Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Moon Train

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    437

    Moon Train

    If this train of thought exists, I've never seen or heard it before:

    I would ask a moon landing skeptic these questions:

    Do you believe we can make a rocket fly up?
    Do you believe we can make a rocket go high enough to reach space?
    Do you believe we can make a rocket go into orbit?
    Do you believe we could put a dog into such a rocket?
    Do you believe we could put a person into such a rocket?
    Do you believe we can make a rocket go into high orbit?
    Do you believe we can make a rocket to continue moving away from the earth? (Or is there a wall of some sort that will prevent this?)

    Do you believe we can make a rocket to move away from the earth as far as the moon? (Or is there a wall of some sort that will prevent this?)

    Do you believe a rocket with a person in it and orbiting the earth can land back on the earth?

    Do you believe a rocket with a person in it and orbiting the moon can land on it?

    So what's so hard to believe?

    RBG

  2. #2
    Glom's Avatar
    Glom is online now Insert awesome title here
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    11,290

    Re: Moon Train

    Quote Originally Posted by RBG
    If this train of thought exists, I've never seen or heard it before:
    Trains of thought aren't common among conspiracists. They prefer trains of British Rail, ie ones that run red lights and crash.

    Quote Originally Posted by RBG
    I would ask a moon landing skeptic these questions:

    Do you believe we can make a rocket fly up?
    Do you believe we can make a rocket go high enough to reach space?
    Do you believe we can make a rocket go into orbit?
    Do you believe we could put a dog into such a rocket?
    Do you believe we could put a person into such a rocket?
    Do you believe we can make a rocket go into high orbit?
    Do you believe we can make a rocket to continue moving away from the earth? (Or is there a wall of some sort that will prevent this?)

    Do you believe we can make a rocket to move away from the earth as far as the moon? (Or is there a wall of some sort that will prevent this?)

    Do you believe a rocket with a person in it and orbiting the earth can land back on the earth?

    Do you believe a rocket with a person in it and orbiting the moon can land on it?

    So what's so hard to believe?

    RBG
    An interesting idea. The cutoff point at which conspiracists deny rocketry has ever reached is not obvious. To those who know how the aerospace industry in the US developed to meet the challenged of Apollo find nothing unbelievable about the eventual technology level. It's been pointed out that you can't just say NASA didn't have the technology for Apollo. To do that is to call into question a much larger proportion of the aerospace world. They like to compartmentalise aerospace into specific programs where one does not affect the other. They can deny Apollo without having to worry about the consequences to the bigger picture. Or so they think.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    11,489

    Re: Moon Train

    The cutoff point at which conspiracists deny rocketry has ever reached is not obvious.

    It varies with the conspiracist. There are those such as Richard Hoagland who don't doubt at all the capability of the U.S. aerospace community; they merely doubt the forthrightness of the U.S. government in reported what has been found. At the other end of the spectrum is the poor soul who believes that no rocket is possible because of some odd correlation he believes he can see in mass versus "maximum" velocity.

    The center of gravity seems to be at a notion that we can get to orbit, but we can't venture much beyond that because of the Van Allen belts. That is, human space flight is limited to low earth orbit. This allows them to believe in unmanned space probes to distant planets and satellites for GPS and communications. All these spacecraft need to survive passage through (and occasionally, extended operations in) the Van Allen belts.

    The source for this argument seems to be Bill Kaysing's allusion to some secret Soviet research paper (which he can't produce, naturally, since he says it was classified) claiming that some huge thickness of lead would be required to shield against "space radiation". This claim is terribly naive to those who take the effort to understand what radiation is really like beyond low earth orbit. Conspiracists in general demonstrate a great deal of misunderstanding and just plain ignorance when it comes to what radiation is, what it does to you, and how you shield against it. They invoke a sort of "radiation boogey man" that plays on people's intuitive fear of radiation. This allows them to greatly exaggerate and distort mainstream findings.

    To those who know how the aerospace industry in the US developed to meet the challenged of Apollo find nothing unbelievable about the eventual technology level.

    While the Apollo project represented a remarkable conglomeration of people and skills, the pace is not all that remarkable. Many projects were undertaken during World War II that matched -- if not exceeded -- the developmental tempo of Apollo. Apollo was a public project, which meant the general population was able to see the industry at work, whereas most previous projects were kept secret. To be sure, the scale of the Apollo project was unmatched, and is still unmatched. But scale and tempo are not equivalent.

    It's been pointed out that you can't just say NASA didn't have the technology for Apollo. To do that is to call into question a much larger proportion of the aerospace world.

