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SMART-1 to Image Apollo Landing Sites

Hemos posted more than 9 years ago | from the blast-from-the-past dept.

Space 36

An anonymous reader writes "Space.com is reporting that the European Space Agency's SMART-1 probe is imaging the Apollo landing sites on the moon. The resolution may be good enough to see mineral evidence of the blasts created by landing craft. Photos expected too. The article says it "might put to rest conspiratorial thoughts that U.S. astronauts didn't go the distance and scuff up the lunar landscape." I wouldn't bet my Buzz Aldrin doll that hoax buffs will cease and desist."

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FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11865270)

Wooo!

Conspiracy Buffs (4, Funny)

elecngnr (843285) | more than 9 years ago | (#11865347)

It is unlikely, IMHO, that these new pictures will satisfy any of those who do not believe that NASA landed men on the moon. It is much easier to doctor photos these days than to create the conspiracy they believe occurred in the 60's and 70's with the moon landings. In fact, I believe that you could take most of these folks, land them on the moon itself, and they would still claim that they were not actually on the moon, but had fallen victim to some form of mind control. Does anyone know if a tin foil hat will fit inside of a NASA space helmet?

Re:Conspiracy Buffs (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 9 years ago | (#11869898)


What is to stop some artiste from Photoshopping them thar images, eh?

Re:Conspiracy Buffs (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 9 years ago | (#11875810)

Does anyone know if a tin foil hat will fit inside of a NASA space helmet?

Actually, due to radiation, they're big expensive tin-foil hats already I believe. =)

What would REALLY be cool... (2, Insightful)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 9 years ago | (#11865432)

...is if these craft could get shots of the hardware we left behind; the moon rovers, the Apollo capsule bases, even the flag.

Don't know if the resolution will be THAT good; but one thing I'd always hoped for in a return to the moon was a look at our old landing sites. I don't know enough about the lunar environment to know, but I wonder if our stuff is still uncovered? Any problems with lunar dust covering things, one wonders?

Re:What would REALLY be cool... (3, Insightful)

Magada (741361) | more than 9 years ago | (#11865480)

Moon dust covering stuff? What would really be cool is if people would finally get it about the moon having no atmosphere...

Re:What would REALLY be cool... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11865520)

If it had an atmosphere then all that green cheese would get stale.

Re:What would REALLY be cool... (3, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 9 years ago | (#11866878)

Moon dust covering stuff? What would really be cool is if people would finally get it about the moon having no atmosphere...
What would be *really* cool is if people posting smug 'corrections' understood that dust can be raised by things other than wind (atmosphere)... I.E. nearby impacts.

That being said; I doubt anything we've left on the moon is visibly covered with dust. There's a fair chance however that there may be microscopic dust and damage.

That's PRECISELY what I meant (1)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 9 years ago | (#11868507)

I know there's no air on the moon...I just didn't know how much effect impacts on the lunar surface would have, i.e. how much dust it tends to scatter over a period of time.

I suppose that I could've pretended, I guess...

Re:That's PRECISELY what I meant (2, Informative)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 9 years ago | (#11869723)

I know there's no air on the moon...I just didn't know how much effect impacts on the lunar surface would have, i.e. how much dust it tends to scatter over a period of time.
Look at the ray system of say.... Tycho. Thats an extreme example, but even microscopic impacts are going to raise some miniscule amount of dust. Over time, this adds up. The lunar surface was built by impacts all the way from the big ones that formed a couple of the basins, down to microscopic ones, and they all scatter something.

Re:That's PRECISELY what I meant (1)

hplasm (576983) | more than 9 years ago | (#11875355)

But the dust won't go anywhere- it will be lifted by the impact, and fall down again. No scattering on the breeze that isn't there.

Re:What would REALLY be cool... (1)

Andy Gardner (850877) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872223)

What would be *really* *really* cool is if people stop posting counter corrections to smug corrections highlighting the possiblility of low probability situations that could validate the parent.

Re:What would REALLY be cool... (2, Informative)

wertarbyte (811674) | more than 9 years ago | (#11866012)

Any problems with lunar dust covering things, one wonders?

Since the moon lacks any atmosphere, there is no wind up there, so I guess the dust will still be where it was 35 years ago.

Re:What would REALLY be cool... (1)

tigersha (151319) | more than 9 years ago | (#11866104)

One of the manned landers landed pretty much right next to one of the older unmanned ships which was still there.

