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The tribulations of progress

Flight_lunarIt was in December 1903 that the Wright Brothers carried out the first powered flight. It was only 66 years later that the first human set foot on the Moon.

That’s a lot of progress in a short amount of time, isn’t it?

Many of us enjoyed watching as science provided the research and development of the technologies needed to leave Earth, but not everyone was willing to accept the advancement.

A small group of people, primarily influenced by a radical religious group called the Flat Earth Society, accused NASA of staging the entire Apollo Program and faking the Lunar landings on a soundstage, claiming that photos contained inconsistencies, that the radiation encountered during the flight would have been fatal to humans, and that some of the data from the flights are missing.

Naturally, these claims are false, as equipment left on the Moon is visible through telescopes, and a series of laser reflectors left by both the American Apollo missions and Soviet unmanned probes prove that we have indeed been to the Moon.

Ironically, in the late 1960’s, while the technology existed to reach the Moon and return, we did not have the ability to falsify the footage of the Apollo landings. Filmmaking techniques at the time were simply not advanced enough to recreate the conditions on the Lunar surface.

Though not much effort is needed to refute the claims, scientists on the Discovery cable channel show Mythbusters once collaborated with NASA and dedicated an entire episode to addressing the accusations, duplicating as closely as possible the conditions on the Moon, and successfully refuting several of the claims made by the conspiracists.

In short, yes, we did indeed go to the Moon. I’d like to think that someone will return someday.

Maybe you will be that person.

Dream.

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