Our Young-Earth Creationist physics teacher stated that he does not believe that man actually stepped on the moon. That topic has been well covered here.

One of his arguments, however, was that gravity on the moon was not strong enough for astronauts to leave their footprints there.

Is this true?

  • 2
    I have re-opened this question, now that it is focussed on one claim. However, I remain borderline on re-closing it, because I can't see any other answer than "Experimental evidence trumps all theory. The evidence is that when astronauts did step on the moon, they did leave footprints." – Oddthinking Jan 29 '15 at 2:44
  • 2
    I've removed 2 theoretical answers. Answers that do not acknowledge that we have been on the moon and do not acknowledge that we actually tried this are very likely to be theoretical. – Sklivvz Jan 29 '15 at 8:45
  • 12
    "Gravity on the moon was not strong enough for astronauts to leave footprints" sounds like a claim that could be better passed on to physics.se. Let them have a field day explaining why Moe's teacher is an idiot that shouldn't be teaching physics. – Shadur Jan 29 '15 at 9:16
  • 6
    Your physics teacher doesn't know that pressure is a function of both mass and surface area? Even if he wasn't a young earth creationist he'd be unfit to teach physics as far as I'm concerned. – GordonM Dec 13 '16 at 10:04
  • 4
    What the hell is a "Young-Earth Creationist physics teacher" ? – Evargalo Jun 22 '18 at 7:38

People have stepped on the Moon when they went there and left footprints, so we've plenty of photographic evidence of their footsteps on the Moon.

In fact, it turns out that people do leave footprint in dust, even if they weigh less, like a child leaves footprints on Earth while weighing as much as a man on the Moon.

Pictures taken from the Moon itself

The Wikipedia page on Buzz Aldrin has plenty of pictures of his footprints on the moon.

Buzz Aldrin's footstep
Buzz Aldrin's footstep

Aldrin walks on the surface of the Moon during Apollo 11
Aldrin walks on the surface of the Moon during Apollo 11

Pictures taken with a telescope

This pictures were taken by a satellite (LRO) with a telescope, from On the Moon, Flags & Footprints of Apollo Astronauts Won't Last Forever

Apollo 12 landing site
Apollo 12 landing site

Apollo 14 landing site
Apollo 14 landing site

| improve this answer | |
  • 19
    Weight is a force. The weight that a man exerts on dust on the moon is the same weight (number and direction) that a child exerts on dust on Earth. Maybe you are confusing mass and weight? The comment about NASA has nothing to do with the quality of the evidence, only with the bias of a denier. NASA is a reputable source and in this matter it is the most reputable source. – Sklivvz Jan 29 '15 at 15:26
  • 4
    They are different pictures, taken at different time, by different teams, etc. Saying "NASA says..." is ridiculous, as "Scientists say...". It's evidence, not people, nor an organization. – Sklivvz Jan 29 '15 at 15:37
  • 3
    Looking up the LRO, it is run by NASA, so your point fails. If you trust NASA, no other evidence is needed, but there's no additional gain by mentioning the telescope over the pictures taken on the Moon itself. – ike Jan 29 '15 at 15:42
  • 4
    I did not say it was not from NASA. I said it's from different teams. While I understand your points, I disagree they would make the answer better. If you think this makes my answer poor, it's OK to downvote, or you can add your own answer with the evidence you find qualitative. I for one would like to keep all evidence I presented, I hope this is OK with you. – Sklivvz Jan 29 '15 at 15:57
  • 12
    It's obvious that there are no footprints on the moon! Just look--those are boot prints! We don't have the technology to let an astronaut survive barefoot on the moon! – Loren Pechtel Dec 10 '16 at 21:41

From Apollo 11 Moon landing: conspiracy theories debunked

The following reasons have all been offered as proof that the Moon landings which began with Apollo 11's touchdown on July 20 1969 were faked.


5) The footprints in the fine lunar dust, with no moisture or atmosphere or strong gravity, are unexpectedly well preserved, as if made in wet sand.

The lack of wind on the moon means the footprints in fine, dry lunar dust aren’t blown away in the way they would be if made in a similar substance on Earth.

From Mythbusterresults.com:

A clear footprint cannot be made in vacuum because there is no moisture to hold its shape.


The Build Team first tested whether dry or wet sand made a more distinguishable footprint by stepping in them with an astronaut boot. It was clear that the wet footprint had more detail than the dry footprint. They then placed sand similar in composition to the Moon’s soil in a vacuum chamber and stepped on it with an astronaut boot, which made a clear print. The reason provided for this was that the unique composition of lunar soil allows it to behave differently than terrestrial soil.

It's also listed in Wikipedia under Moon landing conspiracy theories.

Unfortunately, I'm not totally happy with the quality of the sources. The Telegraph is a general purpose newspaper, and the person who wrote the article doesn't seem to be scientist. Likewise, the Mythbusters are not expert scientists. Similarly with Wikipedia...

| improve this answer | |
  • 7
    The Mythbusters performed a scientific experiment. Let us discuss the value of the experiment and the level of rigor applied to arrive at the data, not the titles they held at the time. – Moby Disk Jun 22 '18 at 17:20
  • ... otherwise you're committing an ad hominem fallacy. – John Dvorak Jun 23 '18 at 17:14

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .