In an interview, Donald Pettit —a NASA astronaut— mentioned that he’d go the moon, but they no longer have the technology to do that. All the technology from the Apollo mission has been destroyed, and it is a painful process to build it back again.
Flat-Earthers interpreted the statement rather too freely and took that as “proof” we never had the technology in the first place. In reality, the word “technology” is polyseme. It has two different related meanings. Flat-Earthers misinterpreted Don’s statement as one meaning, while Don’s intention was another.
The definition of “technology” according to Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary:
- (n) the use of science in industry, engineering, etc., to invent useful things to solve problems.
- (n) a machine, piece of equipment, method, etc. that is created by technology.
Don Pettit used the word ‘technology’ to refer to meaning #2, not #1. NASA no longer has the rockets, factory, equipment, etc. from the original Apollo missions because they are no longer necessary. But we still have all the necessary knowledge & know how to go to the Moon. In fact, many of the current space exploration missions have various similarities to the original Apollo missions.