Have astronauts actually landed on the Moon?

Have astronauts actually landed on the Moon?

One of the most popular theories as to why the Moon landings couldn’t have happened has to do with something called the Van Allen belts. These are two huge belts of radiation that surround the Earth, shaped by Earth’s magnetic field and pounded with high-energy particles from the Sun’s wind. It’s been claimed that humans couldn’t have passed through these belts without being fried with lethal doses of radiation.

Image courtesy: Google

In fact, the international scientific community was aware of the Van Allen belts. All thanks to the Explorer, Pioneer, and Luna missions in the 1950s. Luckily, the timings of the Apollo launches were such that the Van Allen belts were at their lowest intensity, which fluctuates with the Sun’s activity. Radiation sickness occurs when you have been exposed to around 200 to 1000 ‘rads’ of radiation within a few hours. The Apollo 11 crew was within the belts for less than two hours during their journey to the Moon, and so would have only been exposed to an estimated 18 rads – well within the safe limit. There can still be some adverse effects from even this level of radiation, so NASA made sure that the Apollo 11 spacecraft was well-insulated such that the average dose of radiation over the 12-day mission was just 0.18 rads, or similar to the radiation dosage from a chest X-ray.

Another ‘giveaway’ that the landing was faked comes from the footage of the American flag that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin placed on the Moon. From photos and video, it appears to be flapping in the wind. There’s no air on the Moon so how can it flutter?!

Image courtesy: Google

The truth is that the flag isn’t flapping. There is a horizontal rod projecting from the post at the top of the pole to hold the flag unfurled. The flag was disturbed as it was planted into the ground and kept this bent shape because of the lack of strong gravity on the Moon.

Speaking of the flag photographs, it’s often pointed out that there are no stars to be seen in the background!

Image courtesy: Google

This is actually a common feature of photographs from space, where the contrast between light and dark is extreme. The surface of the Moon reflects the strong sunlight and appears very bright in photographs. This brightness drowns out the relatively dim light from stars in the dark sky. The human eye can adjust and pick out the stars, but unless it’s set to the right settings, a camera struggles with the contrast. Astronauts on the International Space Station today regularly take photographs of the Earth that show a completely starless background, but it’s the same problem of contrasts at work.

Let’s talk about the shadows in photographs from the Moon. One of the subtler arguments against the Moon landings has to do with non-parallel shadows. If the Sun is the only source of light, why do some shadows appear to point in multiple directions?

Image courtesy: Google

Actually, a rough, uneven surface can cause all sorts of shadows at different angles, even with a single light source like the Sun. This is something that can be easily experimented with at home. The combination of the Moon’s rough surface and the long shadows from a Sun low in the sky can easily create complicated shadows. The funny shadow in the picture above is likely created by an uneven ridge that extends towards astronaut and a low-angle Sun.

 It is often claimed that if we really landed on the Moon, then it should be fairly easy to see the evidence with a telescope such as Hubble. But as powerful as Hubble is at spying galaxies, it simply doesn’t have the resolution to pick up fine details like spacecraft on the Moon – they’re too small and the Moon is too far away.

Image courtesy: Google

Thankfully, we do have a closer spacecraft, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been in orbit around the Moon since 2009. And it has captured recent photographs of all the Apollo landing sites. These images show the Apollo spacecraft in exactly the right locations and amazingly, you can even see the astronauts’ footprints as they explored their lunar home. These landing sites have also been independently spotted by a variety of other spacecraft from China, India, and, as discussed above, Japan.

Written by:
Ananya, Freedom International School, SSERD Astrospace camp participant

From left: Sujay Shreedhar (Founder, SSERD), Ananya (Author), Nikitha C (CEO, SSERD)

Ozone Alerted!

SSERD having the motto of promoting space education, has been doing it. We are achieving new milestones and stepping up to the world every day. One such event was by providing internship for students from Oakridge International School.  After a considerable number of meet ups, finally SSERD was successful in completing the project along with dedicated minds of the school.

Project team!

With Professor Jayanth Murthy

The discussion had been condensed and agreed by all. Ozone Sensor was the topic. Here is what it means; Ozone is a protective layer for the Earth which is present in Stratosphere. Due to fast paced growing industrial activities, the Ozone layer is depleting. Our aim was on point, we had data on past years which told what the depletion rate was. SSERD mentored students from Oakridge International School, in building a payload which was carried by High Altitude Balloons (HAB). The payload consisted an Ozone sensor, which was capable to gather data on the present quantity of Ozone, henceforth creating awareness on precautionary measures to be done for the future.

