One Small Step
Updated: Jul 24, 2019
Believing the Unbelievable
As a teenager, I doubted the evidence presented to us about the moon-landing which took place 50 years ago today. I doubted that three men, strapped to a rocket could actually do what I saw as being impossible with the technology available to them at the time.
Some people would question if the Moon-landings were staged on a soundstage like in the 1978 film Capricorn One and question many aspects about the Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17 missions and the pictures and stories that were shared upon the astronauts return home.
The flag appears to be waving in some images and there are no stars in any of NASA’s early images. Light sources and shadows further question if we are looking at two men on the moon or two people being filmed on a soundstage.
My photographs taken from inside a European Space Agency museum should show how easy it is to stage a convincing moonlanding backdrop and the flimsy spacecraft with tinfoil should demonstrate how hard it is to imagine people travelling through the Van Allen radiation belts safely and to survive in something that looks like a parent had made it for their child’s science project.
Apollo 11, in my opinion, was absolutely impossible. Today with supercomputers or even the average smartphone maybe but five decades ago, before GPS, I don’t think so.
Evidence that man went to the moon includes both a flag I will never see and footprints that I will never walk in. There are far too many inconsistencies with what we were told versus what we can question with our own eyes and I cannot possibly believe that the Apollo 11 mission ever happened but I do.
To imagine strapping yourself to a V2 rocket and safely landing on the surface of the moon and then taking off from the moon to fly home again, simply blows my mind.
This wasn’t a spacecraft, this was a mammoth missile with men on top of it.
This was captured Nazi scientists working on captured V2 Rockets to produce a manned missile. Nazi scientist turned NASA scientist, Wernher Von Braun famously remarked to a colleague after the first V2 rocket hit London in September 1944,
"The rocket worked perfectly, except for landing on the wrong planet."
25 years later, Von Braun finally hit the right planet and the reason I believe in the Moon-landings is simply because I watched previously unseen footage of Neil Armstrong onboard Gemini VIII preparing to dock two spacecraft in Earth’s orbit. I watched the footage ten years ago as part of the 40th anniversary and over the last decade more footage has been shown in documentaries that explain the steps taken to make President Kennedy’s ambitious dream a reality.
Youtube channels have also explained the reason why people believe in some of the hoaxes and confusion over what we saw such as the fact that there were no visible stars in NASA’s photographs at the time. Quite simply, their focus wasn’t on distant stars but the star astronauts and equipment in the foreground.
The one small step for me was seeing Neil Armstrong docking Gemini VIII with the Gemini-Agena Target Vehicle as without that crucial stage, man might have been able to go to the Moon but they would not have been able to return.
Imagine trying to plan a caravan holiday if you couldn’t hitch your wagon to your vehicle.
These hitchhikers of the galaxy travelled into space on top of a rocket and then hitched the Command Module to the Lunar Lander where two brave men descended to the moon while Michael Collins remained in the Command Module waiting to dock with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin who returned as heroes after completing their mission impossible.
Leaving behind a legacy where few men followed in their footsteps and no one has attempted this Mission Impposble since Apollo 17 blasted off from the lunar surface one final time in 1972.
Apollo 11, was luckier than Apollo 13 which encountered problems on the way to the moon but at least the crew survived unlike Apollo 1 which caught fire on a launchpad in January 1967.
While NASA has not lost any astronauts in space, three men died during Apollo 1's cabin fire, Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee.
Russia was not so lucky, 50 years ago as their N1 Rocket exploded just 2 weeks before Neil Armstrong took, "One Small Step" in what was one of the world's worst non-nuclear explosions. This secret Soviet space story was only revealed after the fall of Communism but ended the space race for the Soviets who had led the way with Yuri Gagarin and Sputnik.
I should apologise to the millions of people who made Kennedy’s dream a reality and the three extraordinary men who survived plane crashes and many difficulties in their test pilot careers to land the Eagle on the surface of the moon and utter the memorable words, “One small step.”
Let's take a look inside the LEM and see how it works.