Question NASA Apollo 8: The Critique

A YouTube user from the Netherlands who goes
by the handle, awe130, has now made over eighty moon hoax conspiracy videos where he shrouds
his moon hoax claims under the guise of questions to NASA. One of his videos which he uploaded on November
12, 2010, is called “Question NASA Apollo 8.” In this video, he shows an outtake from an
interview with the Apollo 8 astronauts where they mention Dr. James Van Allen, whose cosmic
ray experiments aboard Explorers 1 and 3, lead to the discovery of charged particle
radiation trapped in the earth’s ionosphere, now known as the Van Allen Belts. Awe starts by suggesting that this excerpt
somehow pits the Apollo 8 astronauts against Dr. Van Allen. Notice the little message that will appear
at the top of the screen in which awe says that this “cut” was made by NASA-TV,
not him. Borman: But, interestingly enough, all the
scientists, and [garbled] Dr. Van Allen was convinced that we got fried going through
his ionosphere belt. This, and that the doctors were going nuts
and we were wondering – as if we – we – they couldn’t decide whether or not they were going
to abort the mission. They didn’t have much to say about it really
then. Lovell: Frank. Frank, I have to tell you this
right now, but we were going to the moon regardless of what happened to you.
Borman: Exactly. As with most of awe’s videos, it is unclear
exactly what message he’s trying to get across or what his question really means. To figure out his intent,
you have to look at his comments. Awe claims that this video is evidence that
Dr. Van Allen was convinced after ten years of study, that the astronauts would “get fried”
while attempting to transit the radiation belts. The Apollo 8 astronauts apparently admit that
Dr. Van Allen, and all the scientists and doctors were going nuts. But, when was that exactly? When did they go nuts? Was Dr. Van Allen “waving a red flag”
before the launch? To figure that out, you have to view a part
of the astronauts’ interview that awe doesn’t show us in his video. Borman: About – oh, I don’t know, about two
or three – I might as well get this out of the way right now because it will come up
sooner or later. Anders: It came up. [Laughter] Borman: I began to feel funny. Anders: I tell you it wasn’t a bit funny. Borman: You know, Jim Lovell and I had flown
for two weeks [on Gemini 7], and I’d never gotten sick, I’d never been sick in an airplane,
but I really wasn’t feeling too good. And so I managed to throw up all over ’em. And that caused great consternation back on
earth when – Anders wanted to squeal on me. I wouldn’t let him – so finally he dumped
it on the tape and they read about it – and then eight hours later. Anders: I covered his tail for eight hours. Borman: But, interestingly enough, all the
scientists, and [garbled] Dr. Van Allen was convinced that we got fried going through
his ionosphere belt. This, and that the doctors were going nuts
and we were wondering – as if we – we – they couldn’t decide whether or not they were
going to abort the mission. They didn’t have much to say about it really
then. Lovell: Frank. Frank, I have to tell you this
right now, but we were going to the moon regardless of what happened to you.
Borman: Exactly. Borman’s words were that “Dr. Van Allen
was convinced that we got fried (past tense) going through his ionosphere belt.” The medical doctors went nuts when they found
out that Borman had vomited because… nausea and vomiting are THE early warning
signs of radiation poisoning. The doctors were considering turning the spacecraft
around to bring the astronauts back to earth and begin radiation treatment. Dr. Van Allen’s concern was that his ten
years of research wasn’t good enough to ensure safe passage to the moon. And awe’s poor attempt at quote-mining
could not convince a third grader that in December 1968, before the launch of Apollo 8,
Dr. Van Allen thought the astronauts could not maneuver around his ionosphere belts and they
would be killed attempting to fly to the moon. Sorry awe. Better luck next time. Ciao moon hoax conspirators,
wherever you are.

100 thoughts on “Question NASA Apollo 8: The Critique

  1. @awe130 The only point? First of all, you've made 54 videos "questioning" the integrity of Apollo. Second, AGAIN, Van Allen did NOT believe astronauts would be "fried." He thought he may have been wrong when Borman got sick. He WASN'T. Van Allen HAS been questioned and his answer is that people like you are spouting "nonsense" about the radiation in space.

  2. @Astrobrant2
    You can use capitals as big as a 22 inch TFT, but it won't work. Awe is a simpleton, littering 'peace' and ignorance.

  3. @philwebb59
    I don't know about the 'last word', but I seem to be failing to get any words from hir at all.
    But I have been finding lots of interesting papers and books about radiation hazards to astronauts.
    It is a fascinating field, of which awe seems oblivious.

  4. @awe130 Come on. It should be really easy for you to show us why you believe Van Allen was convinced that astronauts would get fried by radiation. As many times as you have made that same statement, couldn't you tell us where to find that information?
    Many people are able to read this thread. Let's question awe130. How many times do you have to be told why Borman made that statement before it finally gets through your thick, conceited head?

  5. @Rob260259 I know. I'm embarrassed doing it. I just want to make them big and easy to notice so people scanning through these comments can see how many MORE times I will have to ask that noxious troll those very simple questions before he answers them.
    You know, he remindes me of ShockOfGod. Are you familiar with him?

    You will NOT be able to answer these questions any time soon, and I suspect because of your impenetrable conceit, you will not be able to figure out WHY you can't answer them. Let's see how long it takes you.

  7. @Rob260259 No, he's the one who constantly trolls his "gotcha" question, "What is your proof and evidence that atheism is accurate and correct?"
    It doesn't matter how many times and ways he has been shown why that is an illigitimate question, and it doesn't matter how many times it has been answered, he keeps throwing it right back. He thinks he has stumped atheists and proven that they have no justification for their beliefs, (or non-belief, in this case.)

  8. @awe130
    Is it possible you will ever be able to answer or even acknowledge my question?
    I am still waiting for that paper…

    "Is it possible that the Apollo 8 crew was in earth orbit like Apollo 7?"

    No, because the Apollo capsule would be visible from the earth as it orbited.
    Jodrell Bank would have been able to see that the signals were coming from nowhere near the moon.
    As would any Russian radio telescopes.
    Also any amateur radio operators listening in would notice this.

    Guessing now?

  9. @awe130
    I advise you to attempt to answer my question. Although you do seem to struggle with answering questions.
    Incidentally do you have that paper yet?

  10. @awe130
    You are still ignoring my question.
    Which was : To find one paper by any physicist from any country any time in the last 40 years which shows that an astronaut would receive a hazardous dose of radiation from a short transit through the VABs.
    Like I pointed out I am not interested in your deceptive editing ad quote mining.

  11. @awe130
    "Now the Apollo 8 crew is in support of my claim that Apollo 8 was an orbital mission!"

    So what?
    Apollo 9 was initially a lunar mission.
    Really, why do you struggle supplying actual evidence or answering questions.
    And where is that paper?

  12. @awe130
    No, I am asking you.
    You are supposed to be the seeker after truth trying to show something.

    All the papers I have found show that the VABs were not an impenetrable barrier.
    And the main concern with them today is with permanently manned space stations which pass through them regularly.

    Now where is that paper? Why are you unable to show even one?

  13. @awe130
    No, I say that you are good at quote mining and deceptively editing interviews.
    Now where is that paper?
    Any paper from any physicist from any country. Why can you not find one?

  14. @NASAvsPETE Nothing different except that I backup and start where Borman first mentions that he vomited while passing through the ionosphere and that is what sparked Dr Van Allen's concern. That Borman said Dr Van Allen thought the astronauts had "got fried" on their way to the moon while in the vicinity of the VAB, not that Dr Van Allen thought the astronauts might "get fried" before the flight was attempted as awe said.

    I can see how you would not be able to distinguish between the two.

  15. @NASAvsPETE
    Wow… eleven thumbs up for such a nonsense..! Within a day! There must be a crowd of hoaxheads supporting your idiocy Pete.

  16. @NASAvsPETE Obviously honesty is the "concept" you "have no idea about". Peace to you? Ancient saying; "Don't piss on my back and tell me it's raining". I suppose it's just too much to hope that you'd figure out you're not fooling anybody around here, or even getting the rise out of them you seek. Can't you just get lost? Find someone else to pester.

