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Refute This, Hoax Lovers: More Proof Men Totally Walked on the Moon

Sorry, Moon hoax conspiracy theorists, but NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter keeps shooting holes in your arguments. The probe has entered a low enough orbit to photograph in beautiful detail various Apollo landing sites. Today, LRO Camera News released a stunning image of two historic missions – Surveyor 3 and Apollo 12. Not only were both missions neat, their overlap is the one time space contamination was a real fear. Apollo 12 astronauts returned hardware from Surveyor 3 that was home to microorganisms.

On April 20, 1967, NASA’s Surveyor 3 lander bounced off the lunar surface twice before finally settling in the Ocean of Storms. It was the third probe of the program and the first armed with a scoop to sample the soil. Mounted on an electric motor-driven arm, the small scoop dug little trenches in the surface and held up samples to its camera and sent images to Earth. The lander was shut down during its first lunar night but never turned on again; the 14-day dark period brought extreme cold temperatures that sapped the batteries.
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