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Ron Patton | October 12, 2018
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As I was thinking about weekend plans, I was contemplating going to see the new movie, First Man. However, while I am sure most of the viewing public are interested in seeing this film, I have a bittersweet reason for seeing it. Honestly, the bittersweet reason is because I already have preconceived notions that I am going to hate it. If I go I hope I am pleasantly surprised, but as for now, all I can think of is how this is nothing more than a fan fiction fantasy and infomercial to promote NASA.

I know that the earliest days of U.S. space exploration is one of the most fascinating chapters of human history. Running with the historical narrative we know that scientist had a determined effort to go to the moon with a limited timetable.

Their efforts gave us the Gemini program and the Apollo 11 moon landing, with Neil Armstrong acting as the first human ambassador to an extraterrestrial world.

Almost from the point of the first Apollo missions, there were many Americans that expressed skepticism that it had taken place at all. It had, they argued, been faked in Hollywood by the federal government for purposes ranging from embezzlement of the public treasury to complex conspiracy theories involving international intrigue and murderous criminality.

Among Americans between 18 and 24 years old, 27% expressed doubts that NASA went to the Moon. Over the years there have been many more doubters—and anymore if you express doubts you are called a science denier.

Doubts about the first moon landing have been on the rise.

As it has turns out, throughout the latter third of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, confidence in the U.S. government by the American public has been in decline those who remember The Kennedy assassination, Vietnam, Watergate, the 9/11 attacks and other scandals and malfeasance— find it easier to question the accounts of the moon landing.

At least Apollo 11 and how it all happened without losing any astronauts or destroying any equipment in the process.

Hollywood now has issued a film that boosts the interest again in space travel –but they have also had their fair share of hints that perhaps the first moon landing was faked.

In the 1971 James Bond film, Diamonds Are Forever, Bond stumbles into a moonscape movie set.

The 1978 fictional feature film, Capricorn One, in which NASA supposedly faked a landing on Mars, may have fostered greater acceptance of the Moon landing hoax.

One of the first topics on Ground Zero was the debate over whether we went or not.

No question, the February 2001 airing of the Fox special, Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon? changed the nature of the debate. In this instance a major network presented a conspiracy scenario without any serious rebuttal it was reported as fact.

It seemed that there was a pattern there.

Then came Bart Sibrel, a controversial film maker who made a movie in 2001 titled, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon.”

He is also known for demanding that Apollo astronauts put their hand on the Bible and swear an oath that they walked on the moon, which notably resulted in him being punched in the face by Buzz Aldrin, whom he had called “a coward, and a liar, and a thief.”

It was then that the whole debate literally and metaphorically got a black eye.

Even though I still had my doubts about the first moon landing, there seemed to be some talk about going to the moon again.

In 2004, President George W. Bush started the conversation about putting men back on the moon in 2015.

He said that NASA would test a new spacecraft, the Crew Exploration Vehicle, by 2008, and to conduct the first manned mission no later than 2014. Four years after the deadline and we still have not sent anyone back to the moon.

The goal was to have man living and working on the moon by 2020.

In 2009, we were told that NASA was carrying out experiments to find water on the moon in order to facilitate the possibility of a moon base. It was a lie plain and simple.

No matter how many people would scream that the accusation was part of conspiracy theory nonsense it was becoming quite clear that the mission was slated for a test of space weapons technology.

It had nothing to do with manned missions to the moon.

NASA launched its first moon shot in 10 years, sending up a pair of unmanned science probes that were supposed to help determine where astronauts could land and colonize in the years to come.

NASA received over $500 Million for a mission they called LCROSS. It was also a mission that was supposed to survey and map areas of the moon and then the Centaur rocket would be intentionally crashed into the moon’s surface at twice the speed of a bullet. It was supposed to blow out a 6-mile crater and then before it would be crashed, the other spacecraft known as the Shepherding craft would then determine if there are potential water-ice particulates in the Moon debris plume.

The lift-off occurred just one month and two days shy of the 40th anniversary of the alleged ‘FIRST LANDING BY MAN ON THE MOON’ The LCROSS mission was suspicious from the beginning and as we prepared for the impact others began to bring up inconsistencies and exposed a lot of lies that were previously told during the first moon landing in 1969.

Lie upon lie was told to the American people about LCROSS and its purpose. The lies were so transparent I couldn’t believe what I was reading and hearing about.

NASA claimed that the LCROSS mission was supposed to map out the Moon for landing sites for the new moon missions. Before the Apollo Missions, there were orbiters sent out to map the Moon and in 1994, Clementine was launched.

Between February 26 and April 22, 1994, Clementine was able to deliver more than 1.8 million digital images of the Moon back to ground control including the NRL satellite ground-tracking station located in Maryland.

These images were quickly accessible to the general public via the Internet. When scientists reviewed the data from Clementine, they already found the possible existence of ice within some of the Moon’s craters.

Think about it, in 2009 NASA had just celebrated the 40th anniversary of the moon landing and for some reason was not aware of the Moon’s topography with all of the manned missions and orbits they have successfully completed?

It didn’t make sense.

In 2009, NASA was also vague about how fast the new rockets would reach orbit around the Moon. The LCROSS Rockets according to press releases were supposed to take a week to 10 days to reach the Moon. The Apollo missions took three days and each mission had variant times. Apollo 8 took 20 hours to complete 10 Moon orbits, which equates to an average time of 2 hours per orbit.

Transferring the data to other missions results in vastly differing journey times to and from the Moon, which does not make sense. Apollo 12 got to the Moon in 26.5 hours, and yet Apollo 17 took 76 hours. It takes the Space Shuttle 66 Hrs to reach the ISS at only 185 miles above Earth.

