Apollo 11 40th anniversary edition of MoonLander3D

Moonlander3D game

You probably realise I’m a bit of a space nut. Could it be the cheesy pictures of me in mission control at the Johnson Space Center?

Seb Lee-Delisle at historic Mission Control

Or the fact that I dropped everything to see Buzz Aldrin speaking in London a couple of weeks ago?

Buzz Aldrin at the Royal Festival Hall

Or perhaps the fact that my most prized possession is a commemorative edition of The Times from the Apollo 11 landings (and I believe the first ever edition printed in colour)?

The Times Apollo 11 commemorative issue.

Well whatever gave it away, I don’t care. I’m coming clean. I am mental about space. And I always have been. Ever since watching the first ever shuttle launch in the classroom when I was 9, right through to watching night after night to see the most recent shuttle launch.

And I get frustrated when my friends don’t share my excitement and wonder at the possibility of leaving the Earth. Not to mention the odd one or two people I encounter who still actually believe that we didn’t go to the moon! WTF!

The Apollo missions were an incredible achievement, I recently heard that there’s 10 times more computing power and 100 times more RAM in the chip on my credit card than there was in the Lunar Module! I have no idea if that’s true or not, but still, it’s pretty cool, right? Right?

And now it’s been 40 years since we landed on the moon, and I haven’t quite achieved my childhood ambition of becoming an astronaut. But instead, I’ve done what I can to excite people about the Apollo missions. I’ve rebuilt the 3D lunar lander from the 5K app competition into a special Apollo 11 commemorative edition!

MoonLander3D Apollo 11 40th anniversary edition

Now with levels, one for each Apollo mission! With crew listings!

MoonLander3D Apollo 11 40th anniversary edition

And actual quotes from each mission!

MoonLander3D Apollo 11 40th anniversary edition

I have some more plans to make it a little slicker, and would like to add a high score table, but I had a bit of a tight deadline. Tomorrow at 8.17pm UTC. Exactly 40 years since Buzz and Neil landed.

So perhaps, as you’re enjoying the memories, you can now experience what it was like for Armstrong and Aldrin for yourself*. Play MoonLander3D here.

*Any similarities between this game and what it was actually like in the Lunar Module, are entirely coincidental. ๐Ÿ˜‰

60 replies on “Apollo 11 40th anniversary edition of MoonLander3D”

Nice mate. I also share your enthusiasm for space, and share your frustrations on people who donโ€™t care – or are too engrossed in their own little world to take a step back and consider the puzzle and infinite questions that the universe provides!

Just as a quick note, your nice font for the green titles is coming up as Times New Roman (or other generic serif font).

Yep thats got it – lol @ filesize – hopefully it will still fit in the lunar module’s RAM!

Hey Seb, save your pennies, buy yourself a 70mm Hasselblad camera and try and get it working at temperatures ranging from -200 to +130 centigrade.

Then you’ll see the (studio) light in those shots.

Love the game btw!

@John grrr don’t get me started! I expect you’re just doing it to wind me up (mission accomplished ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), but in case you’re not, make sure you fully understand thermal dynamics in a vacuum before throwing these accusations around. ๐Ÿ™‚

Great game Seb. That final mission gets really intense! On my first go I tried to land on a mountain… not my brightest moment ๐Ÿ˜‰

How long did it take you to create it? Is it another child of Papervision3D?

I can’t wait for the AIR version ๐Ÿ˜‰

Good point… You won’t be able to recreate those conditions in your oven at home. I think you’ll find that there are no thermal dynamics in a vacuum, just pure badass radiated heat from the sun, with the opposite in the shadows.

I’m really keen to see 3d-extrapolated models from photos of the landings. They will settle *all* arguments forever, and we’re very close to having the technology.

Till then, here’s a quote from the president at the time of the apollo 11 mission:

“Never say no when a client asks for something, even if it is the moon. You can always try, and anyhow there is plenty of time afterwards to explain that it was not possible.” – Richard Nixon.

