Byline: Jeff Parsons
The Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969 has been the subject of one of the fiercest conspiracy theories in history.
Many people believe that the moon landing was FAKED and astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin never actually set foot on the lunar surface.
Despite scientific evidence and repeated visits to the moon, some people still refuse to believe that humankind has visited another celestial body.
Now controversial author David Meade has added his voice to the crowd.
Meade, famous for proclaiming the apocalypse due to collision with a mysterious planet called Nibiru, reckons that a radiation zone above the Earth prevented NASA from reaching the moon.
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The radiation zone exists - it's called the Van Allen radiation belt - and it's something NASA had to consider during the Apollo missions.
But that doesn't sway Mr. Meade.
"Guess what? Without nuclear protection, it appears that a biologic life form such as a human cannot pass through these belts," he told theExpress.
"That is, of course, unless there are six feet of lead to shield from the radiation.
"The Apollo spacecraft had no such shielding. Is this the most simple way to prove that no missions went through the Van Allen Belt?"
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NASA has previously addressed the presence of the Van Allen belt - which exists hundreds of miles from the surface of the Earth. It's well beyond the altitude of the International Space Station but it does interfere with moon missions.
"The density of the Van Allen belts is well known (from sending uncrewed probes through them), and there are hotspots you can definitely avoid," explained Jillian Scudder, an assistant professor in physics and astronomy.
"In particular, the innermost belt is a rather tightly defined region, and it was possible to stay out of it for the trip to the Moon," she toldForbes.
"The second belt is much larger, and harder to avoid, but there are still denser regions to avoid. For the Apollo trips, we wanted to send the astronauts through a sparse region of the belts, and to try and get through them quickly. This was necessary in any case; the crafts had to make it to the Moon in a reasonable amount of time, and the shorter the trip, the less exposure to all sorts of radiation the astronauts would get."
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It's not just David Meade trying to poke holes in NASA's famous moon landings - plenty of other conspiracy theorists have had a go as well over the years.
A YouTube channel, namedUFOmania - The truth is out there, has uploaded video which includes a blown up image of US astronaut John Young collecting lunar samples on the moon's surface.
The clip, entitledLunar Base revealed in Apollo imageracked up 21,000 views just one day after it was posted to YouTube.
It is claimed the image shows a "spaceship and extra personnel on the moon" fuelling preceding theories the NASA moon landings were a hoax.
Some viewers appeared convinced by the 'evidence' put forward by theorists.
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One comment read: "That's because the US never went to the moon."
Another said: "Most of the moon landing pictures were taken from Earth."
While one remark published under the video said: "The moon landings were a hoax."
Apollo 16 was the 10th manned mission of the United States Apollo space program and the fifth to land on the moon.
The crew, John Young, Charles Duke Jr and Ken Mattingly, launched from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida on April 16, 1972 with the mission lasting 11 days, one hour and 51 minutes.
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Other popular conspiracy theories are that the photographs of the moon missions were actually taken on elaborate movie sets crafted in Hollywood.
A photo from the Apollo 17 mission has come in for criticism with some suggesting that it shows a man walking around on the lunar surface without a space suit on.
YouTube user Streetcap1 posted footage of the photo which zooms in on the reflection of one of the astronaut's visors and supposedly shows a man standing around in a "waistcoat".
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He suggests the figure, which he says is a man with long hair that fits in with the style for men in 70s when Apollo 17 supposedly landed on the moon on December 7, 1972.
Conspiracy theorists are likely to seize on the video as proof that NASA's Apollo 17 was staged on a film set.
The US was under massive pressure to prove they could pip Russia to the post in its number of missions to the moon in the Cold War.
And their desperation to beat them has fuelled suspicions for nearly five decades that all their missions were faked.
Despite the accusations, NASA did broadcast the landings as they happened to an audience of millions around the world
They did this by putting a special antenna on the Lunar Module that would be capable of broadcasting footage 384,400km back to Earth.
AsPopular Scienceexplains: "To free up space for a television downlink from the lunar module, NASA removed the ranging code and changed the modulation from phase to frequency. This freed up 700 kHz of bandwidth for a television downlink on the USB signal. The problem was that this wasn't enough bandwidth for the standard video camera of the day that transmitted 525 scan lines of data at 30 frames per second at 5 MHz.
"Instead, NASA would need a slow-scan camera optimized for a smaller format, 320 scan lines of data at 10 frames per second that could be transmitted at just 500 kHz."
What's more, the space agency has recently made 8,000 jaw-dropping photos from the Apollo missions available for the public to browse by posting them online.
Called theProject Apollo Archive, the amazing pictures smashed through 10,000 'likes' onFacebookin less than 24 hours.
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The collection is described as "an online reference source and repository of digital images pertaining to the historic manned lunar landing program."
The entire set of images are available to view, for free,on Flickr.
Astronauts, includingNeil ArmstrongandBuzz Aldrin, can be seen aboard their Apollo crafts as well as on the lunar surface.
And the pictures ofthe moon's surface look absolutely stunning.
They were taken with Hasselblad cameras that were strapped to chests of the astronauts during the missions.
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Although the pictures were digitised in the years following the moon landing, it has taken hard work from a dedicated team to process them into this modern collection.
Kipp Teague, an information technology director from Lynchburg College, USA, is responsible for leading the process, which began over 10 years ago.
"Around 2004, Johnson Space Center began re-scanning the original Apollo Hasseelblad camera film magazines, and Eric Jones and I began obtaining TIFF (uncompressed, high-resolution) versions of these new scans on DVD," he toldThe Planetary Society.
"These images were processed for inclusion on our websites, including adjusting color and brightness levels, and reducing the images in size to about 1000 dpi (dots per inch) for the high-resolution versions," he said.
What do you think?
Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. walking on the surface of the moon
Author David Meade doesn't believe NASA landed on the moon
Credit: NASA / SWNS.COM
Apollo 11, July 1969