Mechanical Attitude Changes

Attitude changes made by the lunar module (or its ascent stage) while maneuvering in lunar orbit look remarkably like a model is being manipulated in front of a lunar backdrop.  Witness this film clip in which we see the ascent stage of the lunar module rendezvousing with the command module in lunar orbit.1  Notice that it's movements look completely unnatural.  When the craft begins rotating, there's no perceptible acceleration to speed.  Instead, the craft just suddenly begins rotating at a constant rate of speed from the outset.  Likewise, when rotation comes to a halt, there's no perceptible deceleration either.  

In addition to these anomalies, you'll notice from this close-up view of the above film clip that the spacecraft is somehow capable of instantaneously changing its direction of travel.  First, it's traveling to the left of the frame and then without any deceleration or perceptible drift, it suddenly begins moving straight down!  The spacecraft doesn't follow a curved path as one would expect in a frictionless environment; but rather, it moves 100% along the x-axis and then 100% along the y-axis!  

In this next film clip we see another brilliant example of the lunar module's ascent stage moving about in the frictionless environment of space as though it were a scene out of a bad science fiction movie.  Take one look.  Need I say more?  

In this next film clip taken from the NASA movie Apollo 16: Nothing So Hidden, the fully loaded lunar module is seen to be rotating in preparation for descent to the lunar surface.  Again, you'll notice that all of the changes in its motion occur instantaneously (there are 3 such changes--count them).  Anyone with a minimal understanding of physics knows that this is physically impossible.  A rotating mass of 17 tons has significant inertial resistance and it simply can't be stopped "on a dime" using attitude thrusters, in the frictionless environment of space.  Canceling of the rotation to this degree would take seconds (if not minutes) to accomplish regardless of whether computers were employed in the process or not.  In fact, unlike the Apollo lunar module, which according to official NASA videos, was capable of performing a 360 degree pitch or roll maneuver in about 20 seconds, the space shuttle required at least four minutes to perform the same maneuver--a twelve-fold difference despite that the difference in weight between the two spacecraft was only by a factor of 4! Nevermind that the shuttle also had an advantage in the lever arm distance that the rotational force acted through!

Imagine the rocket thrust that would be required to instantaneously stop 17 tons of mass rotating in the vacuum of space at the speed we see in the film clip.  Since what we see is that the rotation comes to a halt instantaneously, we know that this involves a large amount of power given that power is defined as the amount of work done (or energy transferred) per unit of time (P = w / t).  From this simple equation we know that as time approaches zero, power must approach infinity (do the math).  Even if the lunar module's attitude thruster system could deliver the kind of instantaneous force implied by the film clips, each of the thruster nozzles involved in a given maneuver would be torn apart from the craft after its initial firing, destroying the craft and killing the astronauts inside.   

Consider what would happen if your car were traveling just 2 or 3 miles per hour in a paved parking lot and a rear-view mirror suddenly struck a light pole...  Would your car suddenly come to a dead stop (or pivot around the light pole) and the rear-view mirror emerge unscathed?  Of course not.  The vehicle would continue traveling in a straight line for some distance, and as a result, you'd soon be making a trip to the car dealer or salvage yard to purchase another rear-view mirror!  

Here, the light pole--representing the instantaneous thrust of the attitude thrusters on the LM--acts as a force trying to cancel the forward momentum of your car.  In order for this force to actually cancel your car's motion, the rear-view mirror would first have to be more strongly attached to your car, correct?  The question becomes, just how strong would this attachment need to be in order for the instantaneous force--in the form of the light pole--to stop your car dead in its tracks?  Can the rear-view mirror simply be bolted to the car's frame with bigger bolts?  Hardly.  At the very least, it would have to be integrated into the car's frame and even then it's unclear whether the vehicle's frame itself could withstanding this kind of repeated hammering ...  Now consider that the typical car probably weighs only about 2 tons and not 17 tons!  Taking this extra mass into account, how much additional reinforcement would be required to keep that rear-view mirror intact?  You get the picture...

Not only does the lunar module cancel its rotation suddenly, but it does so without any perceptible error.  That is, the canceling of rotation isn't just instantaneous, it's perfect!  Against the backdrop of the lunar surface, you see absolutely no "slippage"--no residual motion whatsoever.  Common sense will tell you that movements this precise could not have been carried out by the lunar module in the frictionless environment of space using attitude thrusters.  Such precise changes in motion are not consistent with the operation of rocket engines in the vacuum of space.  Nor are they consistent with a mass weighing as much as the lunar module.  Such precise control is typically only associated in the real world with relatively small masses that are controlled through mechanical linkage--like that of a model.  

Even if it were possible to control the rotation of the 17-ton lunar module with the kind of precision we see exhibited by the NASA film clips, why would NASA engineers ever choose the uncertain and difficult task of engineering such a system to do this in the first place?  After all, it's completely unnecessary to attain this degree of precision simply to perform an attitude change while in lunar orbit.  It's unnecessary because it costs absolutely nothing to have to wait a few seconds or even minutes for an attitude change to take place.  Granted, given the circumstances, everyone knows that NASA engineers had all the time in the world to engineer the most exacting and precise (not to mention impossible) attitude control system imaginable, but what would have been their motivation for doing this?  I mean, what's the big hurry?  