There was a good programme on Discovery Science recently about this topic of faked moon landings. It basically dealt with the top 10 conspiracy theorist’s “Reasons why the photos and videos were faked” of the moon surface.

I can’t remember them all now, but they were all put to bed and proved incorrect – i.e. the moon landings were real! (of course).

Like the American flag that was supposedly flapping in the wind, even though there is no wind on the moon. Turns out that a flag can look like its flapping after being slightly nudged in a vacuum.

Oh, and not being able to see stars from the moon surface photography! That’s a conspirator’s favourite, as they claim that with no atmosphere on the moon, you should be able to see all the stars above. But its down to the while balance and contrast of the moon’s surface versus the blackness of space – the stars are simply not bright enough in relation to the moons white surface.

Love this stuff – shall i continue? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Seb, The problem with debunking proof of a negative is that it doesn’t prove a positive, although it’s pretty easy to convince most people that they are one and the same:

“they were all put to bed and proved incorrect โ€“ i.e. the moon landings were real!” – for example.

Take the divergent shadows in the photos – sure, perspective will cause that to happen anyway, but that doesn’t prove that the photos were taken on the moon, merely that the proof that they were faked doesn’t hold up.

Like I said – 3d extrapolation. Then we’ll find out if the divergent shadows fit the perspective distortion. There will be no argument then.

@Matt, no it’s not PV3D, it’s a custom built 3D engine. All in all I reckon it’s about 4 or 5 days’ work.

@John, are you saying they didn’t go to the moon or that the photos were faked? I’m really trying not to get drawn into this one!!!

Seb, I’ve yet to be convinced by the photos. I honestly have no idea about the landings.

Scientifically, 40 years is an embarrasingly long time not to be able to repeat an experiment.

There is no credible evidence suggesting that the moon landings were fake, and lots suggesting they were real. Just because it is technically possible that history is a huge conspiracy, doesn’t mean we should waste any time on the idea, other than for the fun of thinking “what if”. Equally we could all be living in The Matrix! Prove we’re not John!!! Prove it!

Seb, looks like you are trying real hard not too get drawn in… ๐Ÿ˜‰

@John, I think it would be harder to fake a landing than to actually do it. There are way too many people involved for no one to talk and reveal the “truth”.

As for not proving the positive. NASA is innocent until proven guilty. You are trying to prove them guilty of lying and you are being shot down left and right by Seb… therefore they stay innocent.

‘innocent until proven guilty’ doesn’t work in science – you’re effectively a liar until you prove your claims.

I think you’ll find that a manned moon mission is an incredible endeavour, far above the technical challenges posed by a studio film shoot. Give NASA some credit if you believe they actually did it…

@Iain. No, I can’t prove we’re not living in the matrix. that’s just silly. I won’t be drawn into that one.

I’ve yet to be completely convinced, and I’ve already made it clear what it would take to settle the matter for me, I don’t think I can be any more rational than that.


Because an accurate fake would have to have been engineered with 21st century computational techniques in mind – something that’s exceeded expectations by several degrees of magnitude. Not to mention the impossibility of faking a black sky with a very distant light source as bright as the sun. I’d be convinced anyway…

also.. there were many photo’s taken. fake or real, consistent results would be statistically irrefutable.

Interesting take on the classic game, Seb, but you might also include an indicator for horiz/vert velocity, with the appropriate left/right up/down arrows, like the original had.

@Chris Johnston (ignoring the hoax theorists with as much will power as I can muster) That’s a great idea, was def something I was thinking about. I’ll add it to the list. There will definitely have to be an update soon I think!

I don’t want to rehash the tinfoil hat photo thing again, but I’ll point out that there are shots taken on the Lunar surface that show the Earth very clearly, and a few that get close to the Sun. Still no stars, but we can already see stars, and men were not sent to the Moon to take pictures of them.

History is history. It does not require faith to exist. If you feel defensive that your generation, your world is not as bold, or as visionary as the previous one, put down the Xbox controller and go do something about it.

