The Apollo Landing Sites

People regularly ask me; "did we really go to the Moon - or was it all an elaborate hoax?".  Well, putting aside my initial shock that anyone could believe for one moment that an operation of this magnitude could possibly be covered up, with the numbers of people involved and the many missions which were launched, I got to wondering how we could prove it to the doubters.

The obvious way would be to show people the equipment that was left on the lunar surface, but there isn't a telescope on Earth large enough, or with sufficient resolution to show even the landing stages.  I've been asked whether Hubble can see them, and the answer is still no.  So until NASA launched Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter we had no images, but now the high resolution camera on board the LRO spacecraft has sent back a series of images showing a number of Apollo landing sites, and they are set out below, with the various pieces of equipment marked with arrows.

Even at this close range it is barely possible to make out the objects, but in particular if you look at Apollo 12 (below right) you can see not only the descent stage and the remains of Surveyor 3 close by, but also the trail of footprints leading to and from the "ALSEP" experiments package (Apollo Lunar Science Experiment Package).

Of course, there is nothing to prevent the sceptics saying these images are Photoshop fakes - but some people simply don't want to believe we ever went there, and I'm not about to try to convince them.

Apollo 11

Apollo 12

Apollo 14

Apollo 15

Apollo 16

Apollo 17

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