Every so often, one comes across someone alluding to the moon landings as Virtual Reality, or just plain fake.
Bugs me no end.
Why, you ask? It’s the straw with which such folks prop up their sagging, desiccated camel of disbelief. It’s the fatuous hope that if they repeat it often enough, they’ll win some “believers” for their conspiracy theories. It’s hogwash. Horse manure. Bunkum, bollocks.
The simplest of physics suffices to dispel such malodors. Please – watch the minute-and-a-half YouTube clip. It’s a famous validation of dear old Galileo’s assertion. In a perfect vacuum, all objects will fall similarly: a hammer and a feather dropped simultaneously from the same height will both hit the ground at the same time. The Moon-ground in this instance, or so we are asked to believe, with the Falcon ship in the background.
But what observations and inferences do we make? First, the adventurers in the video have their entire spacesuits on. Clearly, they need air within their bubbles to carry on as they do, merrily so. And yes, the hammer and feather do fall and hit the ground simultaneously. The experiment is conducted in an environment devoid of all viscosity; nothing impedes the fall of a feather that would otherwise ‘float.’ Not too far a stretch to conclude that they are in a near perfect vacuum.
But there’s more that we see…if we look beyond just snapshots. Watch how the hammer and feather both fall. From an astronaut’s shoulder height, about a meter and a half above ground. And the fall time duration. A little less than a second and a half. From some simple calculations, we find the acceleration due to gravity in the experimental environment, g, to be about 1.6m/s^2.
That’s the moon‘s gravitational attraction!
Don’t believe me yet? We can go a bit further. The moon is about 1.23% of the earth’s mass and has 27% of the earth’s diameter. By dear old Newton’s gravitational laws,
F = (G×M×m)/r^2
F = m×a (where a is acceleration)
we get a, the acceleration on the moon due to gravity, as 1.23×(100/27)^2 % of that on earth, or ~1.655m/s^2. Now don’t ask me to derive this step-by-little-step.
So what do we have? The experiment verifies a vacuum, which matches the moon’s atmosphere. The gravity there is about 1.6m/s^2, the moon’s gravity, as we’ve measured and calculated from the height of drop and time of fall. The Falcon is in the background. The Falcon had headed out to the moon.
Was it all a conspiracy, now?