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Home » Astronaut slams conspiracy theorists who claim moon landing was hoax: ‘It pains me’

Astronaut slams conspiracy theorists who claim moon landing was hoax: ‘It pains me’

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Ahead of NASA’s second attempt of its Artemis I moon rocket launch on Saturday, astronaut Thomas Pesquet is slamming conspiracy theorists who claim the original moon landing never happened to begin with.

Pesquet — a member of the European Union Space Agency who has been to space four times — went off in a series of tweets on Wednesday, shaming disbelievers who recently revisited claims that NASA’s Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin actually filmed their Apollo 11 moon landing in a movie studio in 1969.

The other five landings weren’t immune from skepticism either.

“But why do we have to waste precious time on this again: of course yes, humans went to the moon during the Apollo missions. And we’re going back,” he said, translated from French.

“And yes, my emotions don’t matter, but it pains me, after everything I’ve done for 10 years, my two missions, the thousands of hours of extra work to share them and explain science and technology, to have to do this tweet today,” he continued.

Thomas Pesquet has been to space four times.
AFP via Getty Images

“It also worries me enormously to see how some people have fun blurring the truth and others are having fun. Seriously ask yourself the question: who wins in all this? Not NASA no, but the manipulators who tell you that everything is wrong.”

Pesquet added that the theories are distasteful to people who risked their lives on the successful moon landings and that it’s easy for social media trolls to just sit back and spread misinformation.

In this July 20, 1969, photo, astronaut Buzz Aldrin Jr. stands next to the Passive Seismic Experiment device on the surface of the moon during the Apollo 11 mission.
In this July 20, 1969 photo, astronaut Buzz Aldrin Jr. stands next to the Passive Seismic Experiment device on the surface of the moon during the Apollo 11 mission.
AP

He said it made him “drunk” to write the tweets but encouraged users to look into people, like journalist Jamy Gourmaud and “hundreds of others,” who “explain things for real.”

“If you get caught up in this in good faith, it happens: get off Twitter and try to find the info in books, for example. It’s safer,” Pesquet recommended.

“In short, that’s all on this subject because it’s not my field and I have a lot of work. We’re going to go back to spending all of our time and energy making things like the ISS and Artemis happen, because it’s good for humanity. No offense to some,” he added.

“See you on the moon in a few years,” he concluded with a winking and sunglasses-wearing emoji.

NASA's Artemis I rocket sits on launch pad 39-B at Kennedy Space Center on Sept. 2, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
NASA’s Artemis I rocket sits on launchpad 39-B at Kennedy Space Center on Sept. 2, in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Getty Images

NASA’s initial Artemis I launch attempt on Monday ended after data showed that one of the rocket’s main-stage engines failed to reach the proper pre-launch temperature required for ignition, forcing a halt to the countdown and a postponement.

However, on Wednesday, there was only a 40% chance of favorable conditions for Saturday’s launch, while the US space agency acknowledged some outstanding technical issues remain to be solved.

"If you get caught up in this in good faith, it happens: get off Twitter and try to find the info in books, for example. It's safer," Thomas Pesquet said of online conspiracy theories.
“If you get caught up in this in good faith, it happens: get off Twitter and try to find the info in books, for example. It’s safer,” Thomas Pesquet said of online conspiracy theories.
ESA/mediadrumimages.com

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, mission managers said they believe a faulty sensor in the rocket’s engine section was the culprit for the engine cooling issue.

But the association said Monday’s attempt helped them troubleshoot issues that will hopefully be worked out for its second try.



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