In 'Truth Behind the Moon Landing,' Former Astronaut Leland Melvin Helps Debunk Conspiracy Theories

From left to right: Author Mike Bara, former FBI agent Chad Jenkins, and retired NASA astronaut Leland Melvin debunk Apollo conspiracies in the new Science Channel show "Truth Behind the Moon Landing."
From left to right: Author Mike Bara, former FBI agent Chad Jenkins, and retired NASA astronaut Leland Melvin debunk Apollo conspiracies in the new Science Channel show "Truth Behind the Moon Landing." (Image credit: Science Channel)

Former NASA astronaut Leland Melvin joins a group tackling conspiracy theories about the moon landing — and the space program in general — in a new Science Channel series.

Called "Truth Behind the Moon Landing," the six-episode series premiered June 2 at 10 p.m. EDT/PDT on the Science Channel and will air on Sundays through June and July. It will focus on several space-related conspiracy claims, among them whether we actually landed on the moon 50 years ago on July 20, 1969. (Spoiler alert: We did.) editor in chief Tariq Malik is one of the series guests. He will make an appearance in an episode about the Manned Orbiting Laboratory, a 1960s-era U.S. Air Force military space station that never launched into space.

Related: 25 Space Conspiracies That Just Won't Die

Melvin, who flew twice on the space shuttle, will co-host the show with two others: Iraq War veteran and former FBI agent Chad Jenkins, and the best-selling author Mike Bara. Together, they will uncover evidence and apply the scientific method to several conspiracies. The trio will discuss topics such as the fatal Apollo 1 fire in 1967; a lunar-lander prototype that Neil Armstrong, the first person who walked on the moon used for training; and the capabilities of Hollywood visual effects in the late 1960s.

"Almost immediately after the successful and triumphant Apollo 11 moon landing nearly 50 years ago, there were skeptics who refused to accept that humankind could accomplish such an enormous undertaking," Science Channel representatives said in a statement. "Astonishingly, some of those same doubts persist today, despite the enormous scientific progress that has been made since then."

Catch the next episode of "Truth Behind the Moon Landing," about the Apollo 1 fire, on Sunday, June 9 at 10 p.m. EDT/PDT on Science Channel.

For more information on Apollo hoaxes, check out this past story that investigates (and debunks) the 10 most popular moon conspiracies

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: