There’s a conspiracy theory that astronauts never landed on the Moon. Is it all a conspiracy? Were the Moon landings faked? What is the evidence that we actually went to the Moon? These and many other questions are frequently asked with many doubts about the official version where Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin plant the US flag on the Lunar Surface during 1st human moonwalk in history on July 20, 1969 during Apollo 11 mission. But is it really possible using to see the flag on the lunar surface all the way from our planet using our powerful telescopes? that could be enough evidence to one’s for all ease skepticism.
Unfortunately the answer to this question is no. Not even the most powerful telescopes ever made are able to see these objects. The flag on the moon is 125cm (4 feet) long. You would require a telescope around 200 meters in diameter to see it. The largest telescope now is the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) Telescope in Spain at 10.4 meters in diameter. Even the famous Hubble Space telescope is only 2.4 meters in diameter. Resolving the lunar rover, which is 3.1 meters in length, would require a telescope 75 meters in diameter. So our backyard 6 inch and 8 inch telescopes are not even going to come close!
Why does the flag look like its waiving in the “wind”?
Obviously there is no “wind” for the flag to fly in. Getting a flag to “fly” on the moon was actually started as a top-secret project mandated by Congress in the spring of 1969. Flying a flag on the moon was a complicated issue. First NASA officials had to get passed a United Nations treaty that bans the national appropriation of outer space or any celestial bodies. The United States would not and could not claim the moon as US territory. Raising a flag on the moon could be taken the wrong way in the eyes of the rest of the world. The raising of the flag would be a symbol of nations goal that began with President John F Kennedy’s pledge to Congress on May 26 the 1961:
“I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long range exploration of space, and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.”
There was also the issue of where to put the flag on the lunar module to protect it from the elements. A gentleman named Tom Moser, a young design engineer at Johnson Space Center, was given the task. Moser developed a collapsible flagpole with a telescoping horizontal rod sewn into a seam on the top of the flag to extend it outward. The flag was brought to the moon in a heat resistant tube attached to the ladder of the lunar module. The flag is rumored to have been purchased at Sears but is not confirmed.
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin recalled what happened when they tried to set up the flag:
“It took both of us to set it up and it was nearly a public relations disaster, ” he wrote, “a small telescoping arm was attached to the flagpole to keep the flag extended and perpendicular. As hard as we tried, the telescope wouldn’t fully extend. Thus the flag which should have been flat had its own permanent wave”
Is the flag still standing?
The answer to this question is not known. It is uncertain if the flag remained standing or was blown over by the engine blast when the ascent module took off to return the crew back to Earth. The lunar surface was barely holding the flag upright enough to begin with, it is unlikely that the flag is still upright.