The LCROSS mission was a failure – after sending a projectile into the moon, NASA said the test was inconclusive.

In 2011, Barack Obama cut funding for the proposed Constellation program effectively canceling a five-year, $9 billion effort to build new Orion spacecraft and Ares rockets. The new space vehicles were slated to replace NASA’s three aging space shuttles (and launch astronauts into orbit and on to the moon.

Obama killed the space program in order to turn NASA into the Climate Change police.

If there was ever a time to doubt that we went to the moon at all – it was when they just up and shut down the whole moon mission.

Now in 2018, we have again been told that the moon is the goal and later Mars.

Today, it was reported that 17 scientists authored a report stating that searching for signs of alien life should be part of every future NASA mission. The briefing was authored by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

It emphasized the importance of including astrobiology — the study of how life originated on Earth and how it might evolve elsewhere in the universe — in every phase of all NASA missions destined for space, “from inception and conceptualization, to planning, to development, and to operations.”

The question is why now?

I believe it is obvious as to why now – it is because they have confidence that there is intelligent life out there and the recent reports of techno signatures and fast radio bursts are the motivation behind the quest.

In recent years, astrophysicists have detected thousands of exoplanets, and biologists are uncovering new insights into the complexity and diversity of life on Earth, the authors said in a briefing.

These discoveries bolster the chance that life could exist on other worlds, and therefore all space exploration missions should incorporate technology to find traces of alien organisms, according to the report.

Our present view of the universe is more crammed with planets than ever before; the 2,300 confirmed exoplanets discovered by NASA’s Kepler mission led to estimates that six out of every 10 stars could host Earth-like planets.

The sheer number of known exoplanets offers exciting opportunities for finding biosignatures — chemical markers that indicate signs of life.

In the report, scientists recommended that NASA accelerate the development of technologies to detect microscopic organisms, citing the current lack of a single “flight-ready instrument” that can travel to a distant world and measure the composition of its elements, minerals and organic matter.

The report also suggested that direct imaging systems that suppress starlight should be used outside our solar system, to improve detection of biosignatures from planets that might orbit those stars. NASA could also plan more missions that peer under the surface of exoplanets — rocky, icy or ocean worlds to find subterranean alien life, according to the report.

However, efforts to locate our extraterrestrial neighbors, either in our own solar system or light-years away, will take more than technology alone.

And all of these advancements will cost money and NASA’s only plan to return astronauts to the moon after nearly 50 years just got slammed by an internal audit.

NASA’s Space Launch System is designed to be the world’s most powerful rocket — one able to take astronauts to the moon and Mars.

However, the $12.2-billion effort to develop and launch the first missions is running years behind schedule and faces major cost overruns.

On Wednesday, government auditors published a report highlighting problems with the work of NASA and Boeing, the biggest contractor for SLS.

The report flagged $64 million in extra fees awarded by NASA, slammed Boeing for “poor performance,” and questioned the “long-term sustainability” of the super-rocket program.

The report even calls into question the sustainability of the entire project. Meaning that even with all of the bright ideas and design – the rocket won’t even make it off the launch pad to the moon – making the newly manned moon project a pipe dream.

Auditors put much of the blame for high costs and delays on Boeing, one of the prime SLS contractors. The company is responsible for about 56% of the new rocket’s cost but is year’s behind-schedule in delivering the biggest section of the rocket.

Now, doesn’t this give you more doubts as to whether or not we went to the moon in the first place?

Sure, we can send up satellites, probes, and robots, but a man to the moon with a new rocket is something we can’t do.

We were going to do it in 2015 but Barack Obama made that go away, we are still supposed to send a man to the moon by 2020 and NASA will not even be able to do that.

Elon Musk’s company has revealed the first private citizen to be sent around the moon but still has to build a rocket and spacecraft capable of getting there.

Now the question is whether or not the first space tourist will ever get off of the ground.

The new report slamming the efforts of NASA is now raising new doubts about any timely or affordable completion of the roughly 36-story rocket system they have proposed or the suite of the ambitious lunar and Martian expeditions that it’s supposed to make possible.

Auditors determined that NASA is slated to run out of money for SLS about three years earlier than planned and that Boeing’s work on the first core stage of the rocket will be “double the anticipated cost.”

So the only dream of the moon remains in a film that fictionalizes “The First Man” and the importance of what was accomplished in 1969 which appears to be the same thing that has been accomplished in 2018, we again managed to put men on a moon set gave them some lines to make everyone feel good.

Except for this time, the astronauts on the moon set will not plant the American flag in the dirt.

The entire film is a cinematic masterpiece – a breathtaking spectacle that is critically acclaimed except they left out that one moment where the astronauts take the American flag and plant it in the lunar soil.

After the movie debuted at the Venice Film Festival, reports began to trickle out that First Man did not feature this particular iconic moment of the moon landing.

A negative tweet from Buzz Aldrin, who joined Armstrong on the Apollo mission to the moon that included the hashtags “#proudtobeanAmerican #freedom #honor #onenation” further fanned the flames.

However, the directors and producer did a bit of damage control saying that you do see the American flag many times in the film and that there was no political reason behind not focusing on that moment in history and desecrating and important piece of moon history.

If you decide to see the movie, First Man this weekend, maybe you should be asking if we will ever go back to the moon. Maybe you will become a moon landing doubter or denier and realize that the only way we will see another moon landing is the same way we saw it in 1969, only this time with better actors, special effects and a bigger screen.

Written by Ron Patton

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