The view from the lunar lander on July 20, 1969 was, in the best guess of mankind, the first time a living being traveled to another celestial body to observe the luminous blue planet enveloped in darkness apparently infinite of space. 19659002] But before then, the crew of Apollo 11, launching themselves toward the moon, sent a mission command via radio to Houston to ask about a curious object they saw on their third day in space.
"Do you have any idea where the" VIV is with respect to us? "Commander Neil Armstrong asked, referring to the third stage of the Saturn V rocket that was discarded earlier in the flight.
Mission control had an answer about three minutes later, according to a NASA radio transcript of the mission.
"Apollo 11, Houston," the command responded. "The S-IVB is about 6,000 nautical miles from you now. Finished. "That satisfied Armstrong, who said 12 seconds later:" It's okay. Thank you. "
Earth seen from lunar orbit before landing. (NASA)
The seemingly innocuous exchange has become a touchstone for UFO sightings and alien truther enthusiasts, and now, seemingly false news.  Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, 88, the second astronaut to step on the moon, believed that the crew saw an extraterrestrial spacecraft at this time, and a "lie detector" test proves it, at least according to with the British tabloid The Daily Star.
That's not quite right.
"I've never claimed to have seen a UFO This story has been a fabrication for the sake of the headlines and is not true in regards to Buzz Aldrin, "his spokeswoman, Christina Korp, told The Washington Post in a statement on Tuesday, echoing Aldrin's comment in 2015 about Reddit that the object" was not an alien. "The Daily Star did not return A request of commentary.
The truth is there, if only the Daily Star looked more closely.
The story of the tabloid focuses on a vocal analysis conducted by the Institute of Bioacoustics Biology and Sound Health, a nonprofit whose founder, Sharry Edwards, has said he developed a program that can assess how sincere or safe Someone feels about a topic they are talking about.
Edwards told The Post that he used the Aldrin interview from the 2006 Discovery Science documentary "Apollo 11: The Untold Story" to analyze Aldrin's comments.
"There was something that was close enough to be observed, and what could it be?" Aldrin told of the incident, adding that team member Michael Collins saw ellipses in the L-shaped object when viewed through a telescope. "That does not tell us much," he said.
The moment required moderation to theorize what the object might be during one of the most scrutinized missions in the history of mankind, Aldrin said.
Buzz Aldrin during the Apollo Mission 11. (NASA)
"Who knows what someone would have demanded that we come back for extraterrestrials or whatever the reason," he said on the show. The crew decided to go ahead and mention it later in the mission report, Aldrin added.
In an analysis, Edwards says Aldrin "has a firm belief in what he saw but a logical awareness that he can not explain what he saw, so he thinks I should doubt it."
He said the conclusion was published years ago, but he does not know how it suddenly became relevant.
Aldrin has already clarified his position on the incident.
an answer on the NASA website after the release of the documentary, Aldrin said he thought he saw one of the four separate panels of the S-IVB heading on the same path to the moon, but on a slight course different. That discussion was eliminated, and the rest was "taken out of context," NASA said.
In the Reddit 2015 thread, he said that the sun must have shone on one of the panels.
The recurring story of the UFO is the result in part of the public distorting the scientific term UFO to signify a trade with "little green men," said NASA chief historian Bill Barry to the Post.
However, the Apollo 11 mission was already a significant moment in human history without the intrigue of extraterrestrial spacecraft.
The average age of Americans is around 38 or 11 years less than the mission itself. Most people who lived today were not there to hear President John F. Kennedy say in 1961 that the United States would send a man to the moon and return him safely to Earth.
The Soviet Union was already the first to send a man into Earth's orbit, frustrating NASA and creating the belief that the Russians could have an advantage. What is at stake is high. "They were basically up in arms," Barry said of NASA's leadership.
The lessons of the NASA mission were extensive. For example, leaders refined the organization for large scientific projects, which later helped develop the International Space Station, Barry said. And the investment in science paved the way for the Internet, cell phones and much more.
The discoveries also offered more clues about the origin of life on Earth and the history of the universe. The evaluation of the rock samples from the moon helped confirm theories that the body is the result of an object that crashed on Earth and merged to form our satellite, Barry said.
That lesson amounted to a common refrain among astronauts, he added: "We left the Earth, and what we discovered ourselves."
Over the next five centuries, humanity will remember the 20th century for three things, said Barry: two world wars and the United States landing on the moon.  Aldrin is known for defending that story, now and in the past.
In 2002, filmmaker Bart Sibrel confronted Aldrin, demanding that he swear in a Bible that the landing was authentic. Sibrel called him "coward and liar".
Sibrel was adding "thief" when Aldrin hit him in the face. No charges were filed.
The moment was captured on video. There were no camera tricks. The blow was real.
More on Retropolis:
Ted Kennedy spoke of a family curse after Chappaquiddick. I had a good reason.
The preacher who used Christianity to revive the Ku Klux Klan
After 73 years, the remains of a Tuskegee aviator lost in Europe may have been found