As previously announced, last Wednesday the Discovery channel Mythbusters team tackled the myth that NASA never landed on the Moon.
Several myths were busted during the show such as:
- Non-parallel shadows: Due to the lunar terrain (Reproduced using mockups)
- Flying flag: Due to the inertia applied by the astronauts (Reproduced in a vacuum chamber)
- Boot traces: Due to the nature of the lunar soil (Tested with lunar soil simulant and a vacuum chamber)
- Walking style on the Moon: Reproduced on a zero-g plane
As a last nail in the skeptics coffins, the team visited to a large telescope and shot a laser at the Apollo 15 landing site. They received the reflected signal which can only prove the presenence of the optical reflector deployed by the astronauts at the landing site.
If you are interested by more busted lunar myths, take a look at the Mythbusters website and have a look to the extra myths that could not be shown due to time constraint.
Well, what does this leave for Google Lunar X PRIZE teams going after the Heritage Bonus Prize? Mythbusters proved that the physical effects shown on the Moon were realistic, and debunked the skeptics claims that those effects were proof of a fraud. However they still did not prove that the Apollo astronauts landed, rather they disproved the supposed 'evidence' of fraud. High definition video and photos of an Apollo landing site, perhaps showing evidence of the 40 or so years of exposure to the space environment, would certainly add more to the case!