The moon landing is the arrival of a spacecraft or ship on the surface of the Moon. This includes both human and robotic missions. The first human-made object to touch the Moon was the Soviet Union’s Luna 2 on 13 September 1959.
The United States Apollo 11 was the first human mission to land on the Moon, on 20 July 1969. There were six human U.S landings between 1969 and 1972, and numerous robotic landings, with no soft landings happening between 22 August 1976 and 14 December 2013.
The United States is the only country to have successfully conducted human missions to the Moon, with the last departing the lunar surface in December 1972.
All soft landings took place on the near side of the Moon until 3 January 2019, when the Chinese Change 4 spacecraft made the first landing on the far side of the Moon.
Moon landing conspiracy theories
Did the 12 Apollo Astronaut really land on the moon?
Moon landing conspirator’s theories claim that some or all elements of the Apollo program and the associated Moon landings were staged by NASA, possibly with the aid of other organizations. The most notable claim is that the six crewed landings (1969–1972) were faked and that 12 Apollo astronauts did not actually walk on the Moon.
Various groups and individuals have made claims since the mid-1970s that NASA and others intentionally misled the public into believing the landings happened by manufacturing or destroying evidence including photos, radio and TV transmissions, and Moon rock samples.
Much third-party evidence for the landings exists, and detailed disapproval of the hoax claims to have been made. Since the late 2000s, high-definition photos taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) of the Apollo landing sites have captured the lander modules and the tracks left by the astronauts.
In 2012, images were released showing five of the six Apollo missions’ American flags erected on the Moon still standing; the exception is that of Apollo 11, which has lain on the lunar surface since being accidentally blown over by the takeoff rocket’s exhaust.
Conspiracists have managed to sustain public interest in their theories for more than 40 years, despite the rebuttals and third-party evidence. Opinion polls taken in various locations have shown that between 6% and 20% of Americans, 25% of British, and 28% of Russians surveyed believe that the crewed landings were faked.
Even as late as 2001, the Fox television network documentary Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon? claimed NASA faked the first landing in 1969 to win the Space Race.
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