New Technology Aims to Debunk Lunar Landing Conspiracies Once and For All

Ever since Neil Armstrong first took one small step on the moon and one giant step for mankind, people have been yelling “faaaaake.” As people will do with any incredible feat that seems unbelievable, conspiracy theories about the moon landing being a false achievement that never took place, have been abundant.

The most prominent of these conspiracies is that the entire landing didn’t even happen on the moon, but in a television studio. Those who subscribe to the crackpot theory will argue that it was a desperate attempt by the U.S. to win the Space Race and build national support for President Richard Nixon. The arguments to support this theory range from there being zero stars in the background, to the flag’s shadow compared with the shadow of Neil Armstrong, as well as the way Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon’s surface.

For the first time, new technology is shedding light on this lunar conspiracy and proving that yes, man did in fact walk on the moon in July 1969. Mark Daly and his team at NVIDIA were able to simulate the bouncing of light off of multiple surfaces, particularly on the famous photo of Buzz Aldrin leaving the lunar module. The process is called “global illumination in real-time.” The goal to debunk the conspiracy theory is to show that the singular light source from the sun was able to light Buzz Aldrin, despite him being in the shadows.


Recreating the moon’s surface and Apollo 11 was an incredibly meticulous process for the team, that involved them looking at dozens of photographs and working to recreate every detail, matching the materials and color patterns. The team then had to create a physically accurate lunar lighting model, as well as the various ways light would bounce off the objects without an atmosphere. The key to perfectly recreating the lighting of the landing to debunk the theory rested on a single piece of video footage the revealed a glowing white light behind Armstrong as he climbs down a ladder. The light source was the reflection coming off of Armstrong’s suit.

While Daly admits that he can’t prove the moon landing wasn’t shot on a Hollywood soundstage, he’s confident that his team has used global illumination in real-time technology to create a frame-for-frame accurate recreation of Apollo 11’s landing — something that simply wasn’t possible with the technology in 1969.

Related Articles

- Advertisement -

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -