One of the more popular conspiracy theories is that NASA never put humans on the Moon and that the Apollo 11 spaceflight, carrying US astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, was a fabrication. Mythbusters famously tackled the issue in an episode and now NVIDIA, of all companies, has had a crack using the latest in game engines and its new and rather fast 900 series of GPUs.
This post was originally published on Gizmodo Australia.
The 10-minute video above outlines how NVIDIA went about recreating scenes from the 1969 Moon landing, using archival photos and footage, to show how lighting and shadows would actually appear on the lunar surface. Many conspiracy theories posit that the illumination in the images is incorrect and would require the use of multiple light sources, rather than one (the Sun, if you were wondering).
Using Epic's Unreal Engine 4, NVIDIA's artists had complete control over every element in the scene and unsurprisingly, were able to replicate the exact conditions on the Moon, down to the placement of individual rocks.
The result? Almost identical scenes to those seen in the NASA-provided material, completely explaining how everything was lit without introducing additional light sources. Of course, I doubt a video from a graphics chip company showing off its hardware is going to convince your diehard tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy nut.