Ready to launch!

The project had dedicated workforce of student from necessary backgrounds like Environmental Science, Structural Engineering, Data Analytics and Electronics. Each student executed the task with enthusiasm and dedication which resulted the project being success.


The project emerged successful. The payload reached an altitude of around 26kms, did the necessary observations on the ozone concentration levels and gave the data and it was processed successfully.

And we are also thankful for IIA (Indian Institute of astrophysics), SK labs and Greentech solutions for their immense support!

Like mentioned above, SSERD is ready to lend a hand for any such enthusiast 🙂

Keep Spacing 🙂


Jointly organized by Udhayabanu kala sanga & Society for Space Education, Research and Development

  • SCIENCE–CON: Science Costume Competition – Students are supposed to dress up as any person in the Science & Space domain or dress up like which explains any Science Law/process etc. Each student will get 150 seconds to speak on why they dressed up like that or the importance of that person or the law. It is compulsory to end with a message to all the audience. They can Speak either in English or in Kannada. 1st and 2nd in each category. Register below. Payment will be taken offline on Spot on the event day. 

Category 1 – Students from class 1 to 4

Category 2 – Students from class 5 to 7

Category 3 – Students from class 8 to 10

           Judges will give the points on the following criteria:

           – The Costume   

           – The talk

           – The Message

          Registration Fee:

                Rs.50/- per student

  • PAINT SCIENCE: Painting Competition – Students can use any kind of painting/ coloring to portray the topic given. The A3 size Cardboard sheet will be given for the students and the required materials need to be bought by students themselves. Various topics will be provided and students can pick any 1 topic and will get 90 minutes of the time to complete.  

Category 1 – Students from class 1 to 4

– Science in day-to-day life

– Space

Category 2 – Students from class 5 to 7

– Extraterrestrial Life

– technology and climate

– Symmetry in nature

Category 3 – Students from class 8 to 10

– Future of Latest Technologies

– Life on exoplanets

– biodiversity in Ice/snow

– Science and music

1st Prize and 2nd Prize will be given to all the categories.

Registration  Fee: Rs.50/- per student

  • SCIENCE QUIZ – Quiz will be on several levels. Students passing each level will go to next levels. Each level quiz will be asked in different forms. The questions will be based on Science.

Following are the Levels.

We will invite teams of students from schools, a minimum of 2 members and a maximum of 3 members in the team. Each school can send as many teams as they wish to. Could be either for class 5-7 or 8-10. Both might not be doable given there are other events.

Level 1 – Written quiz to all registered participants. We shall select top 8 teams for next level.

Level 2 –  oral quiz with A/Vs included 3 different rounds.

Registration Fee: Rs.100/- per team.

World Space Week

As we move towards the Space Week 2018, there are some things Society for Space Education Research and Development (SSERD) would love to share with you all.


Space Week’s history dates back to 1980 when the then Governor of Texas (a city in the U.S) declared space week from 16-24 July as in 1969 on these dates, the first human Moon landing by NASA astronauts (Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin) took place. A group of 4 namely Ernest Hillje (Former NASA engineer, one of the first three incorporators of the Spaceweek, incorporation), Troy Welch (one of the first five board of directors of the Spaceweek, inc. and an incorporator), Dennis Stone (one of the first three incorporators of the Spaceweek, inc. and the president of the WSWA since its inception), David Koch (one of the five board members of the Spaceweek, inc.) in Houston (a city in the U.S) celebrated the first space week in 1980 and then in 1981, they formed National Space week Headquarters. By 1999, Space week had spread to 15 Nations and on 18th October 1999 the United Nations General Assembly announced its inauguration to educate people around the globe about the benefits they are/can receiving/receive because of space. The U.N General Assembly announced that it should be held from 4th October – 10th October every year.

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What we do at SSERD

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty – John Muir

At SSERD we are trying to rekindle the passion for space in the young generation. One of our key aims is to initiate and develop the love for space among young minds starting right from their primary schooling and  provide them an exposure to the ravishing and never-ending world of Space Science

Society for Space Education, Research and Development (SSERD) is an independent organization dedicated to promoting space education and research through collaboration of different organizations from different parts of the world. Continue reading