A number of news organizations have offered breathless stories about the plans of the German Google Lunar X Prize team, Part Time Scientists, to send a rover to the Apollo 17 landing site. Science Alert declares, “-the mission could finally put the Moon landing hoax rumours to bed once and for all.” The statement is false for a couple of good reasons.

First the moon landing hoax conspiracy theory, which states that the Apollo lunar landings were faked inside a TV studio, have been so thoroughly debunked that the matter hardly needs repeating.

The Mythbusters devoted an entire episode to busting the various moon landing conspiracy myths. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has taken recent images of the Apollo landing sites, showing the tracks of the lunar rovers and the footprints left by the astronauts. Then only people who cling to the moon landing hoax theory are those with profound ignorance in physics, engineering, videography, and political science.

They believe in the conspiracy theory because they want to believe in it.

Therein is the problem. The Apollo 11 moonwalk was one of the most witnessed events in human history. Roughly a billion people on a planet that contained just over three billion people followed the event live, either on TV or the radio. The missions that took place on the moon between 1969 and 1972 have been photographed and filmed extensively for posterity.

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The conspiracy theories would have us believe that we should not believe our lying eyes but instead believe in a plot so immense that it defies imagination. This desire is despite the fact that using 1960s technology faking a moon landing would be a lot harder than doing a moon landing.

Thus, if an Audi-built lunar rover approaches the Apollo 17 site and sends images of its ruins back to the world, the conspiracy nuts will simply shrug their shoulders.

They will suggest that the old TV set has been reactivated and upgraded for the 21st Century. Why would anyone want to believe such a thing? That is a subject for mental health professionals to debate, The rest of us will look upon those images with awe.

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