LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The second man to walk on the moon doesn't want to talk about NBA superstar Steph Curry's theory that it never happened.
Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, one of three men who took part in the Apollo 11 moon landing mission, was at USC Tuesday night to hear presentations by students on why the U.S. should attempt to return to the moon.
The event came hours after Curry raised doubts over whether humans ever landed on the moon during an appearance with other NBA players on the "Winging It" podcast.
Curry told ESPN Wednesday he was "one thousand percent" joking when he made the comments and said he would accept NASA's invitation to show the two-time MVP its collection of moon rocks at the Johnson Space Center in Houston and educate him about the mission.
When asked about Curry's remarks, Aldrin didn't want to comment, but did tell CBS2's Crystal Cruz to tell Curry to "go ask the Russians" who landed on the moon.
It wasn't clear specifically what Aldrin was referring to.
In 2015, a former spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee called for an investigation into the NASA moon landings - not to verify whether they happened, but rather to investigate the disappearance of original footage from the first moon landing in 1969, according to a report.
"We are not contending that they did not fly [to the moon], and simply made a film about it," Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the government's official Investigative Committee, wrote in an op-ed published by Russian newspaper Izvestia. "But all of these scientific – or perhaps cultural – artefacts are part of the legacy of humanity, and their disappearance without a trace is our common loss. An investigation will reveal what happened."
USC professor of astronautical engineering, Madhu Thangavelu, encouraged people to look at the facts.
"We've got rovers, landers, tracks of people walking, all these can be seen using telescopes that are orbiting the moon," said Thangavelu. "Unless they were done by the aliens I can't think of any way they would've gotten there."
The comments from Curry are not the first time Aldrin has heard his moon-walking credentials challenged: in 2002, Aldrin punched documentary filmmaker Bart Sibrel after he cornered the astronaut at a Beverly Hills event and asked him to swear on the Bible that he walked on the moon.
Police declined to file charges in the case.
As of 1999, roughly 6 percent of Americans said they believe that the Apollo moon landing was faked, according to a Gallup poll. The theory rests on the belief that Cold War-era pressure to beat Russia to the moon led NASA to fake an elaborate mission on a Hollywood-style sound stage, well within the Earth's atmosphere.
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