Apollo 11: Brian Cox says ‘aerospace wasn’t ready for it’

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On July 20, 1969, NASA completed the seemingly impossible mission to put the first two men – Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin – on the Moon. Hours late, Armstrong made history, jumping off the lunar lander Eagle and delivering his legendary “one small step” speech to the millions watching back on Earth. The late astronaut became an overnight sensation after planting the US flag into the lunar surface and bringing an end to the Space Race with the Soviet Union. 

But on his return to Earth, he was lambasted by the general public for shying away from the limelight and notoriously avoiding interviews, leading some to question whether the entire mission was faked.

And that infuriates Dr Tyson, who questioned the wild claims during a video with Penguin Books UK.

He said: “Have you really thought about what it would take to fake the Moon landings?

“The rocket did launch, we all saw the rocket launch, so the hardware is there, like office building blueprints for the design of the Saturn V rocket.

“Hundreds of thousands of engineering hours went behind this and the records are the designs.”

Dr Tyson went on to explain exactly why the theories are ludicrous. 

He added: “If you wanted to fake the Moon landings, you would have to fake all those documents.

“It just seems to me that it would be way easier to just go there.

“Has anyone considered that? Just go to the Moon! That is so much easier than faking all of this.

“So, yes, we did go to the Moon.”

NASA has shared a photo of Armstrong’s boot mark on the surface of the Moon to mark the anniversary.

The space agency wrote on Instagram: “What was only one small step 52 years ago, has inspired a lifetime of wonder.

“On this day, we celebrate the Moon landing and salute the heroes, visionaries, and explorers who not only made the seemingly impossible, possible – but inspired us to return.”

It came after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos blasted into space yesterday with his company Blue Origin.

The billionaire made a short journey to space as part of the first crewed flight of his rocket ship, New Shepard.

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He was accompanied by Mark Bezos, his brother, Wally Funk, an 82-year-old pioneer of the space race, and an 18-year-old student.

When the capsule touched back down Mr Bezos exclaimed: “Best day ever!”

He is hoping that his company will be the pioneer of space tourism, but he has strong competition from Virgin Galactic’s Sir Richard Branson.

The 70-year-old was blasted up 53 miles to the edge of space earlier this month on board his Virgin Galactic rocket plane.

Sir Richard returned safely to Spaceport America in the New Mexico desert just over an hour later, dubbing the trip the “experience of a lifetime”. 

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