Astronaut Buzz Aldrin once punched a guy in the mouth for claiming the Apollo moon missions were faked as part of a vast conspiracy. But now, Russian space enthusiasts are reportedly launching a lunar probe to capture evidence of the NASA manned-moon landings.
On June 20, 1969 American astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin first stepped on the moon. NASA made six successful moon landings until the program was dismantled. The last man to walk on the moon was Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan who returned to Earth with his crew Dec. 19, 1972.
Over the years speculation has been rife that the U.S. did not go to the moon at all.
Some have suggested that visionary filmmaker and director of 1968 film classic "2001: A Space Odyssey" Stanley Kubrick may have faked the landings at the behest of the American government.
In 2002, lunar landing conspiracy theorist and filmmaker Bart Sibrel cornered astronaut Buzz Aldrin after luring him to a purported TV program taping. When Aldrin arrived, Sibrel demanded that Aldrin swear on a Bible that he had walked on the moon. Aldrin refused.
As cameras rolled, Sibrel called Aldrin "a coward, and a liar, and a thief." Aldrin promptly punched Sibrel in the jaw.
Sibrel later used the tape in an attempt to convince police that he had been assaulted. Law enforcement concluded that Aldrin had been provoked so no charges were filed.
On a controversial C2C Jan 6, 2003 Sibrel said that he believed that the Moon landings were employed as a Cold War ploy to trick the Soviet Union into believing America was much more technologically advanced then the Russian space program.
"There were only three witnesses to each moon mission and it was simply proven by a black and white television picture completely controlled by the federal government," Sibrel told George.
But now, according to Russian Today, our former space rivals, plan to send an unmanned probe to the moon which they say will end speculation once and for all.
Leading the micro-satellite mission, space enthusiast and blogger, Vitaly Egorov said they aim to capture high-resolution evidence of the Apollo landings.
With no atmosphere on the moon, the astronauts' footprints, discarded lunar landers and American flags should all still be there, Egorov said.
"We got tired of debating the moon landing. All the points have already been made on both sides," he said. "Some claim they did not fly, others claim they did. No one can actually convince each other and I got bored with listening…
"So I thought guys, let’s just fly there and have a look. The moon isn’t going anywhere. Let’s stop wasting time on the internet and have a look ourselves. If the Americans had actually been on the moon, everything should still be there."
Crowdfunding the mission, the Russian team has reportedly raised $15,000 which they say should be enough to complete the mission, RT reported. With no booster rocket, they plan to piggyback the micro-satellite and transmitter onto a state-sanctioned launch.
While several nations including Russia and China have landed probes on the lunar surface, only the United States has landed men on the moon.
For those who want to pore though NASA's collection, the Project Apollo Archive was recently posted on Flickr.