Re:What would REALLY be cool... (1)

cartmancakes (861789) | more than 9 years ago | (#11868412)

The problem is, it wouldn't be inconceivable for one of these conspiritors to believe that the pictures from SMART-1 were altered to show the landers and such. This is cleary a lose-lose scenario. Much like my spelling... :)

its a hoax (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11865512)

we all know that they will not really be imaging the moon. They have set up secret 'moon bases' to be photographed from space in the nevada desert. The moon itself is even a hoax. is it me or has the whole wold gone crazy!?

Speaking of Buzz... (4, Funny)

FuturePastNow (836765) | more than 9 years ago | (#11865722)

Buzz already knows how to shut up conspiracy theorists. I prefer his method [collegehumor.com] , too.

Re:Speaking of Buzz... (2, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 9 years ago | (#11867504)

I think that video was faked. Does anyone know how much Buzz was paid to punch that guy? /joking

How naive! (4, Funny)

Nuffsaid (855987) | more than 9 years ago | (#11865782)

Who could actually believe that SMART-1 is really circling the Moon? How could it manage that, without smashing into the giant crystal sphere that holds it up? They try to blind us with all this "Ion Engine" technobabble while everybody knows that all you need is a really long ladder to reach the Apollo 11 landing site and see with your own eyes the flag, the lander an all that stuff.
Some people misdirect their skepticism...

We landed on the Moon. (4, Informative)

node 3 (115640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11866562)

The site http://www.clavius.org/ [clavius.org] really belongs in the body of the post. It answers in depth every "reason" why it's impossible to have landed on the Moon.

If you have your doubts, or otherwise find yourself giving credence to the Apollo hoax theories, you owe it to yourself to visit that site. There's nothing wrong with questioning government and understanding that it's possible (possible != probable, and as hard as it was to land on the Moon, imagine how much harder it would be to fake it in an open society where not only would you have to trick hundreds of thousands of engineers and support personnel as well as thousands of scientists, but also the astronauts who are still alive today and have not contradicted the stories, all the while you can't have made a single mistake that would expose the conspiracy!) that the Moon landings were faked, but this is a case where the evidence is fully on the side of the conventional story.

Re:We landed on the Moon. (2, Informative)

perdu (549634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11866675)

And if you are ever in NYC, be sure to visit the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the Natural History Museum and see the Full Moon Exhibition [amnh.org] -- glorius photos from the Apollo missions. The finely detailed images from the best large-format cameras ever made were pretty convincing for me!

Re:We landed on the Moon. (2, Funny)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#11868480)

Not to mention that the USSR would have had to be in on the faking of the moon landing. Not bloody likely. I am afraid that this is right up there with "the Holocaust never happened", The world is flat, and network TV is quality entertainment.

Re:We landed on the Moon. (2, Interesting)

vuud (678736) | more than 9 years ago | (#11874011)

Bah on all of you. I have a feeling everyone is right... I really think that we did land on the moon - but I also think the photos were faked due to some snafu with the cameras or film.

It would explain a whole lot if it turns out that radiation screwed up the film, or they just plain old forgot it or something. I think we did land there (due to the laser reflectors), but some of the rational for the faked photos seems to make some sense.

So we were there IMO, but someone botched up the film, or they just looked crappy enough that someone said... ughhh - they are going to kill us for spending all that money and someones glove finger was over the lense.

But thats just my opinion

Re:We landed on the Moon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11875000)

It's a rather poor opinion. There are many stuffed shots, it's just that people don't publish those. I hope you can understand why people don't bother showing crap photos.
Have a look at the image library here. There are plenty of bad photos, especially at the ends of the film magazines (exposed to light while changing).
http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/frame.html

And BTW, none of the "evidence" for faked photos makes sense. It's all rubbish written by idiots for idiots (or people who simply don't know much about photography and physical processes and are inclined to believe bullshit artists)

Re:We landed on the Moon. (3, Insightful)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 9 years ago | (#11875052)

The argument that the photos have been faked have been comprehensively debunked.

And what about the film/TV scenes shot on the moon? That were broadcast live to the entire planet? They would have been even harder to fake (1/6 G is hard to simulate), faking them would have involved a lot of planning beforehand (to create the shots in time for the landing and live broadcast).

And botching ALL photos and film for ALL landings would be quite improbable. If Apollo 11 had come back without usable film, NASA would have corrected the problem before the Apollo 12 launch.

Don't listen to the conspiracy theorists. They're morons.