[…] Apollo 11 40th anniversary edition of MoonLander3D | Seb Lee-DelisleYou probably realise I’m a bit of a space nut. Could it be the cheesy pictures of me in mission control at the Johnson Space Center? Or the fact.Read More […]

Like you I grew up wanting to become an astronaut. So I went into programming instead. Then a few years ago a friend left a documentary at my place, “What Happened on The Moon?” (//, which is nearly four hours of rigorous analysis. If it wasn’t for the last section on the tape, I’d probably still be like most people, thinking, “well yeah that’s strange…”, but not enough to discount the whole thing.

On closer analysis, however, the one thing that convinced me that no one has been able to explain away is the radiation: how did a spacecraft with paper-thin walls shield a crew from the 200-300rads of radiation from the Van Allen belt, or the 600rads of radiation from the solar flare that occurred around that time? 30rads is enough to give radiation poisoning, and anywhere over 100 is death.

And we have not been back since, because even assumed that we have the radiation shielding tech, the questions such a bulky and obviously different spacecraft would, ah… raise ‘awkward’ questions.

There’s no way they actually went. Which is too bad, really. It was a nice dream.

Seb, the new photos are nowhere near as convincing as the old ones, so I don’t think there’s any point using them as evidence. Some real close-ups showing detailed corellation(sp?) with the old photos would probably sway my opinion though.

As for the van allen radiation, the only people who can really tell us how dangerous it is are NASA. That’s a circular argument waiting to happen…

As for ‘we can indeed know that they went to the moon’ that sounds more like a strong belief than knowledge, why dress it up?

Btw – I promise not to heckle at fotb. Really looking forward to hearing you speak.

@John – You’re a Flash guy?! I thought you were just some random douche bag who came here to deny facts! Dude you should know better. Seriously, wtf?

Iain, Why can’t I write actionscript and question details of popular american history at the same time?

seriously, wtf?

“As for the van allen radiation, the only people who can really tell us how dangerous it is are NASA. Thatโ€™s a circular argument waiting to happenโ€ฆ”

Good point. If a corporation, say, is accused of tampering with scientific results to prove the effectiveness of a given drug, using their evidence to prove that they didn’t tamper with the evidence is kinda counter-productive, wouldn’t you say?

So both the believers and the sceptics fall prey to the same disadvantage: the only evidence of proof can be provided by the same agency whose truthfulness is under question.

And for that matter, never said I was an expert in radiation (funny how I need to be an expert on something just to have an opinion?), just that I was convinced by the evidence brought forth in this documentary.

And I highly doubt that Dr James Van Allen ever said any such thing. In fact, many prominent scientists of the day were concerned about the effects of space radiation, which was known due to a multitude of unmanned probes of that period (60’s).

Astronaut Sally Ride penned the Ride Report in 1987, stating in sum that it would take 30 years of R&D to get back to the moon from the current day. So in other words, it would have taken 50+ more years to do something again that was already done a half dozen times already?

I know that questioning the landing on such an auspicious celebration is tantamount to cursing in a church, and I apologize for the bad timing, raining on anyone’s parade. But while we’re busy patting NASA on the back for something they did over 40 years ago, why don’t they stop living off the glory of the old days and do it again already? What, current generations are not supposed to “live the dream”?

Gee, what a concept: if we actually went there, maybe after 40 years we’d still have the technology to go, much cheaper and much easier this time, seen as we have space stations and all. Funny no one has… I’ll believe that it did happen, when someone gets their thumbs out of their bums and goes back… and tells everyone exactly how they did it.

John, you actually seem like a smart and OK guy, which is why it’s strange that you are wasting your time arguing that things that happened before you were born didn’t happen because they “seem unlikely”. The Battle of the Somme seems unlikely to a 21st century person. Why would they all just run in front of those machine guns?! It makes no sense. But this is not a way of determining truth. As an experiment, why not spend today trying to find evidence that it was not a hoax. For example: //


I’m not arguing that it didn’t happen. I think that’s where we have our lines crossed. I’m saying that I need a lot more convincing.

Not believing != believing in a hoax.

What we all believe is that the americans went to incredible lengths to win the space race, I’m just unsure about their methods, whereas you seem certain.

Good for you, but my jury is still out.

Btw… the ‘skeptics’ guide? they wouldn’t know skepticism if it hit them over the head with a brick.

It seems a popular trend these days for people with an agenda to dress themselves up as skeptics and then foist their beliefs onto people.

“the โ€™skepticsโ€™ guide? they wouldnโ€™t know skepticism if it hit them over the head with a brick.
It seems a popular trend these days for people with an agenda to dress themselves up as skeptics and then foist their beliefs onto people.”

John, you couldn’t be more wrong if you tried. If you actually listen to the SGU podcast, you will find that the only agenda is the promotion of science and critical thinking, and they couldn’t any more respected by fellow skeptics. You have confused your lazy, post-modern denial of reality with skepticism.


You believe xxx. I do not. I need more convincing.
I am the skeptic. You are the believer.

Skeptic (n) : One who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, or disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions.


“A scientific (or empirical) skeptic is one who questions the reliability of certain kinds of claims by subjecting them to a systematic investigation … Whereas a philosophical skeptic may deny the very existence of knowledge, an empirical skeptic merely seeks likely proof before accepting that knowledge.”

Despite your claims, it is obvious that no proof of the moon landings will be sufficient for you, so you are the believer, or at least a “philosophical skeptic”. I could be convinced that the moon landings were a hoax by actual evidence, rather than badly researched conjecture, but until that happens, the evidence points to no hoax.

“it is obvious that no proof of the moon landings will be sufficient for you”

Wrong, I’ve cited two very realistic possibilities in this thread already.

Until then I remain skeptical of the things that you believe.

skeptic ( = greek for thinker ) is someone that thinks, has ideas therefore has an opinion on things. Simple as that..

Just curious, there were 6 “supposed” moon landings, bringing a total of 12 people to the moon. Do you believe they were all fake? In addition there were dozens of unmanned landings on the moon by both the Americans and Soviets. Do you believe they were faked? What about the other Apollo missions which did not land on the moon, but orbited it?

Or, if you don’t “believe” Apollo 11 was faked, but are just skeptical about it, are you skeptical about all the rest?

I’d guess either they all happened or all didn’t, and the first mission should be regarded as a test case.

I draw the line when I feel I’m expected to share someones beliefs without question; Because then I know it’s emotionally charged dogma I’m rejecting and not fact.

I much into hoax theories for the same reason….

For the record, I’m a Flash developer too, and (I think) I am in the same camp as John here. And I think both camps are the believer and the sceptic: both believe they have the ‘moral high ground’, but in fact it is simply a matter of perspective. One believes that the manned landings did happen, the other believes they did not; one disbelieves the hoax theories, the other disbelieves the official story.

I for one do think it’s an incredible achievement that we went to the moon; this is not what I’m debating. I think that all the unmanned missions did happen, as did all the other space endeavours by NASA, which could explain all the artifacts ‘left behind’ and all the hard scientific data gathered which were supposed to have been collected by the manned missions. Just that the manned lunar landings have just enough irregularities to point to a hoax, albeit a very carefully crafted and concealed one. I’m not much on conspiracy theories either, and I don’t purport to know exactly what happened.

But consider, if NASA did go to the moon as they have said, why are there so many irregularities in the photographic evidence? Why has no other nation ever mounted a manned exploration to the moon? Why have we never gone back? There are so many pieces that do not fit. I would rather be ignorant of the anomalous data and believe as many do that this was an incredible achievement in human history. But as an amateur scientist and a programmer, I cannot ignore irregularities in accumulated data simply because I want it to be so, that I my mind is simply faulty logic.

Whether you believe or do not believe this achievement took place, I encourage you to examine all the information surrounding these events, without the weight of rhetoric from either side of the fence.

Seb, your game is really cool BTW, I enjoyed playing it. Reminds me of a similar simulator program I had on the C-64, back in the day ๐Ÿ˜‰

“Why has no other nation ever mounted a manned exploration to the moon?”
Because its made of chesse you thick f***

Great game seb, still love the original.

