The idea that the moon landings in 1969 may have been faked is a popular conspiracy theory. One argument that took place on the Internet a few years ago had a proponent who supported the faked moon landings theory said the event took place in 1969. People who were more aware of the quickly corrected him and the less kind mocked the person in an appropriate fashion.
The idea despite the scientific flaws of the people making the claim will not go away. Unlike many conspiracy theories where wild accusations and the idea of a government cover-up persist, the people who insist that the government faked the moon landings as a hoax actually sound reasonable. The first argument against the moon landing possibility was that the astronauts in the Apollo space capsule would have been killed from the electromagnetic radiation that gets emitted in an area of space called the Van Allen radiation belt.
Another cryptic although important to the conspiracy theorists thing that is missing from the NASA footage of moon landings are the crosshairs that NASA placed on the camera. The crosshairs were directly inserted onto the camera lens in order to measure distances. If the footage were from the cameras that went to the moon, the conspiracy theorists argue, the crosshairs should show up in all the photography.
The lack of stars seen in the moon landing pictures is also pointed out as evidence of a government cover-up and an effort to fake the moon landings to fool the public, and furthermore the conspiracy theorists also point out the computing power of the computers used in the Apollo missions was not enough to get the astronauts there safely.
All of these factors and more cause the conspiracy theories to say that the moon landings could not have occurred, but if you read some of the more avid proponents of the theory in great detail, the efforts to create a moon landing hoax on the part of the government would have been far more difficult than the act of actually landing a lunar module on the dark side of the moon.
The most easily debunked notion is that of the lack of computing power. It is true that many scientific calculators are capable of performing operations faster and with more power than many of the mainframes used during the Apollo missions, however, the computers used by NASA for the moon landing missions were dedicated to specific tasks and the programmers did not need to worry about things like graphical user interfaces and user friendliness. The programs may have been inelegant by today’s standards, but they were more than capable of performing the tasks NASA’s scientists demanded of them.
A simple experiment with a home camera can show why the moon pictures showed no stars in the background. Go outside and try to take a picture of the night sky, unless the camera is set for long-term exposure you will not see the daylight. The cameras taken to the moon were also designed for short range operation and the interest of the NASA mission was not primarily stellar astronomy. Had NASA faked the moon landings, they surely would have gone to the effort to put stars in the background to appease the conspiracy theorists.
The idea of fake moon landings persists not because the landings were faked as the achievement was repeated multiple times after the first successful landing, but because people need a sense of wonder and conspiracy theories are one way of providing it.