NASA has been embroiled in controversies about its first moon landing since the day Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon in 1969. Throughout the years, several conspiracy theories have emerged regarding the US government and NASA's role in faking the moon landing for various reasons.
A new photo is doing the rounds on the Internet which claims to offer ultimate proof that NASA's moon landing was fake. In a video posted on YouTube, a user named Streetcap1 claims that the reflection of a stage hand is visible in the visor of the astronaut's suit helmet. These photos are of the final mission, Apollo 17, which people believe was also made-up, like the first one.
As this new 'evidence' questions NASA's claims, let us examine why the space agency and the Federal Government would consider lying to the world about its Apollo missions for such a long time.
To clinch the Cold War victory
The Cold War marked the peak of the nuclear arms race between two superpowers of the world, the US and the Soviet Union. As the two countries competed for technological superiority, many theorists believe that the US faked the moon landings to gain the upper hand over USSR and win the Cold War.
A popular belief is that sending astronauts and a working spacecraft safely to the surface of the moon would prove very costly, hence the US faked the whole thing, shooting it in Walt Disney Studios under the direction of Stanley Kubrick.
This theory is supported by conspiracist Bart Sibrel who says that the USSR developed deep space tracking craft in 1972, after which NASA abruptly cancelled the last three Apollo missions.
To prove John F Kennedy right
Arguably the most popular and controversial President of the United States, JFK spent most of his time in office dealing with tensions involving USSR and Vietnam.
In 1962, in front of 35,000 people in a football stadium at Rice University, Kennedy announced, "We choose to go to the Moon! We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win."
Some people believe that the moon landing was faked just to prove Kennedy right and it was one of the reasons that led to his assassination in 1963.
Other probable reasons
The prestige of NASA and the US government is said to be the main drive behind organising and maintaining such an elaborate lie in front of the whole world. Theorists believe that the space agency sold the lies to keep getting funds for its missions, which required about US$30 billion.
Another popular idea points to the Vietnam War as the reason, as this huge achievement drew attention away from the unpopularity of the US during the Vietnam War. What makes it more fishy is that the manned landings of Apollo stopped as soon as the war ended.