It boils down not to just studying the photographs for signs of fakery, though I have examined every available Apollo photo for more than three years (and discovered many fakes). Very simply, it amounts to a study known to many businesses...A TIME AND MOTION STUDY. The elementary question is: was it possible to take the known number of photos (from NASA records) in the amount of time available (from NASA records)? But before you read my study, to understand it you need to know some basic information about the Apollo missions:
1. Of seven Apollo missions to put "men on the Moon", six were claimed to be "successful". (Apollo 13 was "aborted".)
2. Each of the six successful missions landed two astronauts "on the Moon" in a flimsy craft NASA originally had called the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM, later shortened to LM), an unproven craft which never had an opportunity for a lunar landing test flight. But it landed and then took off six times with spectacular "success" on Apollo missions 11 and 12, and 14 through 17...once even landing within 200 feet of a pre-selected target.
3. Two astronauts rode each LEM to the Moon surface while one remained in the orbiting Command and Service Module (CSM) awaiting their return.
4. During their Extra-Vehicular Activity (lunar surface exploration) each of the two wore a bulky inflated spacesuit with clumsy gloves, greatly limiting mobility. On their backs they wore a huge and heavy Life Support System (PLSS) backpack containing an oxygen tank and circulating water air conditioning system which pumped refrigerated water throughout the suit to counteract the 200+/- degree heat (and cold) of lunar conditions. Pumps circulated both refrigerated air and water to the liquid cooling undergarment, as well as dehumidifying, removing carbon dioxide, and providing all other functions needed to survive harsh conditions in the confining suits.
5. The principal objective of all six missions was SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH projects to be carried out by the two astronauts. Most of the projects, which numbered about a half dozen each mission, were remarkably similar on all six missions. All of these science experiments involved unpacking equipment from stowage bays, assembling it, transporting it to its location, setting it up, and then doing the experiments. As you might imagine, each of these research projects would require a major portion of the TIME of the two men for each experiment.
6. Another major project besides operation of the packaged experiments was the Geological Study, which involved searching for different specimens of rocks and soils in various locations, documenting and collecting samples to return to earth. This obviously occupied much of their TIME.
7. Considerable TIME was needed for "housekeeping chores". After landing, the LEM had to be inspected to make sure it had not been damaged. Communications equipment to put them in contact with Earth had to be set up and operated, including radio and television antennas and TV cameras. The US flag was planted in the moondust on each mission. All of this was done before any experiments were initiated. Oh, and don't forget the "ceremonial" chat with President Nixon during Apollo 11.
8. The first three missions required the astronauts to walk to each experiment location. The last three missions were supplied with a Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) to travel to distant locations miles away from the LEM. The partially pre-assembled LRV was attached to the outside of the LEM. The rover floor served as a pallet which was hinged to the outside of the LRV. The wheels were folded under. The "pallet" was lowered by hand to the lunar surface, and the wheels rotated into position. After the wheels were down, the vehicle had to be outfitted with all of its considerable equipment from various storage bins of the LEM. Oddly, not a single photo exists in the public domain (at least that I could find to date) of the astronauts assembling and equipping the LRVs. The battery-powered rovers had a top speed of about 8 mph, only slightly faster than walking...much like a golf cart. During the LRV travels ("traverses"), both men rode, and when moving, had no opportunity for photography. Also, the time taken in assembling the rover was not used for any photography. Though I could find no time given by NASA, surely it is reasonable to guess that it took at least an hour to unload, assemble and equip and test a rover?
9. Almost incidental to the main astronaut tasks was PHOTOGRAPHY. Each astronaut had his own camera. (Apart from the Apollo 11 EVA.) It was a square-format specially-built Hasselblad. It was mounted on a chest-plate for the astronaut to operate. The astronaut had to manually set the shutter speed and apertures while wearing bulky, pressurized gloves and without being able to see the controls. The cameras had NO VIEWFINDER, so the astronaut could only guess at what was being photographed. Each camera had a bulk film magazine holding more than a hundred exposures. The film (mainly Ektachrome color film) had a very narrow exposure range, which required PERFECT aperture and shutter settings, because according to NASA, the cameras did not have automatic exposure capability.
10. It is important to know that although each man had his own camera, they ALMOST NEVER USED THEM AT THE SAME TIME. Usually one of them was photographing the other doing some task. Therefore having two cameras DID NOT TRANSLATE TO TWICE AS MUCH TIME FOR PHOTOGRAPHY, as one might surmise. Now that you understand the missions, here is my discovery of NASA overzealousness, which has been successfully hidden till now.
A TIME AND MOTION STUDY
For more than three years I have been collecting and analyzing nearly all the significant photos from the Apollo missions. These official photos are readily available on multiple NASA websites for downloading. Recently I noticed they were taking up many gigabytes of memory on my computer's external hard drive, so I began organizing them and deleting duplications. I did a rough estimate of the number of Apollo photos, and was amazed that I had thousands!
I visited several official NASA websites to find HOW MANY PHOTOS WERE TAKEN on the surface of the Moon. Amazingly, NASA AVOIDS THIS SUBJECT almost entirely. Two days of searching documents and text were fruitless. But Lunar Surface Journal, one of the sites, lists every photo with its file number. So I undertook to make an actual count of every photo taken by astronauts DURING EXTRA-VEHICULAR ACTIVITY (EVA), the time spent on the surface out of the LEM.
Here is my actual count of EVA photos of the six missions:
Apollo 11........... 121
Apollo 12........... 504
Apollo 14........... 374
So 12 astronauts while on the Moon's surface took a TOTAL of 5771 exposures.
That seemed excessively large to me, considering that their TIME on the lunar surface was limited, and the astronauts had MANY OTHER TASKS OTHER THAN PHOTOGRAPHY. So I returned to the Lunar Surface Journal to find how much TIME was available to do all the scientific tasks AS WELL AS PHOTOGRAPHY. Unlike the number of photos, this information is readily available:
Apollo 11........1 EVA .....2 hours, 31 minutes......(151 minutes)
Apollo 12........2 EVAs.....7 hours, 50 minutes......(470 minutes)
Apollo 14........2 EVAs.....9 hours, 25 minutes......(565 minutes)
Apollo 15........3 EVAs...18 hours, 30 minutes....(1110 minutes)
Apollo 16........3 EVAs...20 hours, 14 minutes....(1214 minutes)
Apollo 17........3 EVAs...22 hours, 04 minutes....(1324 minutes)
Total minutes on the Moon amounted to 4834 minutes.
Total number of photographs taken was 5771 photos.
Hmmmmm. That amounts to 1.19 photos taken EVERY MINUTE of time on the Moon, REGARDLESS OF OTHER ACTIVITIES. (That requires the taking of ONE PHOTO EVERY 50 SECONDS!) Let's look at those other activities to see how much time should be deducted from available photo time:
Apollo 11..........Inspect LEM for damage, deploy flag, unpack and deploy radio and television equipment, operate the TV camera (360 degree pan), establish contact with Earth (including ceremonial talk with President Nixon), unpack and deploy numerous experiment packages, find/document/collect 47.7 pounds of lunar rock samples, walk to various locations, conclude experiments, return to LEM.
Apollo 12..........Inspect LEM for damage, deploy flag, unpack and deploy radio and television equipment (spend time trying to fix faulty TV camera), establish contact with Earth, unpack and deploy numerous experiment packages, walk to various locations, inspect the unmanned Surveyor 3 which had landed on the Moon in April 1967 and retrieve Surveyor parts. Deploy ALSEP package. Find/document/collect 75.7 pounds of rocks, conclude experiments, return to LEM.
Apollo 14..........Inspect LEM for damage, deploy flag, unpack and deploy radio and television equipment and establish contact with Earth, unpack and assemble hand cart to transport rocks, unpack and deploy numerous experiment packages, walk to various locations. Find/document/collect 94.4 pounds of rocks, conclude experiments, return to LEM.
Apollo 15..........Inspect LEM for damage, deploy flag, unpack and deploy radio and television equipment and establish contact with Earth, unpack/assemble/equip and test the LRV electric-powered 4-wheel drive car and drive it 17 miles, unpack and deploy numerous experiment packages (double the scientific payload of first three missions). Find/document/collect 169 pounds of rocks, conclude experiments, return to LEM. (The LRV travels only 8 mph*.)
Apollo 16..........Inspect LEM for damage, deploy flag, unpack and deploy radio and television equipment and establish contact with Earth, unpack/assemble/equip and test the LRV electric-powered 4-wheel drive car and drive it 16 miles, unpack and deploy numerous experiment packages (double the scientific payload of first three missions, including new ultraviolet camera, operate the UV camera). Find/document/collect 208.3 pounds of rocks, conclude experiments, return to LEM. (The LRV travels only 8 mph*.)
Apollo 17..........Inspect LEM for damage, deploy flag, unpack and deploy radio and television equipment and establish contact with Earth, unpack/assemble/equip and test the LRV electric-powered 4-wheel drive car and drive it 30.5 miles, unpack and deploy numerous experiment packages. Find/document/collect 243.1 pounds of rocks, conclude experiments, return to LEM. (The LRV travels only 8 mph*.)
Let's arbitrarily calculate a MINIMUM time for these tasks and subtract from available photo time:
Apollo 11....subtract 2 hours (120 minutes), leaving 031 minutes for taking photos
Apollo 12....subtract 4 hours (240 minutes), leaving 230 minutes for taking photos
Apollo 14....subtract 3 hours (180 minutes), leaving 385 minutes for taking photos
Apollo 15....subtract 6 hours (360 minutes), leaving 750 minutes for taking photos
Apollo 16....subtract 6 hours (360 minutes), leaving 854 minutes for taking photos
Apollo 17....subtract 8 hours (480 minutes), leaving 844 minutes for taking photos
So do the math:
Apollo 11.......121 photos in 031 minutes............3.90 photos per minute
Apollo 12.......504 photos in 230 minutes............2.19 photos per minute
Apollo 14.......374 photos in 385 minutes............0.97 photos per minute
Apollo 15.....1021 photos in 750 minutes............1.36 photos per minute
Apollo 16.....1765 photos in 854 minutes ...........2.06 photos per minute
Apollo 17.....1986 photos in 844 minutes ...........2.35 photos per minute
Or, to put it more simply:
Apollo 11........one photo every 15 seconds
Apollo 12........one photo every 27 seconds
Apollo 14........one photo every 62 seconds
Apollo 15........one photo every 44 seconds
Apollo 16........one photo every 29 seconds
Apollo 17........one photo every 26 seconds
So you decide. Given all the facts, was it possible to take that many photos in so short a time?
Any professional photographer will tell you it cannot be done. Virtually every photo was a different scene or in a different place, requiring travel. As much as 30 miles travel was required to reach some of the photo sites. Extra care had to be taken shooting some stereo pairs and panoramas. Each picture was taken without a viewfinder, using manual camera settings, with no automatic metering, while wearing a bulky spacesuit and stiff clumsy gloves.
The agency wants the world to believe that 5771 photographs were taken in 4834 minutes! IF NOTHING BUT PHOTOGRAPHY HAD BEEN DONE, such a feat is clearly impossible...made even more so by all the documented activities of the astronauts. Imagine...1.19 photos every minute that men were on the Moon –- that's one picture every 50 SECONDS!
The secret NASA tried to hide has been discovered: The quantity of photos purporting to record the Apollo lunar EVAs could not have been taken on the Moon in such an impossible time frame. So why do these photos exist? How did these photos get made? Did ANY men go to the Moon? Or was it truly the greatest hoax ever?
© 2005 Jack White
Editor's Notes: *According to Andrew Chaikin, author of A Man on the Moon the LRV averaged only 5 to 7 miles per hour, which would reduce even further the time available for photography.