  17. @NASAvsPETE Correction. Dr Van Allen thought the astronauts might have "got fried" while flying through the ionosphere as Borman said. Start at 2:18 and play for 73 seconds. That's the entire statement made by Borman. The portion that awe uses starts at 3:06. By ignoring the first 48 seconds of Borman's statement, awe has attempted to change the meaning of what Borman said. That's classic quote-mining. Borman vomited on the way to the moon and Dr Van Allen's reaction to that was one of concern.

  18. @Krisdivale Ah, yes! Definitely unique. There's nobody like good ol' awe. I like Pete's story about a two part Apollo 8 mission. One with a monkey that went to the moon and the astronauts circling the earth at 500 miles, putting them well within the inner belt. I don't know where these people come up with such, umm, stories. We really need to find out what they're smoking.

  19. @NASAvsPETE "Easy NASA omitted….." I guess we'll have to add poor reading comprehension to your obviously long list of infirmities. To repeat, "PETE" : A CREDIBLE SOURCE. you know, like a scientist, or investigative reporter, CIA/FBI agent…
    All you've given is a long rambling -fantasy – I suppose. As was noted in comments above ; your 500 mile altitude would put the men right in the inner VAB . But I suppose when your only goal in life is to be a gadfly – well, facts don't matter,

  20. @awe130 Apollo 7 was intended as a shakedown of the newly redesigned CM and did not carry a LM. Since it was only going into low earth orbit to begin with, it didn't need a Saturn V rocket. They went up on a Saturn 1B. Apollo 8 was already planned as a test drive for the LM. They had already intended to use a fully loaded Saturn V to simulate as much of a moon flight as possible. When the LM wasn't ready on time, they switched to a CM only flight to put men in lunar orbit before the Soviets did.

  21. @NASAvsPETE Umm? OK. First, the service module needed the command module to operate. Second, the command module needed the service module to operate. The brains were in the CM. The O2 & H tanks (their only source of water & fuel), fuel cells, etc, all were all in the SM. The engine was in the SM. The CM had no propulsion, other than the tiny retro-rockets, which were fueled, I believe, from the SM. So, how did they slow down for reentry? You didn't think this one through very well Pete.

  22. @NASAvsPETE "My goal in life is to seek… " Notice, readers, he is STILL unable to "reveal the truth" he "seeks" in the form of a CREDIBLE SOURCE. And no, there are remarkably few "anomalies" in fact. For educated people, fewer than one might expect, given the bizarre environments visited. As is often the case, the ignorant, dishonest and egotistical type is very good at seeing things which simply aren't there, and ignoring what is. " Flag" debunk: /user/shanedk#p/u/24/GbJvgqoeFSU

  23. @occhamite There's nothing wrong with Pete seeking what others have already found. But it might be helpful if he took the blindfold off first.

  24. @NASAvsPETE Talking to yourself again, Pete? You do realize that what you are calling "wires" is just lens flare from the ops antenna, don't you. It doesn't take much intelligence to figure that one out. The only thing more laughable is your monkey in the SM claim.

  25. @NASAvsPETE Where do you come up with this stuff, Pete. Really. Whatever you're smoking, I want to give it a try.

    Regardless of what "the hoax theory" says, as I'm sure you just made this one up, the astronauts would only survive a couple of hours in the CM if it was not hooked up to the SM. Their lifeless bodies would still be circling the earth. You might as well go with "the hoax theory" that the astronauts never left the ground.

  26. @NASAvsPETE No, seriously Pete, what are you smoking? Have they done any clinical studies on it? Is it addictive? Are there any cautions about operating a vehicle while you're on it? How long do the hallucinations last?

  27. @NASAvsPETE It's all part of a drug induced out-of-body experience. You really should stick to the claim that it was all filmed at Area 51. Riddle me this: Why did NASA have to send a monkey or any animal for that matter? Both the US and the Soviets sent very sensitive instruments to the moon and performed extensive radiation measurements. If they thought it wasn't safe, why send a monkey to the moon? If they wanted to fry a monkey with radiation, why not just put him in a microwave oven?

  28. @NASAvsPETE Watch the video Pete. Borman said that after Dr. Van Allen learned that Borman tossed his lunch on his way through the VAB, he was convinced that they had "got fried." You speak English as a first language. You should understand the use of past tense. With awe, I can see where he would have difficulty understanding the difference between "get" and "got," but there's no excuse for you.

  29. @NASAvsPETE "van Allens sentiments regardless were the fact that they 'got fried'" while passing through the VAB on their way to the moon. Awe constantly tries to say Van Allen made the statement before the mission, but you clearly understand that they were on their way when the statement was made. Thank you for agreeing with me.

    Which hoax theory are you referring to this time? There are so many.

  30. @NASAvsPETE This contradicts you other statement. Which is it? Did Dr Van Allen, in Borman's words, say he thought they "got fried" while passing through the VAB, or are you going to ignore the English language and side with awe that Dr Van Allen, in Borman's words, made this statement before hand? Again, I think you need to drop this one and go back to the Area 51 claim.

  31. @awe130
    I think I'll have to use the 'spam-button' for the repetitive nonsense you puke Awe. Why don't you answer some questions yourself? Like this one?

  32. @awe130 Dr. van Allen was convinced of *WHAT*, awe130? He clearly stated, on several occasions, that radiation was not a problem for the Apollo astronauts. He stated that the conspiracist notion that Apollo had to be faked because of a supposedly insurmountable radiation problem was utter nonsense.

    What part of that do you not understand? Or is it that you don't WANT to understand it?

  33. @philwebb59 Inasmuch as all three Apollo 8 astronauts are still alive in their 80s more than 40 years after their flight would tend to say that they did not get "fried".

    Van Allen is on record as stating that radiation was not a problem for Apollo, and the notion it was is conspiracist nonsense. What part of that rather clear statement do you not understand?

  34. @NASAvsPETE Inasmuch as all three Apollo 8 astronauts are still alive in their 80s more than 40 years after their flight would tend to say that they did not get "fried".

    Van Allen is on record as stating that radiation was not a problem for Apollo, and the notion it was is conspiracist nonsense. What part of that rather clear statement do you not understand?

  35. @ApolloWasReal Was that really to me? I was trying to get these birdbrains to admit that any concern Dr Van Allen had about radiation came hours after he had thrown up on his way to the moon. Yes, we realize now that he experienced space sickness, but Borman's words were that Dr Van Allen thought they "got fried," past tense. Awe and Pete are the ones saying "after 10 years of study, yada, yada, yada." It's just fun to see how deep they can dig their hole.

  36. @awe130 There is no doubt we put men on the moon. The more you spew verifiably incorrect statements, the more ridiculous you look, awe.

  37. @philwebb59 Sorry, sometimes I don't pay proper attention to the handles YT puts into these tiny reply boxes when I hit "reply". Obviously I had intended my reply to be directed to NASAvsPETE, which is why I duplicated the message to him. YT ought to allow us to edit our own messages; that would make things easier.

  38. @philwebb59 As demonstrated by Apollo 13 when O2 tank 2 in the SM blew up, taking out O2 tank 1. This starved out all three fuel cells, and made the otherwise intact H2 tanks also useless. Without power, the S-band antenna was useless. The SM's propellant tanks and rocket engines were more or less intact but NASA didn't dare to use them again because of concern that they might be in an unsafe condition. So the SM was basically a dead weight for the rest of the mission.

  39. @awe130 Well, Apollo 8 began its mission by entering a low earth orbit. And since the earth's moon itself orbits the earth, one could say that Apollo 8 was still orbiting the earth even as it orbited the moon.

  40. @awe130 Indeed Apollo 8 was originally planned as a high altitude repeat of Apollo 7. High enough to give you conspiracy theorists conniptions about radiation.

    The decision to send Apollo 8 to the moon was only made after Apollo 7 had succeeded and showed the CSM to be spaceworthy. The LM was behind schedule, so the thinking was that NASA might as well send just the CSM all the way to the moon. And so they did.

  41. @philwebb59 As an aside, since the Saturn V had been designed to launch a LM along with the CSM, the Apollo 8 mission carried a "mass simulator" instead. This was a dummy payload whose mass properties (moments of inertia, etc) were similar to those of an actual fueled lunar module . You can see the mass simulator on top of the spent S-IVB stage in pictures taken shortly after CSM separation.

  42. @awe130 And your point (that Dr. Van Allen was still convinced after 10 years of study that the astronauts would be 'fried') is simply wrong. But I don't expect you to admit that. Nor will you produce any documentary evidence for your claim.

    Your pretense to be an open-minded skeptic is wearing thin. Why don't you just come out and admit that you're as much of an Apollo-denying conspiracy crackpot as Jarrah White?

  43. @NASAvsPETE Yeah, where DO you get this stuff?

    Apollo 8 flew a standard production Block II Apollo CM of the type flown on every manned Apollo mission. Minor (but well documented) changes were made to every CM to fix various operational problems, but there were no significant differences between the CMs on Apollos 7 and 8 in 1968 and that flown on ASTP in 1975.

    The SM changed much more than the CM during that time, mainly to increase endurance and to carry more scientific equipment.

  44. @NASAvsPETE I love it – here we have a CT claiming the Apollo CM could do more than it actually could, rather than less.

    Please explain to me how an Apollo CM, sans SM, could keep a crew alive in earth orbit for the 6+ day duration of the Apollo 8 mission. Making electricity and water and keeping the astronauts breathing used 254 lb of liquid oxygen and 26.6 lb of hydrogen; where was that stored, if not in the SM? How was the deorbit burn made without the SM's propulsion?

  45. @ApolloWasReal I've asked him the same questions. Somewhere in the chatter above, he claims that the "real" CM was much larger than we are lead to believe. He thinks there were all kinds of secret compartments where they stored batteries, water, oxygen, and apparently an engine with fuel. Although, that doesn't explain how it shrank when it fell to earth. The Apollo 8 is in Chicago at the Museum of Science and Industry. I've seen it. There's not much space between the seats and the heat shield.

  46. @philwebb59 Like I said, it's absolutely fascinating that on the one hand the CTs insist that NASA lacked the technology to send humans to the moon, yet in service to the "hoax" they often ascribe properties to NASA technology that go far beyond its actual capabilities or even physical limits. For example, Apollo 8 consumed about 300 kWh of electricity during its mission, about 2 kW continuously for 6+ days. Without the SM's fuel cells and cryogens that would take some very good batteries!

  47. @awe130 Glenn Beck is my hero, awe. A good friend of mine works in the adjacent sound room where he does his radio show. She hates him. Anyway, I doubt Glenn, my hero, would say anything so stupid. Again, you got it wrong. And, yet again, I will allow you to reply by repeating what you just said, possibly with different misspelled words this time, and I will totally ignore it. I'm only going to waste my breath on you once from now on. Nothing else you say about Glenn will solicit a response.

  48. @NASAvsPETE No, Pete, what YOU need to understand is that he panicked unnecessarily, second-guessing himself, and it turned out he was WRONG. You ARE capable of understanding something that complex, aren't you?
    Maybe you can tell us, where do you think Borman was when he got sick? Where would he HAVE to be if Van Allen momentarily thought he may have gotten sick from radiation?
    Think about that reeeaaal long. Get back to us.

  49. @philwebb59 Reminds me of when I was in school and would get an important test on my desk, graded and face down. If I wasn't confident about my performance, I had a hell-of-a time turning that paper over. I was dying to know what I got, but MAN that paper was heavy.
    Hoax nuts must be like that. Only most of these guys we keep seeing take a peek at the evaluations of their claims and keep getting scores like 45, 12, 53, 0, 38, etc. And they KEEP doing it while devoutly refusing to study.

  50. @ytmoog Awe is extremely stubborn and impervious to embarrassment. He and people like Jarrah have egos that would end world hunger if they could be vegetized AND made to have any nutritional value.

  51. @NASAvsPETE Finally! "It was all shot at Area 51." Thanks, Pete. This has been an enjoyable trip into la la land and back to the same old sing-song. You went from an over-sized CM with extra tanks & stuff hidden in the bulkhead, to external tanks, now to this. I won't even go as far as ask you for any sources because it's obvious you're making everything up. You're almost as deluded as awe. And why is it you two are the only conspiracists who bother commenting? Do the others know better?

  52. @philwebb59
    "how can you come up with this stuff.."

    Probably the same hallucinogens that those two other moonhoax idgets used when they concluded that the ISS is an empty white box in orbit.

  53. @ytmoog Yup. That's true, as far as what they do, but I feel the need from time to time to point out that these aren't truth seekers. They are pseudo-scholastic wannabes who inflate their egos by pretending to be something they aren't. People like awe130 and Jarrah White simply ooze with this pustulent character flaw, which, of course, leads to their intellectual dishonesty.

  54. @NASAvsPETE If you're going to quote me and respond to it, have the courtesy of using the reply button. Otherwise it makes you look like an evasive coward.
    It really makes you twist in the wind when you get a question like that doesn't it? Borman didn't need to prove VanAllen "partially" right because VanAllen's concern was in RESPONSE to Borman's illness. Why fake the illness when Van Allen was clearly on record as having stated that the radiation should be a minimal hazard?

  55. @NASAvsPETE Umm? Did you recently suffer a stroke? Are you sure you don't drink or take drugs? What are you talking about? Now you're saying that NASA sent caterers into space? That doesn't make a lick of sense.

    And, why is it, in your opinion, so important for NASA to send a monkey to the moon first? I imagine the astronauts squelched any chance of that happening, early on. Can you imagine? Think of the jokes. "Yeah, it's so easy, even a monkey can do it." I doubt they would let that happen.

  56. @NASAvsPETE I don't like being called a liar. That motivates me to smear you good in these comments.
    So now you change the subject. Predictable. I asked a question you couldn't answer because your claims about this incident are nonsense. Someone doesn't even need to actually know what happened in order to see that your position makes no sense at all. I showed that, you sneaked a reply without using the reply button, and then insulted me when your folly was exposed.
    Now, bring it. I want more.

  57. @NASAvsPETE Source please. Don't just jump on the "10 years of research" train that awe appears to be pulling. What evidence do you have to backup your claims?

  58. Actually, this story is described in the book "Genesis" about the Apollo 8 mission. And there's no mention of Van Allen. So I think that Borman is just generalising when he refers to Van Allen.

    Interesting to note that Borman specifically mentions the ionosphere… so how long before awe makes a video claiming that all Earth orbit missions are fake too?

  59. @apollotls Good point. I'll have to look for that book.

    Memories fade, details change. I'd be suspicious if they didn't.

  60. @NASAvsPETE You have been found out? for the liar you are, again. The original USSR photos did not show stars, you just zoomed in, and manipulated the poor quality images until some imperfections appeared, and you called them stars.
    Why did you not also put the original pics in your YT video? Because they lack stars?

  61. "The extra lightning" seen in the heel of Aldrin's boot when he is coming down the ladder is no mystery, there was a large white surface nearby reflecting the light. That was of course the other astronaut in his white spaced suit. We know this is so because he took the picture! How could the so-called expert with his tangent measurements have overlooked this? Answer: he was not looking for the truth.

  62. It is stated that the Hasselblad camera "had no viewfinder". However, the viewfinder is clearly seen in its turned back position. It is just a square frame made of metal wire but fully functional. So the statement is incorrect.

  63. @BjornPalmen Your comment would probably get a livelier response on a video about Aldrin's ladder descent. David Groves' (if he really exists) analysis is here:
    I love the graphic at 1:52 showing angles to 3 and 4 decimal places.

    And a video showing Armstrong's position when he took the pictures and how bright his suit was is here:

  64. @philwebb59 You are right. The "doctor Groves" person does not feel right. I think no real doctor would make careless statements like this "doctor".

  65. @awe130 Umm? I'm PW59, not AB2. I can see how you might confuse those two handles. They've both got letters AND digits. Very confusing, I'm sure.

  66. @awe130 This is not one of my highest viewed videos. It got a bunch of comment traffic by you, that's about it. Would Dr. Van Allen support the whisper? Nope. Like me, he'd have a hard time figuring out if you actually exist or not.

  67. I'm really getting sick of people saying it's a hoax and other's defending it. The training I took to get into a plant I learned a lot. Until both theorists, because it is until explained, start dropping some Dose, REM, MilliBars, Gamma, A, B, and how much the Astronauts picked up to be compared with the Human Dose Rate. Then arguing over comments and clips is pointless. Hell knowing now of CME's I wanna know blocking materials. Led ship? Suits?

  68. Actually Philwebb 59 you are incorrect. The NASA Apollo 8 Mission Report and all of the official NASA records feature viral gastroenteritis, not space sickness as the etiology of the feigned Borman illness. As a matter of fact, this is one event which helps to show all of Apollo bogus. See totallystokeddude's video on on Lyin' Heiny Frank Borman.

  69. If you want that kind of detailed data, you'll have to do your own research, but I'll get you started: 3w[dot]hq[dot]nasa[dot]gov/alsj/tnD7080RadProtect[dot]pdf

  70. Dr. van Allen, I'm sure, was probably in a highly agitated state because he was afraid he'd dropped a decimal point somewhere and gotten the crew killed.

  71. February 2003 – A user of the "Cosmoquest" forum wrote to James Van Allen asking about the radiation effects of the Van Allen belts in the Apollo missions. Van Allen sent him an answer:

    Dear Mr. Lambert,
    In reply to your e-mail, I send you the following copy of a response that I wrote to another inquiry about 2 months ago — 
    – The radiation belts of the Earth do, indeed, pose important constraints on the safety of human space flight.
    – The very energetic (tens to hundreds of MeV) protons in the inner radiation belt are the most dangerous and most difficult to shield against. Specifically, prolonged flights (i.e., ones of many months' duration) of humans or other animals in orbits about the Earth must be conducted at altitudes less than about 250 miles in order to avoid significant radiation exposure.
    – A person in the cabin of a space shuttle in a circular equatorial orbit in the most intense region of the inner radiation belt, at an altitude of about 1000 miles, would be subjected to a fatal dosage of radiation in about one week. 
    -However, the outbound and inbound trajectories of the Apollo spacecraft cut through the outer portions of the inner belt and because of their high speed spent only about 15 minutes in traversing the region and less than 2 hours in traversing the much less penetrating radiation in the outer radiation belt. The resulting radiation exposure for the round trip was less than 1% of a fatal dosage – a very minor risk among the far greater other risks of such flights. I made such estimates in the early 1960s and so informed NASA engineers who were planning the Apollo flights. These estimates are still reliable.
    – The recent Fox TV show, which I saw, is an ingenious and entertaining assemblage of nonsense. The claim that radiation exposure during the Apollo missions would have been fatal to the astronauts is only one example of such nonsense.

    James A. Van Allen


    July 2004 – Jay Windley wanted to verify the reliability of that letter and wrote to James Van Allen, who confirmed.

    "This is a completely correct quotation of my letter. James A Van Allen"

    You can find the picture of the Van Allen handwritten reply to Jay Windley searching with Google, the title of the file is van-allen-letter.gif

  72. A technical answer to the claims about the impossibility to pass through the Van Allen belts is in an illustrated web page titled:
    Apollo 11's Translunar Trajectory and how they avoided the radiation belts
    by Robert A. Braeunig 

    "The Apollo 11 astronauts where safely inside a spacecraft having a multi-layer hull with a total thickness of several centimeters (see below) and a shielding rating of 7 to 8 g/cm2. This hull provided excellent shielding from the particulate radiation of the VARB, as it was constructed from materials ideal at stopping this type of radiation. The actual radiation dose received by the astronauts throughout the entirety of the Apollo 11 mission was less than one rem, as measured by dosimeters."


    NASA explains the real dangers of Radiation and Space Travel

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