London, Jul 8 (ANI): Buzz Lightyear, the fictional cartoon character from the film 'Toy Story', is believed by some people to have been the first man on the Moon, revealed a survey.
The survey revealed "deeply worrying" levels of ignorance about the Apollo space programme, which sent three men to the moon 40 years ago this month.
The study showed that 11 out of 1009 people surveyed thought Buzz Lightyear was the first person to step onto the Moon.
A further 8 people thought it was Louis Armstrong, with less than three-quarters correctly answering that it was Neil Armstrong.
The survey, undertaken on behalf of E and T magazine, published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, also revealed that over a quarter of all people do not believe the astronauts actually landed on the moon.
This level of scepticism is far higher than a decade ago, when The Gallup polling organisation, found just 6 per cent of Americans did not think the landings were genuine.
Conspiracy theories about the Apollo 11 moon landings have increased in recent years, following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington in September, which themselves sparked wild accusations that they were a staged event.
"The Apollo moon landing is mankind's most outstanding engineering event so it's deeply worrying that such a large number of people should think the first moon walk never happened and that the public's belief in the legitimacy of science and technology seems to be declining over time," the Telegraph quoted Dickon Ross, the editor in chief of E and T, as saying.
On July 16 1969, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin blasted off from the Kennedy Space Centre, embarking, in the words of President Kennedy, "on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked".
Four days later Aldrin and Armstrong landed on the moon.
Aldrin, in an interview with E and T, disagreed with the 44 per cent of the survey who believed that, at the equivalent of 1 trillion dollars, the moon landings were not worth the money.
"All sorts of people from engineers to airline pilots who report back on what it was that got them into aerospace and science, developing engineering and math, say it was the Apollo programme that inspired them," he said. (ANI)