“Because its made of chesse you thick f***”

You see this is what amazes me; How supposedly rational moonies can be more spiteful than christians when you question their beliefs.

As Seb has pointed out there are plenty of holes in the arguments FOR a hoax. If there are glaring inconsistencies in the photographic evidence then those of us who swallowed the official story are being asked to believe that a hoax of such huge proportions (involving thousands of individuals, none of whom have come forward in the 40 years since to provide any evidence) was perpetrated by some of the most intelligent people on the planet – but then they went and filmed the thing in a windy aircraft hanger so the flag was flapping – or some other equally dumb mistake was made.

If there are inconsistencies in the evidence then yes, by all means, question them, but denying the whole existence of such a historic event because of them? That, to me, is faulty logic.

It’s incredibly easy to come up with conspiracy theories around the US space program (or pretty much anything else, for that matter) for instance Apollo 13 was clearly a publicity stunt to re-ignite the public’s waning interest in the space program. for 2 years I had to put up with a science teacher who claimed that the moon landings were fake because the depth of dust on the moon was so much less than what was expected by NASA (hence the length of the legs on the Eagle Lander) that it PROVED the universe was a great deal younger than cosmologists claimed. This PROVED that the earth was only however many thousand years old that christians claim it to be. So claiming to be a scientist is no guarantee of objectivity… or even common-sense.

The argument will rage on… until the chinese get there and find the footprints… which will have been put there by automated robots or something…

I personally have never ascribed to the more outlandish hoax scenarios. And yes, it is possible to pull off such a stunt, because in fact you only need a few hundred people involved at most: the telemetry people at the Australian radio observatory receiving the signal coming from the capsule in near earth orbit broadcasting the pretaped video, and of course the camera crew that shot the whole thing in a studio beforehand. A lot of top secret government projects nowadays employ far more people, and we don’t have a clue what they’re doing either. You don’t need a conspiracy theory to explain that one away.

One possible scenario could be:

1) Kennedy gets the nation committed to going to the moon because he’s told by his aides that it be possible, only insufficient feasibility studies have been made up to that point.

2) The Russians, who we know after the fact had several deaths of unnamed astronauts in space disasters in their attempts to beat the Americans, which were then covered up (there’s a really decent article in Penthouse about this some time ago), so it’s entirely feasible that they never went because they found it too hazardous for manned missions. And there were several now ‘unfindable’ NASA feasibility studies warning of radiation hazards from both the Van Allen belt and interplanetary space (one of which I now own a copy).

3) Only problem is that now both nations are committed to this one-upmanship. Russia is planning on actually going, but it must first design a spacecraft able to withstand the radiation problem. The US, having a lot of setbacks with launch vehicles blowing up on the pad (a problem the Russians have by now solved), know that they’re not going to beat the Russians, so they decide, in a bold move, to fake it.

4) And the rest is history. The Russians, realizing that they lost, mothball their manned lunar program because it’s too risky and their efforts are better spent keeping up in the nuclear arms race. I don’t buy the conspiracy theory that the US and the Russians actually colluded in keeping the secret of the hoax. Maybe the Russians were also taken in initially (we are talking about a top secret project, after all), until it was much too late to denounce the whole thing without actually going themselves, which would have been hugely anticlimactic and a losing media battle, and they had better things to spend their time on with the cold war and the arms race in full swing.

The fact that no nation, amongst all the spacefaring nations, has gone back, does point to some kind of overall collusion in the accepted historical record, if for no other reason than, if the risks of interplanetary travel that forced the US to hoax its manned missions are real, why risk looking incompetent by needing 10x the technology just to do what the US did over 40 years ago? If the hoax is real, going back is a no-win scenario, but if it’s not, if it’s that easy (or I should say possible), we should already be there at least ten years ago. Greed is a powerful motivator: I anticipated corporations with huge mining operations and zero-g manufacturing plants by now, but none of that has come anywhere close to reality, almost like the whole human space exploration endeavour has been aborted somewhere between Apollo 11 and the Challenger disaster.