As was pointed out earlier, this unnecessary precision comes at considerable risk to the astronaut's lives.  Again, the closer you approach an instantaneous change in the motion of a large mass, the more energy that is required.  We call this power and as any teenager who's ever owned a hotrod knows, power has a strong tendency to break things--often at the expense of people's lives.  Would extremely precise attitude changes really be worth the loss of life?  Would NASA actually risk astronaut's lives, not to mention a failed mission and failed reputation just so that the lunar module could carry out precise attitude changes even though they were completely unnecessary?  Talk about irresponsible!

One might could argue that NASA hasn't always taken safety as seriously as they should have and that perhaps they ignored issues that shouldn't have been ignored but one thing NASA couldn't ignore was increasing payload weight.  Everyone knows that during the Apollo program NASA fought to keep payload weight to an absolute minimum.  This fact seems to be suspiciously at odds with the very design of the Apollo payload itself--namely the Lunar Module.  In nature, where there's power there's always strength and the more powerful something is, the more substantial its components must be--walls must be thicker, bolts must be bigger, etc.  If the lunar module were in fact capable of carrying out the instantaneous attitude changes we see in the film clips and such precise changes in attitude require the kind of raw power that the laws of physics demand, then the components of the lunar module's attitude thruster system had to have been engineered in accordance.  Without a doubt, a more powerful attitude thruster system would have to be more robust and heavier.  So, the question is, why would NASA have okayed the addition of unnecessary weight to the lunar module when payload weight was such an issue of concern?   

Yet another question to be answered by NASA apologists is why--against the backdrop of the sunlit lunar surface--we see no evidence of optical refraction, (you know, that waviness you see when looking through two insufficiently mixed gases of different densities, as for example, that seen at the top of an incinerator stack where a hot, less dense exhaust mixes with the surrounding cooler and denser air)?  How is this possible given that here we have an expelled gas of some presumed density interfacing with a vacuum which by definition, has near zero density?  Shouldn't we expect to see at least some optical interference or refraction in the thruster exhaust?  Instead, we see nothing of the sort.

Another curious anomaly can be seen at the tail-end of the earlier noted film clip and is emphasized in this film clip.  Again, here we see the ascent stage of the lunar module approaching the command module.  About half-way through the clip you'll notice that the camera pans down and to the right as though it were bumped slightly, causing both the Apollo spacecraft and the lunar surface--which together comprise the entire visible background--to shift up and to the left in the frame.  The camera then pans back and the background more or less shifts in accordance.  What's odd about this is, rather than moving in unison, the Apollo spacecraft shifts independent of the lunar surface behind it!  Notice that during the initial panning, the distance between the bright spot seen near the uppermost point of the spacecraft and the small crater on the lunar surface decreases.  During the subsequent rebound, as the background returns to its original position in the frame, this same distance is now seen to increase.  As anyone who's ever looked through a camcorder eyepiece knows, when a camera pans, everything in the frame shifts in perfect unison--not independently.  

So, how did NASA fake all of these film clips, you ask?  The answer may lie in the form of numerous photos taken at NASA's Langley Research Center, (LRC) facility in Hampton, Va, that were originally found on the internet by Sam Colby, (see links page).  Among the many photos Colby provides on his website are some that show LRC personnel in the process of creating a film studio that is clearly intended to capture realistic looking scenes of Apollo both approaching the moon and orbiting it.



Photo 1: Curved Canvas and Lunar Globe (click for full size)
To the left is a photo taken inside one of LRC's facilities that shows both a curved wall-like canvas (there were three total according to Colby) and a large globe.  This photo was taken prior to preparation of both surfaces.  

In front of the canvas you'll notice that there's a track on top of which rests a camera dolly that could be used to capture video footage of an approach to the moon (by filming the globe) or footage taken during maneuvers in low-lunar orbit (by filming the large curved canvas).  In either case, the footage is captured while the camera dolly is slowly rolled along the track to give the viewer the impression of forward motion.  

Underneath the globe can be seen a motor that would have been used to slowly rotate the globe.  

Below, are more such photos originating from LRC (again, via Colby's website) that were taken during the process of texturing the canvas and globe surfaces.  Notice how meticulously the technicians seem to go about their work.  The employee in the middle photo can be seen utilizing a compass presumably to be certain that surface features are copied and scaled accurately according to the lunar map he is holding in his hand.  Notice from this same photo that not only is the canvas curved horizontally along the x-axis, it's also curved vertically along the y-axis (see the curved vertical edge just to the right of the employee).  Would this level of precision really be necessary in order to produce a film for use in a museum setting or even a simulation for the astronauts to train with?  Even if the intent were to produce a film for showing in a museum, one wonders why not just show the actual film that was captured during the Apollo missions?  The answer perhaps is because, there was no actual film to show...

Photo 2: Preparing the surface of the globe (click for full size)

Photo 3: Preparing surface of the canvas (click for full size)

Photo 4: Preparing surface of the canvas (click for full size)

For more photos related to the LRC, visit Sam Colby's website.  Existence of the above LRC studio facilities appears to be confirmed by photos, illustrations and other material as seen in the movie, Secret Space: Illuminati Conquest of Space directed by Chris Everard.  The relevant segment of this movie can be viewed here.    

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1. This clip originated from Bart Sibrel's Monkey Business video and is also seen in the NASA movie, Apollo 11: For All Mankind.  

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