Of course we landed on the moon! (3, Informative)

NPN_Transistor (844657) | more than 9 years ago | (#11875857)

I couldn't agree more. I could think of a reason why every argument on that website is not correct... a good website to take a look at is http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/tv/foxapollo.html [badastronomy.com] It doesn't specifically debunk the questions on the Clauvius website, it still debunks a lot of the general misconceptions on the site. Other arguments on the site can be de-bunked by thinking about simple scientific facts such as the lighting on the moon (reflected lighting from the surface of the moon) and perspective... these conspiracy theorists just need to learn about some really simple scientific facts.

Re:We landed on the Moon. (1)

vuud (678736) | more than 9 years ago | (#11877424)


I dont recall the footage from the movies, but as I remember they were not very high quality, compared to the super fantastic moon landing photo stills.

The comment about conspiricy theorists being morons is unfair on the whole... If someone told you oliver north was trading drugs for guns down south they would say your nuts, your crazy, your a conspiricy theorist.

That is not to say a great deal of them could be crazy... it just gets dangerous to label them all morons off the cuff.

Re:We landed on the Moon. (1)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11883456)

Have you ever compared stills to motion pictures from the time? Still cameras have been able to make very good images for fifty years. There were even color cameras in WWII that could match the camera I bought at K-Mart in 1992. Motion pictures were, by comparison, pretty crummy. Television broadcasts were grainy, and movie theaters had very large and expensive optics to produce good quality. The moon missions neccessitated very light cameras, and on top of that, the images were broadcast to earth to be recorded, the stills were captuerd on film and brought back to be developed.

Re:We landed on the Moon. (1)

vuud (678736) | more than 9 years ago | (#11883638)

No I have not compared the stills to the motion pictures for that purpose - just what I have seen of older photos and the moon landing stuff from memory. I will give it a whirl the next time I have some from the 50's on hand... This is just my theory on it...

Also, if you bought a camera at kmart, it probably was the same technology that was used in WW2 :)

Anyway - moving on...

Re:We landed on the Moon. (1)

hplasm (576983) | more than 9 years ago | (#11875372)

Ah, for the glory days when even huge projects were faked^H^H^H^H^H done right :)

Re:We landed on the Moon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11890874)

Yeah, and Paul is dead and Elvis is still alive. People will believe what they want to believe. Why waste your time arguing about it? How is it affecting your life so much that you feel the need to convince them? I say fuck 'em.

NASA missed an opportunity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11867658)

For a serious Cold War win and a great opportunity to tell doubters to STFU...

Why didn't NASA leave something visible to the naked eye (or good binoculars) on the surface of the moon? They could have unrolled a gigantic reflective mylar sheet or something that would catch sunlight at certain times. Sure, it doesn't prove that they walked on the moon, but it proves we've been there.

Yes, I know about the reflectors they left behind but without any specialized lasers/detectors there's no way to tell that they're there.

Re:NASA missed an opportunity. (2, Interesting)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11883328)

Something naked-eye visible would have to be pretty big. I've heard of at least one lunar observatory that has an open invitation to conspiracy theorists, though. They're welcome to come up and see a full demonstration of the lasers hitting the targets, a tour of the facilities to see how they work, and a live demonstration, apparantly all for free. That's a pretty big meatball to leave out on the chopping block, too, I doubt those demonstrations are cheap for them, since they don't usually do them every day. A truely dedicated group that just wanted to be assholes could probably bankrupt them just sending people up for demonstrations.

Nobody's ever taken up the offer, but there's a pretty obvious counter to it, which I think has already been used about the laser reflectors: They could just as easily have put it up there with an unmanned mission. Many conspiracy theorists don't dispute that unmanned missions take place, only that the manned Apollo missions did.

Of course, we really did go (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11868639)

Living in Houston, I occasionally run into folks who have some connection with JSC and the Apollo program. Two good examples.

As an undergrad at Rice Univ, I took a space physics class for non-space physics majors taught by the chair of the space physics dept. The prof. happpened to have designed a bunch of the experiment packages that went to the moon during Apollo. He was pretty definite that the Apollo astronauts really had gone to the moon and played with his experiments.

More recently, I had the very humbling experience of talking to a NASA engineer who had been in the control room when the Apollo 1 crew perished. Even today, the memory of that day brought tears to his eyes.

Re:Of course, we really did go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11890948)

Wow, I was a conspiracy theorist up until now but, your stories sure made a believer out of me. Great examples!! I'll never again doubt that we landed on the moon.
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