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Released Tapes from 1969 Moon landing: The Russians almost crash the Party

Apollo_15_Lunar_Rover moon dune buggy_final_resting_place-1

If you still believe that the Lunar landings were filmed in AREA 51, your yarn has just become a little more discombobulated… as in the way a ravenous T-Rex discombobulates the Garden of Eden.

On July 3, 2009, The Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire, England released tape recordings it had been “withholding” from the Apollo 11 master tracks. In these radio transmissions, it is evident that the Russians were landing a robot the very same day that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were moonwalking, and they could have done a drive by and squashed the 15,264 kg Eagle module.

So apparently the Russians were there the whole time. When word got out that the Americans were going to send humanoids in 1969, they rushed up a robot (Luna 15) so they’d be around if the Americans screwed up. So while Neil was taking photos of his footprints and Buzz was taking communion in the camper,  the Russians were close by, ready to crash the Intergalactic Planetary party. Being good Communists, they decided instead to share the moment.


In January 1969, the Russian space program was rolling. It had just docked two manned space capsules together.  Chalk it up- Sputnik, Laika the dog,  Yuri the space cowboy…. and oh yeah, best of all….   a remote Russian probe (Luna 9) that LANDED ON THE MOON on Feb 3, 1966. The machine snapped a bunch of photos, sent a few messages and then turned off after 8 hours. Note: No hammer and sickle planted.

File:Luna-9 spacecraft.jpg

Everyone was in a hurry to get to the moon, but the Russians planned on sending robots first. They were scared that a failed man mission would be too costly in the Western Press. The problem with Lunar expeditions was not getting there, It was getting back. The Russians thought the Americans were going to get stuck on the surface and not be able to take off again i.e. a crash landing would mess up the capsule and it wouldn’t be able to take off again. The Luna program was designed to land on the moon’s surface, grab some fairy dust and report back to the space commisars. Thus a better design for the ultimate worker’s spaceship.

The Americans had their eyes and ears open to all this traffic and they quickly realized that, as capitalists,  they couldn’t afford to lose. A communist moon would demoralize the population. Yet the problems and risks were large. Somebody high up in some office had to decide that Neil, Buzz and that other guy would just have to risk it. Take one for the team. Was it Nixon, Kissinger, Wernher von Braun? Any one of them would have been willing to offer up Apollo 11 as a burnt offering in the name of American progress.

In the end, it did pay off for the Americans. On the radio, the Russians gave the US its flight plan and also commented in real time about the missions… whether they thought the ship was coming down to fast, or where their probe was. What could have been a Cold War disaster, turned out to be competitive people working together.


USSR July 17, 1969-  Russian probe, Luna 15, has already entered Lunar orbit and is looking for a good place to crash.

USA July 21st at 02:56 UTC-  the Eagle lands in Tranquility Base. Buzz and Neil get on the horn and call everybody back home. They run around for 2.5 hours and then get back in their Winnebago and take a 7 hour nap.

USSR July 21st 2009 at 15:47 UT – The Luna 15 begins its own descent at in the Mare Crisium Crater (notice its proximity to the Sea of Tranquility). The landing did not go so well and within 4 minutes the craft was kaput.

USA July 21st at 17:54 UTC- the Eagle takes off to redock with the mothership.

How complex and bizarre things are.


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