Taken to task by Internet users with conspiratorial discourse, the French astronaut insisted on putting the dots on the I’s without taking tweezers.
Our modern society is sometimes very ambivalent, and modern information systems are a great example of this; humanity has never had access to as much quality information as today, and yet there is still a whole section of the population that remains firmly convinced that the reptilians are among us, that the Earth is flat and that Apollo 11 was shot in a studio.
These theories are so absurd that they may make you smile… but they are also exhausting for the women and men who have dedicated their lives to defending science and reason.
We remember, for example, the epidermal reaction of Buzz Aldrin in 2019; the legend of Apollo 11, pushed to the limit by the invectives of a denier who was a little too vehement, he ended up breaking down by giving him a well-deserved punch. Today, it is our national Thomas Pesquet who has been attacked in the same way. The person concerned was arrested by Internet users on the basis of an interview given to France 2 about the Artemis missions, which should bring Man back to the Moon within a few years (see our article).
Attacks in appalling bad faith
When describing his admiration for our satellite and his excitement about the program, he was delighted that our species is on the way to ” go very far, as far as no human being has ever gone from Earth “. “ When I look at the moon at night, I get a little shiver, because I wonder if it’s humanly possible to go there. “, he added in a dreamy tone.
This was a reference to the implications of the program, since it must serve as a starting point for the next phase of space colonization. But as you might expect, some netizens interpreted it in a very different way. For them, these were telling slips that would prove that humans have never been to the Moon.
So, Mr. Pesquet? Are we trying to catch up after clearly insinuating that Man never went to the moon on the France Television set? And strangely this passage has been censored…(the passage in question: https://t.co/HZ10MNQkSV)
The straw that broke the camel’s back; naturally annoyed and bitter, the astronaut grabbed his smartphone to set the record straight on Twitter. A rare projection, which testifies well to the impact of these accusations on this great professional, yet unanimously recognized in the middle for his benevolence and his humanity.
” But why do we have to waste precious time on this again: of course yes, humans went to the moon during the Apollo missions. And we’re going back. “, he engages before embarking on a long thread where he details the bottom of his thought.
A heartbreak for this great popularizer
He did not wish to give grain to grind with his detractors; no question of embarking on a new theoretical explanation. In any case, it would be a waste of time in this context. ” We are not going to demonstrate here that the moon landings did indeed take place, because it has already been done MILLIONS of times “, he announces from the start. He also deplores the selective hearing from which a part of the public suffers. ” They speak the truth, but choose things that suit them and ignore the rest. “, he describes.
” it denies all the (real) incredible work that thousands of people do in the world for space missions (among others) “, he protests. “ They deserve better than that. And we are not even talking about the people who risked their lives for these missions… “. A situation that is necessarily painful and difficult to accept for a scientist by vocation who has always attached enormous importance to transmission and healthy popularization.
” On the one hand there are people who explain things for real, like @gourmaud_jamy and hundreds of others, and on the other hand people who are just trying to create chaos by seeming to explain. You have to see the difference in the intentions and in the methods » […] ” it pains me, after all I’ve done for 10 years, my two missions, the thousands of extra hours of work to share them and explain science and technology, to have to make this tweet today “, he laments.
Let’s hope that this rare rant will put some selenosceptics back on their feet… even if we can already say without too much risk that we will probably see these speeches flourish again at each new stage of the Artemis program. In any case, what is certain is that humanity will end up returning to the Moon, whether in 2025 or later… and those who promulgate these speeches will not be part of the journey, unlike professional astronauts that literally push the frontiers of humanity.
See you on the moon in a few years 😉😎
— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro)
What did Thomas Pesquet really say?
Thomas Pesquet has never admitted that the first moon landing was a huge joke, but he is on the other hand right about the unprecedented nature of the Artemis mission. The spacecraft used for the next Lunar Excursion promises to take Man farther than he has ever gone with Apollo 11. Before landing, Artemis will first orbit the Moon, a little over more than 64,000 kilometers from our satellite. A much greater distance than in 1969, when Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong’s rocket was “content” to park about 483 kilometers from the lunar surface. A precise infographic of the route planned by NASA is available on the official website of the Canadian Space Agency.