It’s been half a century since the magnificent Apollo 11 moon landing, yet many people still don’t believe it actually happened. Conspiracy theories about the event dating back to the 1970s are in fact more popular than ever. A common theory is that film director Stanley Kubrick helped NASA fake the historic footage of its six successful moon landings.
But would it really have been possible to do that with the technology available at the time? I’m not a space travel expert, an engineer or a scientist. I am a filmmaker and lecturer in film post-production, and — while I can’t say how we landed on the moon in 1969 — I can say with some certainty that the footage would have been impossible to fake.
Here are some of the most common beliefs and questions — and why they don’t hold up.
‘The moon landings were filmed in a TV studio.’
There are two different ways of capturing moving images. One is film, actual strips of photographic material onto which a series of images are exposed. Another is video, which is an electronic method of recording onto various mediums, such as moving magnetic tape. With video, you can also broadcast to a television receiver. A standard motion picture film records images at 24 frames per second, while broadcast television is typically either 25 or 30 frames, depending on where you are in the world.
If we go along with the idea that the moon landings were taped in a TV studio, then we would expect them to be 30 frames per second video, which was the television standard at the time. However, we know that video from the first moon landing was recorded at ten frames per secondin SSTV (Slow Scan television) with a special camera.
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