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No, Apollo astronauts had two types of boots – photos not proof of moon landing hoax

“Do you think the moon landing was real?” asks a Facebook post shared in South Africa.

It includes a meme with two photos. The first shows an astronaut suit, the second a boot print in dust.

The meme’s text reads: “This is Neil Armsrton'g [sic] suit, preserved in a museum. It clearly doesn't match up with his footprints on the moon. Now you decide whether the moon landing was real or a hoax.”

The soles of the boots shown in the photo of the astronaut suit are smooth, with a heel. The photo of the boot print in dust shows it was made by a boot with deep ridges, and no heel.

On 20 July 1969, US astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to step foot on the moon. They were brought there by the spacecraft Apollo 11.

The successful landing came after years of work by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or Nasa.

But does the meme show proof that this moon landing never happened?

Two types of boots

The meme’s first photo does show Armstrong’s space suit, at the 2015 launch of a project to restore and preserve the suit. The restored suit was put on display at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in the US capital of Washington, DC in July 2019.

But the second photo is of Aldrin’s – not Armstrong’s – boot print on the moon’s surface.

And the gear the astronauts used for the Apollo mission included two types of boots.

These were the boots for their spacesuits, and special overshoes – known as “space boots” – for walking on the moon’s surface. The two types of boots can be clearly seen in a Nasa photo taken before the mission.

A similar photo of Armstrong’s boot print can be seen in the Getty Images photo collection.

Space boots left on moon to make space for samples

The space boots were left on the surface of the moon when the astronauts returned to Earth, along with more than 100 other items such as a US flag, food bags, and a gold olive branch

A list of these items is kept by the Lunar Legacy Project at New Mexico State University in the US.

The objects were left on the moon to make space in the lunar lander. According to Forbes, this was because Nasa “wanted the mission to bring back as many samples of lunar rocks and dust as possible”, for scientists to study.

The year 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. Speculation that the moon landing was a hoax have circulated for decades, but have repeatedly been debunked. – Africa Check


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