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Could NASA Launch a Secret Moon Mission?

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The new film "Apollo 18" is like "The Blair Witch Project" of space travel flicks, couched as found footage shot by NASA astronauts during a secret mission to the moon in 1973. In the story, the astronauts encounter unfriendly lunar aliens, chaos ensues and NASA forever hushes the whole thing up.

It's science fiction, of course: History has it that Apollo 18, along with 19 and 20, was canceled — Apollo 17 was NASA's final lunar mission. But the new film will surely stoke conspiratorial fires about the agency's secret activities. Might NASA really have launched a secret human spaceflight during the Apollo era, without anyone noticing it?

The "Apollo 18" trailer includes a snippet in which the astronauts are communicating with the Department of Defense (DoD), suggesting that it is involved in the secret mission. (The astronauts, however, are decked out in NASA gear and communicate with personnel in Houston, the location of NASA's mission control center.) Filmmakers might be playing off of the fact that the DoD's space program is much more secretive than NASA's, making the premise slightly more conceivable (though more confusing, too).

"The space budget at the Pentagon is much bigger than NASA's budget," Nelson said. "They launch missions all the time and they don't reveal hardly any of it. They have their own launch pad next to NASA's in Florida, and another launch pad in California."

Could NASA Launch a Secret Moon Mission?

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Clinton could not keep secret an adventure, Watergate revealed but yeah a secret moon landing involving thousands of people, suppliers,companies etc could be kept secret, for sure.

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Short answer: NO.

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Short answer: NO.

Maybe, if it was done by the military and not NASA. Wouldn't the Soviets and other countries have noticed it though? How could they keep all those other governments quiet? How could they have prevented all journalists and sky watchers around the world from not picking it up?

It's the same thing with UFOs: they can't. Someone, somewhere is always going to talk, so what would be the cover story that would provide plausible deniability? What kind of smokescreens and disinformation would have to be put out so that anyone who questioned the official denials could have been written off as a loony and conspiracy buff? In many ways, it would be similar to the UFO problem.

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Again: No. You'd have to have a massive area with no people, and no air traffic, with no radar. Even then, Russian and other countries launch detection systems would pick up the launch. So, short answer: no.

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Again: No. You'd have to have a massive area with no people, and no air traffic, with no radar. Even then, Russian and other countries launch detection systems would pick up the launch. So, short answer: no.

SAYS YOU !!!!!!!

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Again: No. You'd have to have a massive area with no people, and no air traffic, with no radar. Even then, Russian and other countries launch detection systems would pick up the launch. So, short answer: no.

SAYS YOU !!!!!!!

Well there is some weight to his comments.. consider the discovery of gamma ray bursts..

Gamma-ray bursts were first observed in the late 1960s by the U.S. Vela satellites, which were built to detect gamma radiation pulses emitted by nuclear weapons tested in space. The United States suspected that the USSR might attempt to conduct secret nuclear tests after signing the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1963. On July 2, 1967, at 14:19 UTC, the Vela 4 and Vela 3 satellites detected a flash of gamma radiation unlike any known nuclear weapons signature.[4] Uncertain what had happened but not considering the matter particularly urgent, the team at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, led by Ray Klebesadel, filed the data away for investigation. As additional Vela satellites were launched with better instruments, the Los Alamos team continued to find inexplicable gamma-ray bursts in their data. By analyzing the different arrival times of the bursts as detected by different satellites, the team was able to determine rough estimates for the sky positions of sixteen bursts[4] and definitively rule out a terrestrial or solar origin. The discovery was declassified and published in 1973 as an Astrophysical Journal article entitled "Observations of Gamma-Ray Bursts of Cosmic Origin".[5]

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Gamma_ray_bursts#History

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/History_of_gamma-ray_burst_research

and this stuff is from the 60s.. So I think this is fine evidence that there are satellites up there to monitor a bunch of different things that might lift off and such, and from different countries.

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SAYS YOU !!!!!!!

