Exposing PseudoAstronomy

July 16, 2009

The Apollo Moon Hoax: Footprints Need Water to Form, Right? And How Hoaxers Argue


As part of my continuing series on the Apollo Moon hoax idea, I’m going to address a fairly minor claim that’s made about the astronaut footprints, and whether or not you actually need moist material in order to hold a foot impression.

All posts in this series:

The Claim

The basic claim goes as follows: The soil on the moon looks like its wet or made of plaster or something like that. After all, look at how sharp those footprints and impressions are!

Another version is: “Footprints are the result of weight displacing air or moisture from between particles of dirt, dust, or sand. The astronauts left distinct footprints all over the place.” (Dave Cosnette)

Still another version, this time from Bart Sibrel during a “debate” on the March 20, 2009 episode of Coast to Coast AM (around 10 min 30 sec): “If there’s no moisture on the moon, then how come you can see footprints perfectly? Because when you step in the desert where there’s no moisture in the sand, all you see is a circle. But in the photographs of the footprint on the moon, you see an absolute impression of the, uh, footprint indicating that there is moisture in the soil which means they’re not on the moon.”

What Makes a Footprint or Impression Hold its Shape?

After hearing this claim, the basic question that it raises is how does a material hold its shape? The answer is that there are two main ways.

The first way is that there is a glue-like substance between the individual particles of the material. The obvious choice on Earth is going to be water — water acts like a glue and will help a material hold its shape. An example of this is to take a cup of sand and try to make a pile of it. Measure the angle of the slope of the pile. Now add some water, and make the pile as steep as you can again. The slope will be larger because the water acts like a glue to hold the grains of sand together.

Obviously, this is what moon hoax proponents will have you believe is the only way that a material can hold its shape.

But, there is a second method. That’s when the particles that make up the material themselves are able to interlock, a little like puzzle pieces, and so can maintain their bulk shape. A good example on Earth of this would be a pile of flour able to hold almost any impression you make in it.

Digression – Disingenuine Nature of Bart Sibrel’s Arguments

I am bringing this up because it is an example of the way that hoax proponents argue — namely, in this case, Bart Sibrel. It is an example of how he fails to form a consistent picture, and even contradicts himself in his claims in just over one minute.

Directly following the quote I gave above, a caller into the show replied by effectively stating what I did above, and gave the example of flour:

Caller: If you take flour —

Sibrel: Flour has moisture in it.

Caller: — a very very fine powdered substance, then you step on it with no moisture in it at all, then it’s going to make a footprint.

Sibrel: Flour has moisture in it, you can feel it when you put your hand —

Caller: Of course flour has moisture in it on Earth. But you know you can take other substances that don’t have moisture in them and you can still make a footprint. I mean this —

Sibrel: Like what? Give me an example.

Caller: You can take fine rock dust —

Sibrel: Yeah, but you’re doing that on Earth where there’s moisture everywhere, the moon has never had moisture …

He goes on, but the point is made. Sibrel started out by using an example of sand not holding a footprint (note — sand on Earth). Just over a minute later, he contradicts himself by saying that there’s actually moisture everywhere on Earth … so my question is, then, why doesn’t sand in the desert hold its shape, Bart?

Another quality that this exchange brings to light – and is much more obvious when you actually listen to the audio – is that hoax proponents will advance their claim, and if actually in a live debate, they will interrupt the respondent constantly, and they will place the onus on the responder rather than themselves to come up with more and more examples or reasons why their claim is wrong.

You’ll notice in the above that the caller gave a perfectly fine example of flour, but Sibrel completely dismisses it by asking for “an” example – ignoring that he had just been given an example. Then, when the caller gives a second example, Sibrel goes back, sidesteps the example, and effectively states that any example is no good because it’s on Earth where there’s water. This is a classic example of the “shifting the goal post” logical fallacy.

What’s the Lunar Regolith Like?

First – a note on terminology is that astronomers call the surface of the moon to be made of “regolith,” rather than “soil,” since soil implies an organic (life) origin.

Anyway, the surface material of the moon has been created over the last ~4.5 billion years by meteorite and micrometeorite bombardment. It’s been pulverized. But, it has not been smoothed out due to normal processes of erosion on Earth, such as by wind or water.

Consequently, the lunar regolith is made of, effectively, shards of rock. And microscopic shards of rock are going to be able to interlock just as in the second method I described above. You don’t need moisture to make impressions when you have particles that can interlock.

Why Does the Lunar Surface “Look Wet?”

Apollo "Wet" Surface
A part of this claim that I’ve neglected so far is why the surface actually does look wet in some photographs. The reason is simply that it looks darker. We are evolutionarily trained that when we look at two surfaces and one is darker than the other, we will likely think it looks wet. For example, go to the beach. Wet sand is darker than dry sand — it’s that simple.

The reason that some places on the lunar surface “look wet” is because the material was (a) rougher at a centimeter-size scale (such as where the astronauts were digging or walking around), and since all the Apollo missions took place during morning on the moon when the shadows were very long, a centimeter-scale roughness will cast shadows over the area making the material look dark. An example of this is shown in the photograph on the right.

Final Thoughts

This is yet another example of anomaly hunting in the basis of the claim, and one where the hoax proponents rely yet again on the majority of your experience on Earth (when material looks wet, and why material holds together) in order to propagate their claim.

But, yet again, when you actually examine all the factors involved, the hoax claim evaporates much like water would on the lunar surface.



  1. Footprints require:

    1. either moisture to stick material together
    2. air to compress material

    Moon has neither moisture or air. LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE OVERLOOKING BOTH OF THESE. Your flour example contains both moisture/humidity and air. Any example you try to confuse people with here on Earth lacks any integrity or honesty because all material here on Earth has moisture/humidity and air.

    Furthermore, 40 years later man cannot go higher than 1/5 of 1% as high as the fake Moon Landing, which only happened under 1 criminal President, NIXON.

    Comment by Former US Marine — July 19, 2009 @ 8:17 am | Reply

    • I’m sorry, but you’re simply wrong here. As I explained, a shape can be held without moisture when the pieces that make up the medium will “lock together” on their own, which is the case with the lunar regolith.

      As for us not having gone back yet, we don’t have the vehicle to do so, nor the capital, and political will is still lacking despite both Bush’s and Obama’s apparent desire to go back.

      Comment by astrostu206265 — July 19, 2009 @ 9:48 am | Reply

      • “we don’t have the vehicle to do so, nor the capital…”
        – so in 1969 the US gov’t had the “vehicle”? you’re saying that in 1969 the US gov’t has far advanced technology than today, 2011?
        – what about all the satellites & the space shuttles? why don’t any of them explore beyond 500 miles above the earth? why are they not exploring beyond the radiation belt now? but they were not afraid to go beyond that in 1969?
        – computers that time was, what? UNIVAC? & yet it “landed men on the moon”….computers during the space shuttle are what, pentium 3 or 4? & yet disasters keep haunting their space program?

        Comment by eaglehorn — September 5, 2011 @ 6:11 am

      • …”True science had already determined that there should have been four to eight feet of moon dust on all the Moon’s surface. An astronaut would have sunk deep into the dust even with the Moon’s weak gravity.”

        Comment by eaglehorn — September 6, 2011 @ 2:07 am

    • The Mythbusters tested this claim by putting lunar “simultant” (artificial material with the same microscopic jagged edges as real lunar soil) in a vacuum chamber and lowering a boot onto it. And a nice bootprint formed.

      Comment by Phil Karn — February 18, 2010 @ 11:04 am | Reply

    • The relevance of criminal President Nixon is… what? He took office 6 months before Apollo 11. Didn’t have anything to do with Apollo. Hated it, in fact, because it was Kennedy’s puppy. Took advantage of the situation, though, to waste the astronauts limited surface time to give ’em a call thus getting his voice broadcast worldwide.

      May he burn in hell forever.

      Comment by Woof — September 6, 2016 @ 12:58 pm | Reply

  2. Can you please describe how pieces of dust “interlock.” By what molecular process does this occur? I do not claim to know if moisture is required or not, but I am interested in learning more.


    Comment by observer — September 12, 2009 @ 8:24 pm | Reply

    • Think of puzzle pieces, or, to a lesser extent, glass shards. Think of a container of push-pins. To some extent, these will all maintain a shape that is pressed into them on a macroscopic scale. Now, scale that down dramatically and it’s effectively the same principle. It’s not a chemical or molecular process, rather a simple physical process.

      Comment by astrostu206265 — September 12, 2009 @ 8:41 pm | Reply

      • The process by which powder takes a print in the absence of water or air pressure (which both increase the effect but are not necessary for it) is surface energy. If you compact powder the surface area is reduced due to intimate powder contact. This means it takes less energy to hold the print than for it to collapse. If the print collapsed it would require energy to generate the increased surface energy of the ‘collapsed’ print.

        It’s not ‘interlocking shards’ it’s surface physics. Blind leading the blind.

        Comment by Kelly — October 19, 2009 @ 5:40 am

    • Flour mimics this nicely flour does not need to be wet in order to leave a print in it.

      Comment by gate420Peter — September 5, 2011 @ 10:38 am | Reply

  3. Very easy to give a new name to dust/sand or whatever. “Lunar regolith”! What rubbish. I agree with Former Marine, and think that astrostu is in the ‘bull[—-] baffles brains’ situation. Just observe. A dead certain give away is the high flying American flag. Perhaps they took a stand mounted hairdryer on board or perhaps the non atmosphere has a special flag flying wind called lunar flagolift.

    Comment by TC — October 8, 2009 @ 1:41 pm | Reply

    • Perhaps you should have a peak at an actual picture, and see if you can guess how the flag is flying high:

      Comment by Mark — October 18, 2009 @ 7:39 pm | Reply

      • It’s obviously flying because they put a metal rod in the top of it before placing on the movie set. Duh!

        Comment by Garon — October 21, 2010 @ 2:10 pm

      • The flag look like it is waving because first there are 2 bars the obvious side bar and ten a bar running across the top the top bar was bent so the flag ended up being wrinkled as he was spinning the rod to drive it into the surface the flag appeared to be waving do you really think that Nasa if they had faked the moon landing would have spent 300 billion dollars and released a waving flag to the public get real.

        Comment by gate420 — December 1, 2010 @ 10:27 am

    • Have you actually looked at lunar regolith under a microscope? Perhaps you should before you reject the name. It’s called ‘regolith’ because it’s broken up by countless high velocity impacts into tiny little sharp particles that look vastly different from bits of dust or sand on the earth.

      The moon is an utterly alien world that lacks water, an atmosphere and life. Yet some people who’ve never been there still seem very confident about how it is up there.

      Thanks, but I prefer to go by the reports of the 12 who actually did go, and by those who’ve spent their careers studying the materials brought back.

      Comment by Phil — September 2, 2010 @ 4:58 pm | Reply

    • Actually, if twist the pole on earth it will swing, right? Technically the same concept applies on the surface of the moon except that it will go on much longer. For further confirmation watch the MythBusters episode.

      Comment by iegth Grader — August 18, 2019 @ 4:23 pm | Reply

  4. Mark, I think it’s interesting how you think you can see a flag “flying” or waving in a still picture.

    Comment by astrostu206265 — October 18, 2009 @ 10:18 pm | Reply

  5. My reference as to why it is the interlocking pieces that is a major part of why the prints hold their shape (two pages, same site) – lunar environment and read questions 3 and 4.

    Kelly, your explanation would seem to make sense, except for this: The lunar surface on the footprint-size at macroscopic scale is for all intents and purposes flat. Fairly little surface area. Compare that to a bootprint, which has ridges and troughs, increasing the surface area of that volume. I would also think that the energy for collapse would be provided by the gravitational potential energy of the grains that are higher up … hence why the surface was relatively flat to begin with.

    Comment by astrostu206265 — November 5, 2009 @ 9:54 am | Reply

  6. The reduction in surface area of the powder is due to powder compaction it’s nothing to do with the foot print shape. It’s the surface between the powder particles that is reduced. It is this surface energy (or reduction of) that holds the footprint together.

    Comment by Kelly — November 6, 2009 @ 8:09 am | Reply

  7. they just found moisture on the moon in 2009

    Comment by anonymous — November 14, 2009 @ 3:12 pm | Reply

    • Liquid water though? I would assume it’s frozen water, or if liquid, trapped below the surface. Liquid water, exposed to a high vacuum, would boil off very quickly.

      Comment by GlowingApple — November 27, 2009 @ 11:05 pm | Reply

      • Yes, it’s only frozen water, and only in those areas of the moon cold enough for the vapor pressure of that water to be extremely low. It’s been there a long time, so otherwise it would have sublimated long ago.

        Comment by Phil — September 2, 2010 @ 5:00 pm

  8. A more conclusive test to either confirm or deny this would be to take a fine particulate (chromatography grade silica gel for example), place it in a vacuum to remove all moisture and, under a full vacuum, press a mold into it to create a print. Unfortunately I don’t have access to a large vacuum chamber, but I’m guessing some proponents of the hoax idea have tried this before.

    I would think that without wind or water to erode the print, the form would likely stay due only to packing of the particles (as was described in the article). Friction between the particles, and to a lesser extent weaker intermolecular forces acting between particles, could be enough to overcome the lower gravity on the moon.

    Comment by GlowingApple — November 27, 2009 @ 10:59 pm | Reply

    • Mythbusters have already done this and proved you do not need moisture to make a bootprint

      Comment by gate420 — December 1, 2010 @ 10:20 am | Reply

      • Do you trust Mythbusters? This is television not unquestionable truth. Some of their methods and results can be questioned.

        Comment by Ian Stone — December 26, 2020 @ 4:19 pm

      • Hi Istvan, you said I am military, wrong I’m afraid. I am retired and worked mainly in electronic test, including semi conductor test. Never had anything to do with the military or the US.
        Of course gravity would be the force to make the footprint collapse. Two things in play in my estimation. 1. The much reduced gravity on the moon 1/6 th of earths gravity. In almost zero gravity the print would not collapse. 2. The grains of regolith themselves, there is no weathering on the moon, so no tumbling so therefore the grains are not smooth. This means the grains would in fact interlock compared to wind blown, wave smoothed earth sand that we are used to.

        Comment by John Adkins — December 27, 2020 @ 1:48 am

      • Merry Christmas, yes, one guy above mentioned a microscopic picture of regolith grain. Can someone please upload that pic?

        Comment by Istvan Kovarcsik — December 27, 2020 @ 4:43 am

  9. This picture of Aldrin standing next to the LM is from a copy of the original made onto film with fairly high contrast. A higher quality scan from the original (available at the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal) shows much less drop-of of illumination toward the horizon.

    Comment by Phil Karn — February 18, 2010 @ 11:07 am | Reply

  10. First of all, the science that you are using does not make sense. There are many substances that interlock right here on earth without moisture; and they are called rocks. Rock is a compressed substance that lacks moisture. When Moon dust locks together it becomes rock. Now we only talk about the footprints of the moon astronauts, and people try to show how it works without moisture, but let’s look at something else besides the mysterious foot prints, and I will not even talk about the dust on the suits. Let’s look at the aluminum that covers the tires on the LRV. Now you talk about interlocking, but every scientist knows that in a vacuum there is no way that DUST will stick to aluminum. It is physically impossible without moisture. The only reason dirt sticks to metal on earth, is because of what is known as oxidation, And clearly oxygen is not a factor of the Apollo missions. What NASA scientist wants us to believe is that lunar soil is unique to the entire universe, and just because we supposedly went there, the lunar soil and rocks are totally different then any physical presents that are here on this earth, or any other moon or planet. This means when the astronauts landed on the moon they changed Einstein’s, Newton’s, and every theory that exist about space.

    Comment by Len — September 1, 2010 @ 9:16 pm | Reply

    • How does every scientist know that in a vacuum there’s no way for dust to stick to aluminum, or any other material? The astronauts complained that lunar dust was quite abrasive and it stuck to just about everything.

      That’s because most of the chemical compounds that make up the lunar regolith (various oxides, silicates, titanates, etc) are quite hard, and the individual grains are quite sharp. They were formed by a steady rain of tiny particles from space impacting at very high velocity, several km/sec at least. And there’s no air or liquid water to erode them.

      Aluminum’s hardness varies depending on the particular alloy, but I don’t see any particular reason why these hard, sharp little bits can’t scratch and adhere to aluminum just as they do to just about every other material the astronauts brought with them.

      Comment by Phil — September 2, 2010 @ 5:08 pm | Reply

      • If it stuck to everything, than why is there no dust on the lunar landing pads? why are they squeaky clean?

        Comment by Nathan — March 28, 2016 @ 4:38 pm

      • How do you know how moon dust is shaped. Have you been there?

        The moon rocks they supposedly brought down where given to labs who investigated it. They found remains of earth critters in them. Don’t know how they got to the moon, most like the Russian have been there before and put them there to make Americans look bad.

        Comment by ockothefrisian — January 18, 2019 @ 12:03 pm

    • Hi Len, I don’t think the tyres had aluminium in it’s tread. The basic ‘tyre’ was made from ‘piano’ wire with possibly titanium chevrons. I would think that aluminium strips by be too brittle for tyre treads.

      Comment by John Adkins — October 29, 2016 @ 5:20 am | Reply

  11. here are 3 sites for any non believer of the moon landings real proof that the landings are indeed real and that all skeptics claims have been debunked http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/tv/foxapollo.html http://www.space.com/entertainment/cs-080827-mythbusters-apollo-moon-hoax.html Now my last piece of evidence is from Nasa but they must be shown that the newest pictures are from the new lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has taken photos of the Appolo landing sites http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/multimedia/lroimages/apollosites.html.If after reading all the materials at these 3 sites you still don’t believe I feel very sorry for you and what you must think of human,and you miss out on the real excitement and achievement of the 1969 Apollo moon landing.

    Comment by gate420 — December 1, 2010 @ 10:35 am | Reply

    • Ok, Fox News is NOT a credible source for anything. The mythbusters specialize in Hollywood physics and only have an half hour to explain what noone in 40 years has, and the NASA page no longer exists. Did someone pay you to post this?

      Comment by Shawn Cooper — September 29, 2012 @ 12:09 pm | Reply

  12. How did the Astronauts take this picture of the imprint, the Astronaut would have to of been at a 90 degree angle at least?

    Comment by Eesha — July 3, 2011 @ 5:44 pm | Reply

    • Oh, I don’t know… Maybe after making the footprint he moved his foot over a couple of inches to take a picture of his foot and the footprint. Doesn’t seem that difficult.

      Comment by Garon — August 4, 2011 @ 1:14 pm | Reply

    • haha! that was a fake comment. It had to be. No ones that dumb….are you?!

      Comment by Pie — February 14, 2012 @ 11:59 am | Reply

    • The camera is detachable from the chest out to use easily for instances like this. For details look at ;


      Comment by John Adkins — December 27, 2020 @ 1:51 am | Reply

  13. Wow, we know more about the moon than the bottom of the ocean. It’s the other side of the moon that has been peppered with craters, but apparently enough on this side of the moon, too? A layer of gray concrete pre-mix has the consistency of flour, which they did have in the 60’s, as well. Perfect for the hoax. And, with all of the modern telescopes (even since the 60’s) why is it that only an official photo (recently taken) has been released of the landing sites? No amateurs could locate it? CGI anyone? Or maybe they all had lunar dust sticking to their camera lenses, and thus, blurring the shot? The same dust that stuck to everything, refused to stick to the landing footpads. Aaaand, more money has been spent on trying to explain it away than actually getting there, which the Russians (first to outerspace) have yet to do. We haven’t gone back, because we were never there in the first place. Not because the fuel prices have been jacked up (I dare you to claim that gasoline and oil was used to get us there, outside of plastics of course). It’s all been cold war propaganda, used to scare off the communists, and dupe the general population into believing we’ve got it covered, albeit hidden for interests of someone’s security. If you are going to school us on convection and conduction, you might not want to debunk both as occuring on the moon.
    (P.S. I’ve seen plenty of footage of those flags moving without any hands on them.) 🙂

    Comment by Shawn Cooper — September 29, 2012 @ 11:55 am | Reply

    • Learn some optics. The size of the lens/mirror required to image the landing sites from Earth is completely impractical.

      Comment by Woof — September 6, 2016 @ 12:49 pm | Reply

  14. We have full panoramic colour images from the Mars mission ..Question is.. why no nice detail shots of our moon? why haven’t NASA sent a orbiter or satellite to the moon and sent us back some really nice panoramic colour photos of the moon? you would think with today’s technology we could Google the moon just as easily as we Google the Earth. The images we have of the moon are mainly distant, vague in black and white certainly not close up images like we have of Mars.

    Comment by Ray Herring — June 19, 2015 @ 4:20 pm | Reply

  15. Has anyone actually compared the sole of Armstrongs Shoe, to the prints we can all see? The recent stories about museums saving his suit show a clear video image of the sole of his shoes, and they are totally different to the footprints we can all see.
    So is the suit, that the museums all perceive to be his genuine suit that he wore on the lunar landing, fake? Or are the footprints fake?

    Comment by Wayne Acathan — July 26, 2015 @ 12:21 pm | Reply

    • I believe that the shoes that made the footprints were overshoes, worn over the suit shoes.

      They would have been left on the surface along with the PLSSs, misc trash, and poop bags.

      Comment by Woof — October 15, 2015 @ 11:31 pm | Reply

  16. Hi Folks,
    Way way up there there is an”official” photo near the explanation of why certain areas look wet. Now look at it again. You can CLEARLY see that the light source only illuminate an area about 20-30 feet in diameter. Everywhere else is much darker. How can the sun lit up such a small area only from millions of miles away? Answer, daily double eh. It cannot. That small area is lit by a studio overhead light from up very close.
    Again this is another clear example of mixing studio pictures with “real” pictures which fuels hoax theorist to no end. And ,again ,the guy who writes these debunkings should know better not to use studio pictures to prove any point. Which makes me wonder and makes me repeat the question posed before: who pays this debunking guy and how much for his work? If he was such an honest guy he should disclose this information as well. And guess what, it would not do any bad to him either. no one works for free and this debunking is a lot of work.
    Cheers Steve

    Comment by Steve K. — February 8, 2016 @ 1:56 pm | Reply

  17. Can you tell me how the astronauts of Apollo 11, for example, made it through the Van Allen Belt? Can you explain why NASA is still doing research as to how this can be done? Why don’t they simply use the strategy that was implemented in the first missions?

    Comment by etherstage — June 18, 2016 @ 5:02 pm | Reply

    • How’d they make it through? Brace yourself: They just went through. It was at a less dense part of the belts, and they went through at speed, so there wasn’t all that much accumulated radiation.

      Think of it as running across a football field on a cloudy day vs crawling across it on a bright sunny day. Not very likely to get a sunburn if you run on a cloudy day.

      The only “research” that NASA is doing on getting through the belts (that I have heard of) was an instrumented test flight of Orion a few years ago, which recorded the exposure in the capsule. They’re more careful these days than they were in the 60s.

      Comment by Woof — September 6, 2016 @ 12:37 pm | Reply

  18. No footprints would have been possible judging by Armstrong’s suit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/badastronomy/19237440824/in/album-72157655706447359/

    Comment by Jim — September 6, 2016 @ 11:49 am | Reply

    • On the surface the astronauts wore overshoes. Those made the prints, not the suit shoes.

      Comment by Woof — September 6, 2016 @ 12:25 pm | Reply

      • Your explanation makes no sense, it’s as if you’re inventing scenarios out of thin air. WHy would they wear overshoes? And wouldn’t the overshoes be visible in the photos? And why would they take them off? And come to think of it, how coould they even put ON the overshoes, given the hampering design of the space suits? And why would they leave them on the surface? So they’d climb up into the lunar lander and just at the top they’d take them off? Or try to prise them off at the foot of the lunar module? Your hypothesis is complete nonsense.

        Comment by Woofwoof — May 12, 2017 @ 2:13 am

      • Woofwoof. Same reason you leave your muddy shoes in the mud room of your house. Lunar regolith makes a serious mess and they wanted to reduce the amount that got into the LEM. Check out the recent Chinese rover that failed to move more than a few hundred feet due to underpredicting how sticky and damaging the regolith is (to the drive train).

        Comment by PaulioStringcheese — June 12, 2017 @ 12:58 am

  19. On the footprint question, I was thinking that if the very fine dust was in fact quite smooth and wasn’t of an interlocking nature, it would tend not to keep its shape say on earth because of gravity pulling it downwards. Maybe on a much reduced gravity environment like the moon, the force in pulling it down and breaking it up would be massively reduced. This would enable the footprint to keep it’s shape.

    Comment by John Adkins — October 21, 2016 @ 6:16 am | Reply

  20. Someone said that there should be about four feet of moon dust. I agree, but why would they sink four feet? How many feet of dirt is on earth? Is it two inches? Because that’s how far my footprints go.

    Comment by Felicity B — March 21, 2018 @ 1:33 pm | Reply

  21. Oh and on the comment about footwear here is a link to a picture that has all of his gear including his overshoes https://www.quora.com/Why-doesn%E2%80%99t-the-first-step-on-the-moon-match-Neil-Armstrong%E2%80%99s-spacesuit-boots

    Comment by Felicity B — March 21, 2018 @ 1:39 pm | Reply

    • Hi Felicity,you see the problem with your -or most of others’- explanation is that as you explain one thing you create yet another problem/question. Today is no different; next to your exhaustive explanation on how footprints on the Moon can be easily created you are showing a picture. On that picture one can see quite vividly a roughly circular heavily lighted spot with everywhere else being quite dark. Now you need to explain how is that possible with “the Apollo missions took place during morning on the moon”.cheers Istvan K. Suspect each moment, for it is a thief, tiptoeing away with more than it brings.J.U.

      Comment by Istvan Kovarcsik — March 23, 2018 @ 9:24 am | Reply

      • Hi Istvan, you may or not believe that the missions did indeed take place during the lunar morning. During the morning the sun is low in the sky. The sun is to the right of the picture as you can see where the sun lights small rocks on the right while the left side of the rocks are very dark. Look at the original image below and you can see that all parts of the photo towards the sun are bright, all parts in shade are very dark, all parts that are flat are in partial light. All this is as expected!! Remember that the footprint is in a depression. maybe you never looked at the full original photo. The photo is not in sharp focus, Buzz Aldrin took these photos and probably never set the focus adjustment to ‘close’.

        Cheers, John.

        Comment by John Adkins — March 23, 2018 @ 10:01 am

  22. Since 1972 nobody has returned to the moon. In these 45 years humans has been capable of spectacular achievements: detect gravitational waves, apply genetic editing techniques to modify embryos and treat hereditary diseases; develop promising treatments for cancer; have cars that drive themselves; discover solar systems with exoplanets in distant galaxies. But we have not returned to the Moon. Why?

    Comment by Anees Shah — October 12, 2018 @ 3:44 am | Reply

    • None of what you listed has anything to do with getting humans to the moon.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — October 12, 2018 @ 9:20 am | Reply

  23. I thank John Adkins, who as very few are, is using his full name as I and as others should too eh? Good on you Bro! But my question was answered way above about the 20 foot circle being illuminated so nicely in an “official” explanation, the pic being a studio photo which in itself prove nothing. (Your other photo by the way is useless to explain anything. If I question “a” pic you must not pull up another one to explain!)
    Anyway being sort of a math guy here is some math for you guys. According to the same “explanation” the surface of the moon is constantly bombarded with all kinds and sizes of particles from “large(er)” ones down to those finicky “regolith” size miniatures for, say, about 4 billion years so far. Cool. Now all these self made experts are claiming that these small particles tend and can and WILL somehow “interlock” and the low gravity on moon (and no wind etc.) will NOT break these structures down. Cool as well. So here is the math. How much of these small particles are actually hitting on the surface per year? Could we agree, say, one tenth of a thousand millimeter? If those of you who do not use metric I can testify that this “height” is so insignificant that it could be visualized only by the highest resolution of a microscope. The average hair width is, by the way, about 0.1 mm which is a thousand times the height we are talking about! Careful now, these regolith pieces are much larger than even the hair width but I STILL use one tenth of a thousand millimeter accumulated height per year to allow for, say, a few thousands of years here and there when absolutely nothing hit the surface which is way beyond of the wildest dreams of the best “debunkers” but I let it slide anyway.
    So how much is 4 billions times one tenth of a thousand millimeters? It is (Google it) 400,000 millimeters which is 400 meters which is about 1,312 feet. (Some guy way above said that the regolith should be about 4 feet deep. Where did he get that from?) Now here is the kicker. Anyone who has ever come, say, a mile close to random distribution (of anything) will understand that these particles hitting the surface are NOT distributed absolutely evenly across the entire area AND IF they are somehow interconnected by “sticking to each other” AND the low gravity is not pulling them down/apart THEN they should form clusters, “mole hills”, and all kinds of fantastic “out of this world” strange looking formations from, say, one to 20 feet or even higher ones here and there and everywhere. Now that would be a sight to behold. What do we see instead. Flat surface most everywhere with no more than a couple of inches “loose” regolith. What is your conclusion? My conclusion is that the debunkers’ science about their “pieces of a puzzle sticking together” just does not add up. Finally, does that mean that they did not go? No it does not; maybe there must be a very weak “glue” up there to hold these pieces together IF and WHEN there is a minor imprint like a shoe step in it but which glue is not strong enough to hold anything higher than a couple of inches together. But even this flimsy explanation is very hard to justify because then we should see at least a bunch of clusters 2-3 inches high all around but we do not. And NO small rocks all over the place do not qualify, sorry!
    cheers istvan Kovarcsik

    Comment by Istvan Kovarcsik — October 13, 2018 @ 3:38 pm | Reply

    • Hi Istvan, “THEN they should form clusters, “mole hills”, and all kinds of fantastic “out of this world” strange looking formations from, say, one to 20 feet or even higher ones”. My understating is that the fine regolith is formed my meteorite impact on the lunar surface. A question for you. If you had a spring gun that had say a shotgun cartridge fixed to the end of the spring that was contained in the barrel such that when the cartridge reached the end of the barrel it stopped dead, so that anything in it when the spring was released the contents would be fired out of the gun by themselves. Now if you are on the lunar surface and the cartridge has had 10 gms of lead shot (painted bright orange) put in it and the spring pulled back and the gun is in a fixed position, say at 20 degrees inclination above the horizontal and it is fired. Now do the same with 10 gms of talcum powder fired at the same inclination. How would you describe the trajectory and distribution of the two contents of the cartridge in each firing? Assumptions; the acceleration is the same for both contents as the spring pressure is the same and the content weight is the same for both materials, the placement of the gun is identical in both cases. Cheers, John.

