They never reached the Moon!

The Apollo 'moon landings' between 1969 and 1972 are presented by NASA as the highest point of the space programme, and as model for all future adventures. In reality nothing better demonstrates why it is unfit to explore anything more exciting than the inside of the Science Museum.

A favourite question for conspiracy theorists worldwide is whether the moon landings actually happened or whether the whole thing was faked in a TV studio like in the film Capricorn One. If we give NASA the benefit of the doubt and allow that it may have sent a rocket somewhere it is clear that they never reached the moon, or at least not the moon as it has been known through the ages.

This was not the moon of heretics, pagans, lovers or night time revellers. The moon of tides, madness, goddesses, rituals of drink, drugs and dancing. Neil Armstrong and his mates did not have the imagination for the kind of space travel needed to reach this moon. All they were able to reach was a lump of rock somewhere - possibly in orbit, possibly in New Mexico somewhere.

How did they mark this momentous occasion of the first landing on July 21 1969? The first thing they did was plant an American flag like it was just another piece of imperial real estate. By 1969 there were very few places left where it was safe to do so. Losing the war in Vietnam and with flags burning everywhere else, perhaps the whole space programme was an attempt to find a place where the Stars and Stripes could fly unmolested.

The Apollo 14 'moonlanding' in 1971 witnessed another leap of fantasy and imagination when Alan Shepard became the world's first lunar golfer. Billions of pounds and years of effort culminated in the staging of the first lunar open. All over the world, people are being uprooted and ecosystems bulldozed to build golf courses, sanitised homogenous outdoor playgrounds for the rich. Judging by the Apollo programme a similar fate awaits the universe if NASA have their way.

The Apollo programme shows that no matter how many miles NASAnauts may travel they will never get anywhere because in their heads they will still be in the suburbs of middle class America, travelling across the universe opening golf courses and fly-through MacDonalds.

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