Originally posted by SayonaraJupiter
Please stop underestimating Richard Nixon. The anti-communists and Nixon loyalists would do anything to beat the Russians.
Thank you for acknowledging (emphatically
) that Richard Nixon and his minions would have put men on top of large rockets and sent them to land
on the Moon multiple times, take movies & photographs, transmit video, plant flags, collect samples and return them to Earth for political gain.
It was arguably the least
risky thing he did in his presidency. The astronauts were volunteers and the engineers were confident in their work
(they had already flight tested all of the major components and sent three men around the Moon before Nixon took office). He didn't have to argue
Apollo in his budget requests - The bulk of the money was already spent by the previous Democratic administrations.
In fact, he could reap the political capital of the landings and the good will generated, AND at the same time
he could gut NASA's budget to
show everyone how thrifty he was. This is exactly what he did
. Hell, even if the missions failed
and the astronauts killed
could have blamed the Democrats for wasting money on a dangerous boondoggle (that he had reluctantly inherited only 6 months before) and killed the
program even quicker (or, if the national mood favored it, he could have "rallied the nation on to eventual victory" then
If the thought of faking any part of the missions had occurred to Nixon or his cronies (for which there is absolutely zero-evidence), they could not
have gotten any support from NASA. The agency was hell-bent-for-leather dead-set on going to the Moon. They were in it for the glory and the
accomplishment and to honor a fallen president and their friends who had died along the way (Charlie, Elliott, Ted, C.C., Gus, Ed, Roger...). To a
man, they would've told the Nixon gang to go to hell. And don't forget that these guys were put out of work just a few years later when when the
program was prematurely terminated. 40 years later, they're still
pissed at Nixon for throwing away all the work they had done. They would
not have kept quiet, especially after Tricky-Dick's fall from power.
If Nixon had tried to fake it, he could not
have counted on the loyalty & silence of the people he absolutely needed to even try
it off (remember that his own cronies
turned on him over a silly, second-rate burglary). There would have been no "plausible deniability"
for a fraud of this magnitude. It would carry an intolerably high risk of getting caught, and he and his men would be disgraced and probably
prosecuted. Doing it for real carries none of these risks, and even if the honest effort failed, there was still political rewards to be claimed
(presidents look oh-so-dignified and sympathetic when they mourn dead astronauts).
Please stop underestimating Richard Nixon. He was a lying, amoral sociopath, but he was no idiot. If he or anyone else in his administration even
pondered the choice between a hoax and an actual moon-landing, it would have been an easy choice to make.