    Absolutely. Boeing was developing the 747 concurrently with its work on Apollo. The 747 is very much a product of the space race. Any modern airliner is essentially a spacecraft with air-breathing engines. Its fly-by-wire system descends directly from the LM's fly-by-wire.

    They like to compartmentalise aerospace into specific programs where one does not affect the other.

    To some extent the compartmentalization is true. Any company that does work for the government -- especially for the military -- must strictly enforce compartmentalization between classified and non-classified work. However, the Apollo work was not nearly as classified as, say, the F-14 fighter that Grumman was also building. It was far easier for an F-14 worker to find out how the LM was going than for an LM worker to ask about the F-14.

    However the conspiracists carry the compartmentalization to an absurd level. The technology is available for us to inspect today. And the amount of technical design material available to us is astounding. As I've said many times, it's far easier to find design documents for the command module or lunar module or the Saturn V than it is to find comparable material on the Boeing 747.

    Further, the conspiracists claim the compartmentalization was so tight that the vast majority of engineers working on Apollo (not just for the contractor companies) did not know they were working on a hoax. This is just totally ignorant of how engineers must work. The conspiracists are simply telling us what would need to be true in order for their theory to hold. They do not present a plausible picture of the U.S. aerospace industry.

    But of course the average reader doesn't know anything about the industry, or about engineering in general. And so they can happily listen to the conspiracists spin their tales. And as long as the conspiracists only have to talk to the relatively uninformed readers they can maintain the illusion of knowledge. But when real engineers get hold of them, they scurry off into the corners.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    1,467
    Or stick their fingers in their ears and raise their voice.

    "I'd stake my life on it."

    Too bad nobody want's to collect on that bet.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    11,489
    I don't think conspiracists realize that by making these grandiose statements they are essentially saying, "There is no fact you could produce which would change my mind." I don't think it's wise to brag about being entrenched in one's opinion.

    Yes, I believe strongly that the Apollo program was successful as claimed, but I wouldn't go so far as to stake my life on it. At least not seriously. Bart Sibrel likes to get a lot of rhetorical mileage out of a statement he probably heard here, to the effect that if Neil Armstrong himself admitted it was all fake, we'd still believe it was real. That's because, admission or not, we'd still like to know how everything that has been observed about the missions was faked.

    It's all about a fundamental difference, not only in belief, but in how and why we believe. If I may apply the term "skeptic" to most of us here, we skeptics would rather suspend judgment than to believe in a conclusion for which there is inadequate proof. It's frustrating for us when other people don't follow that same advice.

    I think it's just a ploy. The boast about betting one's life on one's conclusions isn't meant to have any argumentative effect. It's meant simply to impress the reader and imply, without having to make an argument, that one's opponents just can't possibly have a leg to stand on -- that no matter what protests or objections that come up, they must have some explanation in context of the hoax. The conspirators must somehow have arranged for it to come out that way, or the scientists must somehow be wrong.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    200
    I don,t really think that conspiracy theorists have minds in order to ask questions.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    497
    Quote Originally Posted by AstroGman
    I don,t really think that conspiracy theorists have minds in order to ask questions.
    No, they ask plenty of questions, they just don't listen to the answers. The questions are the problem. "No such thing as a stupid question" my butt... whoever said that never watched Fox.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    1,467
    Regarding the ploy, I don't think it is intended to have argumentative value. Anyone with half a brain* can plainly see it isn't really an argument. However, I believe the intent of the statement is to show his conviction, to show that he truly believes his position and is not merely trying to make a buck, as some have accused him. I draw no conclusion on his true motivations, but do feel it possible he does believe his position. Given his religious beliefs as discussed on this board, it is consistent that he could believe this position truely.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    1,467
    I left out:

    * Clearly this doesn't necessarily apply to conspiracists.

Similar Threads

  1. Traveling by train?
    By Stregone in forum Off-Topic Babbling
    Replies: 42
    Last Post: 2010-Jun-13, 07:41 PM
  2. Gravity Train
    By canopuss in forum Science and Technology
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 2009-Dec-28, 09:22 AM
  3. The Soyuz train
    By ToSeek in forum Space Exploration
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 2008-Apr-14, 05:48 PM
  4. Taking the train
    By Enzp in forum Off-Topic Babbling
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 2005-Oct-13, 07:57 PM
  5. Toy-Train Wars
    By sarongsong in forum Off-Topic Babbling
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 2005-Aug-16, 07:15 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •