Blowing Up the Moon.s Conspiracy Theory

Phil Plait, 38-year-old astronomer and skeptic, was on the California State University, Northridge, campus Friday, punching holes in the tenacious myth that American astronauts never landed on the moon.

Given the crowd, Plait didn.t have much persuading to do. His talk was sponsored by the university.s Department of Physics and Astronomy, and the room was full of people who know one end of a telescope from the other. But many Americans cling to the view that the landings were staged . 6 percent of those surveyed in a 1999 Gallup poll had their doubts, uncertainty fed by a steady stream of television shows, books and videotapes that claim that NASA was part of a vast government conspiracy