Apollo Mission Profile

The Apollo missions were real and humans have actually visited the Moon. If someone fell victim to the flat-Earth conspiracy, then it would imply that they also fell victim to the Apollo moon landing conspiracy. They are wrong. 

Someone usually fell for the moon landing conspiracy theory because of provocation and confirmation bias, and also because of their ignorance of the Apollo mission profile itself.

The following is a very brief description of the Apollo mission profile, numbered according to the numbers in the illustration.

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Geostationary Satellites

A satellite can be placed in an orbit 35786 km above Earth’s surface, and the satellite will be in motion at the same speed as the rotation of the Earth. As a result, the satellite will appear practically motionless when observed from the surface.  Many communication satellites are placed in this orbit, and a satellite dish receiving signals from the satellite doesn’t have to track the satellite.

Flat-Earthers often take the fact that satellites are in motion and most satellite dishes have a fixed direction as ‘proof’ there’s something suspicious about satellites. They are wrong.

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Orion EFT-1, Apollo and the Van Allen Radiation Belts

On December 3, 2014, NASA published a video describing the Orion EFT-1 mission, narrated by a NASA scientist, Kelly Smith. The mission was the first unmanned flight of the Orion spacecraft.

Some unscrupulous flat-Earthers decided to turn the video into ‘evidence’ that NASA never went to the moon. They cut down the video to the ‘important’ parts and added in prejudicial narration and subtitles. There are countless of such videos on YouTube, and at some point, it was nearly impossible to search for anything educational about the Van Allen radiation belts on YouTube.

They are wrong. There are, in fact, two Van Allen radiation belts. Apollo traversed the outer belt that has lower radiation level in a hurry, while Orion was deliberately sent into the far more dangerous inner belt. They are named ‘belts’ precisely because they are like the real belts. It is possible to bypass the most dangerous parts of the belt, just like Apollo did.

Orion EFT-1 is not ‘evidence’ that the Apollo mission didn’t happen.

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Velocity is Measured From Specific Frame of Reference

A widespread misunderstanding within the flat-Earth victims is related to velocity/speed. They seem to think velocity is absolute, while in reality it is measured from a specific frame of reference. Example:

“If the Earth is in motion around the Sun at 30 km/s, and Apollo traveled at only 11 km/s, then how could Apollo astronauts possibly make it back to the Earth?”

We used to measure velocity/speed relative to the surface of the Earth. But it is not always like that.

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Why Don’t We See Satellites in Photos Taken From The ISS?

“Why don’t we see satellites in photos taken from the ISS?” (or from space in general). That’s a recurring question within the flat-Earth community, usually asked without expecting an answer, assuming that an answer is impossible, and that it is a glaring oversight when the powers that be purposefully made the picture using CGI.

But no, the pictures are real. And satellites are not visible because they are too far spaced apart from each other.

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Curved Rocket Trajectory

Every time we see a rocket launch, its trajectory is always curved, never straight up. Why would they do that? Aren’t they supposed to go up to space?

No, it is not because they have malicious intentions, as implied by a lot of flat-Earthers.

The curved trajectory is what we call the ‘gravity turn’.

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Space Flight and Temperature In The Thermosphere

Thermosphere is a layer of the Earth’s atmosphere from about 95 km­ to 600 km. It is named ‘thermosphere’ because its temperature increases with altitude. Temperature in the thermosphere can reach 2500°C.

Flat-earthers question this fact a lot:

“If temperature in the thermosphere can reach 2500°C, then how is it possible for human to travel to space? Not to mention that many satellites —including the ISS— are in the thermosphere.”

Short answer: air density in the thermosphere is much, much lower than at the surface of the Earth.

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