the Moon between 1969 and 1972, as described in several past answers (use the search engine to find them), but they were not ‘missionaries’.

    “There were no aliens on the Moon. Armstrong and other Apollo astronauts saw no evidence of aliens either on the near-side or the far-side of the Moon.

    “You seem to be confusing science fiction with reality, or else believing false stories on the Internet.

    “Believe me, reality is more interesting than this sort of fantasy, and in addition it is real.”

    NASA’s Apollo programme was cut short as a result of drastic budget cuts that made the Moon landing effort unfeasible.

    Between 1969 and 1970, then NASA Administrator Thomas Paine cancelled three Apollo missions.

    The space agency’s goals were then refocused on constructing an operation space station in low Earth orbit.

    An unused Saturn V rocket from one of the cancelled missions was repurposed and transformed into Skylab – the US’s first space station.

    Skylab was operational for about 24 weeks between 1973 and 1974.


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