Watertight argument you have there.

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Short answer: NO.

Sometimes minimalism is all one needs...good answer. :)

I can see it now...the authorities will simply say: "No one is to look up today, and if you live near Cape Canaveral/Kennedy please disregard any humongous rocket blasts". :rolleyes:

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Every rocket launch draws a crowd. Even a launch system that pushes a shuttle just to low Earth Orbit causes tremors that can be felt iin an area greater than two miles.

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Every rocket launch draws a crowd. Even a launch system that pushes a shuttle just to low Earth Orbit causes tremors that can be felt iin an area greater than two miles.

Can you please stop using rational arguments?

:P

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Can you please stop using rational arguments?

:P

I cannot, the worm in my brain commands me so. :blink:

Oh... wait.

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If you've ever been anywhere on Florida's east coast during a shuttle launch, you'd know the answer is a resounding NO.

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If you've ever been anywhere on Florida's east coast during a shuttle launch, you'd know the answer is a resounding NO.

Yep, as a kid I saw the last shuttle go up to Mir. It was amazing on so many levels.

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And just what exactly is stopping them from launching from a secluded location and claiming it to be a satellite launch?

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And just what exactly is stopping them from launching from a secluded location and claiming it to be a satellite launch?

Payload for one, the size of the launcher for a moon mission for a satellite are different. Plus, even satellite launches draw a crowd.

Following that, if they managed to avoid a crowd, then the Russians and others would be tracking where it went.

Finally, much like on the original moon missions, radio operators would have noticed chatter going back an forth between the moon mission and Earth.

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Why did the article disappear?

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I think this is a film and requires a suspension of disbelief as most fiction does.

I suppose anything is possible, but really, the level of cover-up for something as massive as a moon-shot is just so unlikely.

Has anyone seen the movie? If I see it, will I want to beat the film-makers like I wanted to beat the people who made the Blair Witch Project? I don't hate ALL of that type of movie by the way...just the ones that use it gratuitously...

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I think it depends upon where the launch was from. People may have detected the blasts but were told it was something else. That's how the Manhattan Project stayed secret. Someone should do some general research on all reported blasts in the area the launch could have happened.

I personally consider it fiction.

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what if the launch was in Russia and they was working together with the US, im sure they could get one up there if they want. esepcially if it was seceret.

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what if the launch was in Russia and they was working together with the US, im sure they could get one up there if they want. esepcially if it was seceret.

With Russia? During the Cold War?

Yeah, it's possible..

It's also possible that Kim Jong Il and President Lee Myung-bak meet regularly for golf and snacks.

Just rather unlikely.

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"The "Apollo 18" trailer includes a snippet in which the astronauts are communicating with the Department of Defense (DoD), suggesting that it is involved in the secret mission."

well, of course, a lot of Shuttle missions were carried out on behalf of the DoD, launching Satellites and so forth. You couldn't launch a Shuttle very discreetly, though, so they could hardly keep the missions secret.

With Russia? During the Cold War?

Yeah, it's possible..

It's also possible that Kim Jong Il and President Lee Myung-bak meet regularly for golf and snacks.

Just rather unlikely.

They did, only it wasn't secret: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo-Soyuz_Test_Project

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Not wanting to be mischievous at all, though, but the AF do of course have their own private space launch facility ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandenberg_Air_Force_Base

Though I expect a Saturn V launch from their would not escape being noticed by somebody ....

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Would it take a Saturn V rocket to get men back on the moon with todays technology? If it could be done with a smaller rocket or even using a Saturn V rocket it could be hiden by doing it in plane sight. Just tell everybody that NASA is now starting to send equipment to the moon for a future moon base. Hence the need for such a big rocket.

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Though I expect a Saturn V launch from their would not escape being noticed by somebody ....

Considering that they'd be launching eastward over the continental US, I have no doubt that you are correct.

Then there's the small problem of hiding the expended S-IC first stage after it separates and crashes to the ground.

Cz

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