Episode 104: NASA Moon Landing

Air Date: August 27, 2008

This episode was based on the urban legend/conspiracy theory which claims that NASA never landed men on the moon, and instead the achievement was intentionally faked for one reason or another.

One of the NASA photos is fake because the shadows of the rocks and lunar lander are not parallel.


The Mythbusters built a small-scale replica of the lunar landing site based on the photograph, using reflective sand similar to that found on the Moon, and a single light to represent the Sun. Next, they took a photo which was exactly the same as the NASA photo, including the differing shadows. The Mythbusters explained that the shadows were not parallel because of the way the light falls on the Moon’s natural topography.

One of the NASA photos is fake because Neil Armstrong can be clearly seen while in the shadow of the lunar lander.


To test this myth, the Mythbusters built a large-scale replica of the landing site, allowing them to take a photo which was nearly identical to the original NASA photo. The Mythbusters explained that Armstrong was visible because of ambient light being reflected off of the Moon’s surface.

A flag cannot flap in a vacuum.


The Build Team placed a replica of the American flag planted on the moon into a vacuum chamber at the Marshall Space Flight Center. They first tested at normal pressure and manipulated the flag. The momentum moved the flag around but the motion quickly dissipated. In vacuum conditions, manipulating the flag caused it to flap vigorously as if it were being blown by a breeze. This demonstrated that a flag could appear to wave in a vacuum, as the Apollo flag did.

A clear footprint cannot be made in vacuum because there is no moisture to hold its shape.


The Build Team first tested whether dry or wet sand made a more distinguishable footprint by stepping in them with an astronaut boot. It was clear that the wet footprint had more detail than the dry footprint. They then placed sand similar in composition to the Moon’s soil in a vacuum chamber and stepped on it with an astronaut boot, which made a clear print. The reason provided for this was that the unique composition of lunar soil allows it to behave differently than terrestrial soil.

The film of the astronauts moonwalking is actually film of the astronauts skipping in front of a high-framerate camera, slowing down the picture and giving the illusion they are on the Moon.


Adam donned a replica NASA spacesuit and mimicked the astronauts’ motions while being filmed by a slow motion camera. They also attached Adam to wires in order to mimic the Moon’s lower gravity. While comparing their new footage with the original footage, the Mythbusters noted an initial similarity, but there were several small discrepancies attributable to filming in Earth’s gravity. In order to film in microgravity, the Mythbusters boarded a Reduced Gravity Aircraft and filmed the exact same movements. Adam noted that the movements were more comfortable and more logical in microgravity, and their footage from the plane looked exactly like the original NASA film. The Mythbusters concluded that the moon landing film is authentic.

The Apollo astronauts left behind special equipment on the Moon like reflectors that scientists can bounce lasers off of.


The Mythbusters went to an observatory equipped with a high powered laser. They first fired at the bare lunar surface but did not detect the laser bouncing back. Then they pointed the laser at a reflector left behind by NASA and received a confirmed bounce.


  1. Aldrin says:

    Sup Its Aldrin here And i went to the moon 100% TRUE

  2. Bart vinsonilli says:

    how did they make it through the Van Allen belt without being fried?

  3. Polisson says:

    The episode proves that landing on the Moon can be reproduced in studio :)
    Knock, knock – wake up!

    • Alex Hall says:

      Yeah, Come on!

    • Warny says:

      No, they couldn’t jump in the plane, which can be seen in the 1969 NASA’s moonlanders films.

    • Vince says:

      Except the fact that they bounced lasers off the moon due to the mirrors left behind which couldn’t be done if no one had went there. Also they couldn’t recreate the moon’s gravity inside a studio, they would’ve needed the plane.

  4. Geoff Gibbs says:

    Id like to put conspiracy theorists in a room with those family members of people who died and say that all this was fake.

  5. jack miller says:

    im a rabbit

  6. Jack miller says:

    love themmm

  7. jack miller says:

    im an alien roarrr

    • Unknown says:

      aliens don’t say roar

  8. Danny Wescott says:

    this site is my jawwwwwnnnnn

    • Unknown says:

      no one cares shut up

    • Unknown says:

      good 4 u

  9. Jack miller says:


    • Unknown says:

      you think your cool

  10. lol says:


  11. Unknown says:

    no one cares

  12. boi says:

    true gabe ^

  13. Unknown says:


  14. mathisawesome says:

    Are any conspiracy theorists physicists, quantum physicists, scientists, etc. With p.h.d’s! Rock!!! I’m totally gonna believe you when I see your degrees and you can break it down to the equations.

  15. Stu Lloyd says:

    It’s been over 40 years since the last manned mission to the moon – surely if they were faked, SOMEONE would have exposed it by now?
    Wake up losers – we went to the moon.
    Capricorn One was fiction – not fact, or do you mentally challenged individuals really think the US would have killed the crew of Apollo XIII had the capsule burnt up on re-entry?

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