In fact, it may be much more reasonable to suppose that the American government's real capabilities in space exceed anything we have heard about, or can easily believe.
A billion years ago, our Moon was closer to Earth than it is now. As a result, it appeared to be a much larger object in the sky. During that ancient era, if human beings had been around to witness such a sight, it would have been possible to see the entire Moon--not merely the one near side face that we see now. A billion years ago, it took our Moon only twenty days to orbit our planet, and Earth's own day was considerably shorter--only eighteen hours long. Stupendous, almost unimaginably enormous tides, that were more than a kilometer in height, would ebb and flow every few hours. However, things changed, as the lunar orbit around our primordial planet grew ever wider and wider. Annually, Earth's Moon moves about 1.6 inches farther out into space. Currently, the lunar rate of rotation, as well as the time it takes to circle our planet, are the same.
The ring around the Earth eventually began to condense into blobs that then proceeded to merge and create a large and brightly glowing sphere--our primordial Moon. Our Moon would have appeared to be ten times larger than it does today in Earth's ancient sky--if anyone had been around to see it.