Adam Ruins Everything Explains Why the Moon Landing Couldn’t Have Been Faked

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One of the most persistent conspiracy theories is that the U.S. didn’t actually reach the moon in 1969, but simply filmed a scene in order to deceive the entire world.

Spend any time on the Internet and you’ve probably encountered a website or ten that argues the Apollo 11 mission was made up of lies. The general conspiracy asserts that the United States was so desperate to beat the Soviet Union in the space race that NASA faked the moon landing in a studio backlot. The theory is so persistent even forty years later that, per Wikipedia, “Opinion polls taken in various locations have shown that between 6% and 20% of Americans, 25% of Britons, and 28% of Russians surveyed believe that the manned landings were faked.”

Though we now have the technology to see the Apollo landing site and the astronauts’ footprints on the moon via the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, conspiracy theorists would call this more lies and hoaxing from that dastardly NASA.

(My favorite moon landing conspiracy is this one: “In 1980, the Flat Earth Society accused NASA of faking the landings, arguing that they were staged by Hollywood with Walt Disney sponsorship, based on a script by Arthur C. Clarke and directed by Stanley Kubrick.” Doesn’t that sound like an awesome movie?!)

Enter Adam Ruins Everything, which delightfully lays out just why the moon landing could not have been faked in 1969. With the help of a forensic motion picture analyst (and “Stanley Kubrick”), Adam and his cast explain that the tech needed to fake the landing pictures a) did not exist in the 60s and b) would have cost more to fake than actually just landing men on the moon. Not to mention that a hoax of this magnitude would have required a massive conspiracy of silence from the thousands of people involved in the missions, plus the governments of the world that confirmed picking up the moon broadcast from space and had nothing to gain by backing up the United States.

Enjoy this funny yet extremely informative evisceration of the “fake moon landing” conspiracy. Keep your newfound knowledge in your back pocket for Thanksgiving, when you can use it to shut down that one uncle who’s rambling that the moon rocks came from Antarctica.

(image: screengrab)

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.