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Steve writes, "We've all heard for decades now how powerful satellites cameras are, that they can read newsprint from 50 miles up."
They can't. The primary optical element can't be any wider than 2.4 meters, the width of the space shuttle cargo bay (allowing for surrounding structure). The Dawes limit on optics is the proper method for determining angular resolution, not Steve's home-grown ad hoc formula. Since Steve is determined to show us all to be ignoramuses, I'll let him do the Googling on the Dawes limit and compute it -- if he can -- for 550 nm light and a 2.4 meter primary mirror. I think it's time he put up or shut up.
"Those buggies churned up the lunar soil for miles and miles."
The tracks are indeed several kilometers *long*, but they are only a couple of meters *wide*. That makes them ineligible for any instrument with an angular resolution of 42 feet at lunar distance.
A hair, for example, can be several inches long. But because it's so thin, you aren't guaranteed to see it from more than a very few feet away. Objects that have significant extents in *both* dimensions are eligible for that kind of observation.
"It would take all of five minutes on the outside to write a few mile-big letters in the sand yet it would convince the entire world we were there."
As I said, the narrow width of such a track would preclude observation from Earth. But I challenge Steve to compute how long it would take to write "HELLO" in legible Roman letters at least one mile high. The maximum speed of the rover was 8 mph. Put up or shut up.
"This would guaranteed be one of the mission objectives."
No. This is Steve trying to paste his motives onto NASA. Most conspiracy theorists expect NASA to be as obsessed as they are with issues of authenticity, complaining that NASA didn't do enough to convince people they had really gone to the moon or suggesting various hare-brained stunts that could "easily" have proved they were there. NASA simply wasn't all that concerned about convincing the absurdly disbelieving. The notions of what was, wasn't, or should've been done are just red herrings to try to show NASA's behavior as somehow suspicious.