According to this conspiracy theory, a manned mission to Mars took place in 1973 and nobody was told about it…
It wasn’t the first and it won’t be the last. The circumstances that arose from the astronauts setting foot on Mars are continuing.
After successfully landing man on the Moon, NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense initiated Project Horizon, an ambitious mission to set up a permanent stationary base on our satellite.
In the following years, a similar project received funding but its destination was millions of miles away. Codenamed Project Redsun, its aim was to successfully colonize the Red Planet. The first mission saw three astronauts taking the journey aboard a modified Saturn V left over from the discontinued Apollo Program.
Since Project Redsun was a joint operation between the U.S. and the USSR, a soviet cosmonaut accompanied the two famous American astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong. The rocket was launched from a ‘secret and absolutely isolated zone in Brazil.’ The absolute secrecy such a mission would require meant the entire affair was kept under a tight lid.
Mission control was established at Cocoa Beach, Florida and it governed Project Redsun’s first three launches. All subsequent missions were moved to and administrated from Area 51.
The first interplanetary flight arrived at its destination towards the end of 1971 and served as a reconnaissance mission. By that time, a second trip was already scheduled.
The launch took place on August 28, 1973 with the crew aboard the ISV Columbus consisting of Elliott See (commander), William B. Rutledge (pilot) and Vladimir Ilyushin. The 3-minute clip below was supposedly leaked from a collection of 16mm archival footage used in the training of NASA astronauts and Air Force pilots.
It shows astronauts aboard a spacecraft distancing itself from Earth as well as the arrival on the orbit of Mars. The details on the surface of the Red Planet are visible during the orbital flight.
While the authenticity of this clip was called into question, the idea that NASA sent manned missions to Mars is heavily vehiculated among conspiracy circles.