Britons question Apollo 11 Moon landings survey reveals

Twenty-five per cent of the British public refuse to believe man has walked on the Moon, a survey conducted on behalf of E&T magazine has revealed.

Further revelations concerning the British public’s perception of the historic event include 11 per cent who believe the Moon-landing occurred during the 1980s and 1 per cent who believe the first man on the Moon was Buzz Lightyear.

In a more positive vein, 74 per cent of those questioned were able to correctly name Neil Armstrong as the first man on the Moon, with 68 per cent also correctly stating the year (1969).

Conducted to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11’s lunar landing, the survey coincides with the special Moon landing edition of E&T magazine, which features an exclusive interview with astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon.

In the interview, Aldrin states his belief that going back to the Moon ‘doesn’t make much sense’ but that man will stand on Mars by 2031 – and that he’s “available”, should they need an extra pair of hands.

“As a project, going to Mars is quite a bit different, much more advanced,” Aldrin, said, “and I think we ought to be much more about doing that. We can get to Mars by 2031, but we really need to get to a moon of Mars by 2025 first. And that I think we can do, but we can’t do that and go to our Moon as well."

Aldrin also disagrees with the 44 per cent of survey respondents who questioned the return in investment on the $1tr that the Moon landings are estimated to have cost. 

Mulling on the legacy of the Apollo missions, Aldrin said, “All sorts of people from engineers to airline pilots who report back on what it was that got them into aerospace and science, developing engineering and math, say it was the Apollo programme that inspired them".

Commenting on the interview, E&T editor-in-chief Dickon Ross said: “Without doubt the Apollo programme is mankind’s most outstanding engineering achievement and we should never under estimate it’s influence in inspiring future generations of engineers. It’s great that the memory of the first manned lunar landing is still fresh in the public’s memory."

The research to test the public’s knowledge of Apollo 11 was conducted by TNS on behalf of E&T. The poll surveyed 1,009 people from all over the UK aged between 16 and 64.

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