I used to be a huge space affictionado as a teen, and in my 20’s participated in every space advocacy organization there is, so I’m not some random NASA hating nut. But at some point I realized that we should be so much farther ahead than we are, and that’s when I began to wonder why not. The fallout from this hoax, and how it necessitates holding back manned space exploration, is the only plausible explanation IMO. If that belief tramples some sacred cows, well so be it.

Sorry to be so long-winded, but to refute accepted facts with careful and thoughtful deliberation takes a lot more space than a 30-second sound bite or a troll-based remark.

I’m not going to waste space on Seb’s blog arguing every point here. But i have to say that this:

“The fact that no nation, amongst all the spacefaring nations, has gone back, does point to some kind of overall collusion in the accepted historical record”

makes no sense. Whatever level of technology anyone else uses to get to the moon has no bearing on the validity of the Apollo moon landings. You’d have to try and fail with the same technology as the Apollo projects used to provide some evidence to back up the hoax.

The scale of the Apollo projects itself is more of an argument for the hoax than anything else. Even getting a few hundred people in the right place at the right time is hard enough, without keeping them quiet for so long afterwards when there’s so much to gain from coming forward.

“troll-based remark”

sorry if you took it that way, i just don’t buy the hoax, it’s nothing personal. My website address is linked from my name here, so feel free to contact me directly and we can carry on the discussion away from Seb’s blog if you like.

Dear Seb,

I know you must be tired of this moon walking debate but I think it is extremely important that everyone get it right. It seems many people cannot make a call on this issue because of our lying government. I say “our” lying government because, even though I am a Yank, we actually have the same government (but that is another story). To be brief, there is absolutely no way any human being has come anywhere near the moon… in 1969 or in any other year.

Step back and take a look at the virtually endless amount of evidence against the moon landing. Remember the first rule of science, that is, you cannot prove anything absolutely true but you can prove it absolutely false. There is one site I would like to recommend to you that is nice because it has a great deal of the Apollo evidence in one place. WARNING, it is extensive! It took me several hours just to breeze over the Jack White photographic evidence. The piece of evidence that finally serves to convince is different for everyone because there is so much evidence from which to choose. For me, I think it was the severity of radiation reported by an experimental shuttle flight at only 400 miles out (they are usually orbiting at 200 miles out).

From an intuitive point of view, recall that the LEM was said to have blasted from the moon then re-docked with the orbiting command capsule speeding at mach 4. Think about the kind of computing power needed for that kind of docking. Did you really think they pulled it off with a computer smaller than a calculator? Regarding the lunar reflectors, it turns out that you can bounce a laser off the moon without them.

Here is the link I recommended:

The white rabbit says to feed your head but don’t feed it junk.

Thanks to Seb for your great game, I loved it. I remember that I enjoyed the 2D game 20 years ago. I really surprised to see the 3D found on last Saturday and addicted to it since then. I kept screenshot of every record I made and have it saved on Facebook started from 3828 scored on Saturday, reaching 4637 yesterday.. and booked 5027 score an hour ago. That is such a great record (well at least for me, lol lol).

I shared your game to my Facebook and many friends tried it.
This the screenshot when I made the 5027 score.

Again, thanks to Seb for your great game, I like it sooooo much.

… the game is really great!, the 3d environement just impressing beautiful! … and fast to drive through, impressive. THANX aeon

The Apollo 15 Crew according to // was
Commander: David R. Scott
LM Pilot: James B. Irwin
CM Pilot: Alfred M. Worden

Gordon, Schmitt and Brand were the backup crew

Great game, Seb! More fun than the 2D version that I spent all my quarters on in the 80’s!

As to the moon landing hoax theories, I’d like to hear the conspiracist’s explanation as to how all the highly directional parabolic antennas aimed directly at the moon were able to pick up conversations from the astronauts who were supposedly in low earth orbit (according to them) or in a movie studio in Hollywood!

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