My grandmother used to always tell me that she didn't believe they went to the moon. I remember sitting there talking to her one evening when the moon was hanging low in the sky and it literally seemed like I could touch it. I was rambling on about how I was going to be the first Unemployed Black Astronaut and she said, "boy they ain't never been to no moon so you will be the first if they ever go for real!" I pressed her about it and all she said to me is, "if they already went to the moon why haven't they been back! you know white folks would have been put a McDonald's up there and would be running vacation tours"! So being the little smart kid from suburbia who believed in all the American promises, I was determined to prove grandma wrong! I went to NASA in Greenbelt and got all kinds of brochures and stuff and that summer I was going to show her. I brought her all the brochures and told her about all the books I read and she simply replied, "Who wrote them books?" I told her and she looked at me over her glasses, around the newspaper and said, "What do you think THEY are going to say in THEIR books!" I let it go as far as changing her mind, but as far as I was concerned we went to the moon and I was going to be that Astronaut that went to Mars and beyond.
However, that was almost 35 years ago and since that conversation I have had access to better books and the most amazing thing in the world for information exchange was created since the spoken word and that was the Internet. Believe it or not I still believed a lot of them lies until the mid 80's. I was like most folks are today blissfully ignorant of the horrors that our government was doing here at home and all over the world. However, this one thing always stuck in my mind, along with the other thing she was really adamant about and that was the fact that Christ did not die not the cross. That is another blog post and you can check it out here!
While reading about and learning all I could about space, space travel and what was real, possible, impossible and or faked in a sound stage or a desert in California or Nevada, one thing constantly nagged at me, "Stell said they never went!" Grandma was seldom wrong, she was also wife of a 33.3 degree Mason and a Daughter of Isis herself, but I didn't understand then why she wouldn't tell me why she was so sure of it! Now I do. While I was learning all about space there were a couple of things that I found out that was between us and getting to the moon. The first obstacle we come to is the Van Allen Radiation Belt!
Radiation plays a big part in space travel. Solar flares could have affected the astronauts at any time. The Apollo leaving Earth would travel through 2 specific areas of very high radiation called the Van Allen Belt. The first field is 272 miles out from Earth. The amount of radiation in the belts actually varies from year to year, but every 11 years its at its worst when the sunspot cycle is at its highest. And guess what? 1969 to 1970 was one of the worst times to go, as this was the time where the radiation was at its peak. I have had numerous internet chats with sceptics who say that the radiation would not play a part in the missions because Man would have not been in the radiation belt for too long. My answer to that is, when Dentists or Doctors take X ray pictures they either leave the room or stand behind a sheet of thick lead to shelter from the radiation. Why did NASA only use a small sheet of aluminium to protect the astronauts when they knew that the radiation levels in Space and on the Moon's surface would be many hundreds of times more deadly? And why would they risk their astronauts to such conditions? In 1959 Bill Kaysing was privy to a study made by the Russians. The Russians discovered that the radiation on the moon would require astronauts to be clothed in four feet of lead to avoid being killed. Why didn't NASA heed their warnings?
Did you know that the US Government tried to blast a hole in the belt 248 miles above Earth in 1962? During Operation Starfish Prime a Megaton Nuclear Bomb was used to try and force an unnatural corridor through the Van Allen Belt... Unfortunately, the radiation levels actually got worse, not better. What they created was a third belt that was 100 times more intense than the natural belts, and as estimated by Mary Bennett in 'Dark Moon - Apollo and the Whistle-Blowers, by 2002 this artificial zone will still have 25 times more radiation than the other 2 belts. There is no agreement to how wide these radiation belts actually are. Dr James Van Allen, the discoverer of the belts estimated that they were at least 64,000 miles deep, but NASA say they are only 24,000 miles deep. Each Apollo craft spent approximately 4 hours within the belts.
So to what lengths did NASA take to shield the astronauts against the radiation? Its accepted that a minimum of 10 cm width of aluminium would be needed at the very least to keep out radiation. However the walls of the Apollo craft and capsule were made as thin and as light as possible and as a result the craft initially could not carry enough air inside to withstand the equivalent to sea level air pressure. NASA had to reduce air pressure inside the cabin to cope. Here are the official stats from a NASA website: (http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/alsj/frame.html)
'At sea level, the Earth's atmosphere is a mixture of gases - primarily of nitrogen (78% by volume), oxygen (21%), water vapour (varying amounts depending on temperature and humidity), and traces of carbon dioxide and other gases. Oxygen is, by far, the most important component of what we breathe and, indeed, the Apollo astronauts breathed almost pure oxygen laced with controlled amounts of water vapour. With the nitrogen eliminated, the cabin pressure could be considerably less than sea-level pressure on Earth - about 4.8 psi (pounds per square inch) versus 14.7 psi - and, consequently, the cabin walls could be relatively thin and, therefore, light in weight.'
One of the worst sun flares ever recorded happened in August 1972, which was between the Apollo 16 and 17 missions. This single flare would have delivered 960 rem of virtually instant death to any astronaut who was up in Space, and yet all of the Apollo astronauts were carrying out their missions in what amounts to nothing more than a thick linen suit. These pressure suits may have helped protect the astronauts against heat or micro meteorites, but certainly would not have given any radiation protection. By the way, there is no known method of registering when and how strong Solar flare activity will be. So, I guess NASA just struck lucky!
Another big big sticking point for me is the fact that in all of the pictures I have seen with astronauts supposedly on the moon never show ANY STARS?! Where are the stars?! On a goodnight there are literally millions of stars visible by the naked eye from Earth. Why are there not stars in any of the pictures supposedly shot from deep space and in any of the moon shots?!