      Comment by John Adkins — October 17, 2018 @ 1:13 am | Reply

      • Hi John, thanx for the quick reply. I really enjoy your honesty and unbiased professionalism although I could not understand most of the reply. You are the kind of guy I’d like to meet one day for a tea. Although you are military and I am not. (FYI I only got two yrs worth of astrophysics. Way not enough to be an expert of anything.) But I digress. I know I have not looked much into regolith formation itself before, now I am on an “every day” level though. I am reading Wikipedia -for what it’s worth?- about regolith.
        To start with it says on the second line that regolith is present here on Earth. Wow, say what? That in itself throws a monkey wrench into everything all of us have been saying. On both sides I should say. After I had posted my previous comment, I went to bed and was wondering what else could I have said and one of the things (of many) was exactly this as follows. In astronomical terms where distances are measured in parsecs (~ 3.26 light years for those who does not know) we can safely say that the Moon is practically almost attached to the Earth just a hop, skip, and jump away. So if things like meteorites have been depositing regolith on the Moon then those same guys must also deposit regolith on Earth as well since those same type of and same material meteorites and other “flying objects” will also hit the Earth due to the extremely close proximity. Now Wikipedia says something further down as “Earth regolith” of being composed in 6 different component and having a height from zero to hundreds of meters. It talks a whole lot about regolith presence and its uses on Earth (most fascinating stuff!) but it does not mention that all or any sum of it comes also from meteorite bombardment; as a matter of fact it does not say anything it coming from “outside”. What it says is that regolith on Earth originates from “weathering and biological processes”. Well my friends the hundreds of meters of stuff MUST come from somewhere, no? I does not “grow” on Earth. What happens to it on the surface of the Earth, after it arrives, is a different matter altogether. We have it, period. At lots of places too. So creating extremely similar Moon like scenarios -videos, pics. “foot prints”, etc.- here on Earth is child’s play would not you agree? The presence of moisture in it here on Earth could be the elusive “glue” we’ve been looking for provided of course that those pics have been made here on Earth.
        Here is an important side issue. From a scientific point of view only (forget the Russians) why the heck go to the Moon and bring back regolith when we have a lot more here on Earth? Wanna study Moon regolith? Pick up a scoop here, dry it out in vacuum and voila you got Moon regolith. A hell of a lot of cheaper this way, no? Not the same, you say? Gimme a break please! It is the same. If Earth regolith was in any way different from Moon regolith then it would be called something else, no?
        And now here is the kicker! Here on Earth we have regolith at places hundreds of meters thick BUT all of it is SMOOTH surface; yet we have lots of moisture to hold the grains together and, remember, according to the “experts” these grains have “velcro” like hooks to climb on each other, to hang on for dear life on each others side front and back and everywhere to create structures allowing clearly defined,say, foot prints etc. or, as I indicated in my previous comment, should create fantastic looking “mole hills” and other crazy formations. So I ask again, most respectfully, where is the evidence? As a matter of fact Wikipedia itself says that: “People also call various types of earthly regolith by such names as dirt, dust, gravel, sand, and (when wet) mud”.
        Now the second part of the Wiki article is Regolith on the Moon. For my money NASA should have banned that part altogether for it blows the “expert’s” Moon regolith -grains clinging together- theories way out of the water. You must read it yourself, I am not quoting the whole thing. Here are a couple of interesting pieces. “The regolith is generally from 4 to 5 m thick in mare areas and from 10 to 15 m in the older highland regions”. (If true then I was wrong by a factor of x100, my bad, don’t matter though.) “The density of regolith at the Apollo 15 landing site averages approximately 1.35 g/cm3 for the top 30 cm,…”. (It gets denser as you go deeper and deeper.) Guys, are you listening!? 30 cm is about a foot (11.811 inch) so have you ever, I repeat ever, seen any of the Moon pics where the dudes are wading in ankle (or higher) deep regolith muck? By the way 1.35 grams is about 0.05 ounces so the density of the stuff MUST be very very light almost like “true” dust indeed. With absolutely no moisture present then how the damn heck is possible to even form, let alone HOLD clearly defined structures in the stuff, like footprints, 2-3 inches high? Now to debunk the debunker I will quote here some of the last part of the Moon section where Wiki says that the visible top few inches on the surface of the Moon is NOT even regolith but simple “dust”. That is specified to state that the concerns of the lunar module sinking into too deep at landing were not true or realistic at all. Geeez, things get better and better, no? Yo, “experts” what is on the surface on the Moon now: is it a few inches (or cms, don’t matter) of dust or “solid” regolith? You cannot have your cake and eat it too Bros. My “Final Answer” here for the million bucks first prize: if the first few inches are nothing but dust then, you must agree, there is no way in hell that the dudes up there could ever leave clearly defined footprints -or any prints- 2-3 inches (or a few cms) high in it behind. No way no how. Period. Here is one for the debunkers though. Therefore all that dust was easily blown away at landing so the the disks on which the lunar module sits on the surface of the Moon should NOT be covered with dust. Now, say, Wiki is lying (and so is Joseph Veverka of Cornell who stated that it was indeed only dust a few cms deep) and there was, is, etc. NO dust present at all. Then we are left with at least one foot very loose regolith and denser material as we go deeper and deeper as above. In this case the down thrust of the landing cone must have blown away at least a couple of feet of regolith as well until its ever decreasing force has encountered such densities that it could no longer penetrate (or the module hit the ground whichever came first of course). In any case case we should have seen a sort of inverse cone shaped hole in the ground about 3-4 feet wide at the surface and and a foot or so wide at the bottom -say, what, about 3-4 feet deep?- right under the lunar module. Remember the density calculation above? Where is the evidence folks, eh? And here is a final nitpicking nuance to close today’s argument: at the very end of the down blast the force now was very weak so the upturned regolith grains cloud could not even have been blown away anywhere but should cover the landing disk after all! Cheers Istvan Kovarcsik

        Comment by Istvan Kovarcsik — October 18, 2018 @ 1:28 pm

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