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Russia's top space official says their mission to the moon will help verify conspiracy theory

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In this July 1969 file photo, Astronaut Edwin Aldrin walks by the footpad of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module.NASA

  • Russia’s top space agent, Dmitry Rogozin, said that a proposed mission to the moon would seek to verify whether or not the US had been there.
  • Rogozin made the statement when asked about the conspiracy theory that claims that the US never actually landed on the moon.
  • The theory appears to have increased in popularity in recent years. One Russian poll found that 28% of respondents doubted the moon landing. 

The head of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency has said that a proposed Russian mission to the moon will be tasked with verifying that the American moon landings were real.

“We have set this objective to fly and verify whether they’ve been there or not,” said Dmitry Rogozin in a video posted Saturday on Twitter.

Rogozin was responding to a question about whether or not NASA actually landed on the moon nearly 50 years ago. He appeared to be joking, as he smirked and shrugged while answering. But conspiracies surrounding NASA’s moon missions are common in Russia.

The Soviet Union abandoned its lunar program in the mid-1970s after four experimental moon rockets exploded.

In 2015, a former spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee called for an investigation into NASA moon landings.

While the conspiracy theory was previously an obscure one, routinely finding support from approximately 10% of respondents in numerous polls in the 20th century, public opinion data has shown that in recent years it has grown in popularity. After Fox television network aired a special on the theory, the network claimed that skepticism increased to 20%, according to The Deseret News.

A 2009 poll in Britain found that 25% of people doubted the moon landing. In a Russian poll, 28% of respondents expressed skepticism about the American moon landing.

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