Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Moon Graffiti - What If the 1st Lunar Landing Had Failed?

Today on Far Future Horizons we present Moon Graffiti - What If the 1st Lunar Landing Had Failed?

History has the strange quality that it easily could have been otherwise. You can experience one conceivable "what if?" in Moon Graffiti, an excellently executed radio story that plays out what could have happened had the first moon landing gone awry.

Based on a chilling contingency speech written for Richard Nixon titled "In the Event of Moon Disaster," this nostalgia-laced 15-minute radio broadcast, courtesy of American Public Media, tells its story entirely through the radio communication between Mission Control and the astronauts.

Seconds after tuning in, you'll witness Apollo 11's crash landing on the moon. Buzz and Neil are okay, but the lunar module is destroyed, and the men are running out of oxygen.
The story is haunting in its plausibility, and despite the fact that the astronauts sound less like test pilots from the Air Force than hipsters from Brooklyn, the quality writing and sound effects bring this macabre counterfactual deliciously close to reality.

Hot on the heels of the 25th anniversary of the Challenger disaster, this gripping radio play reminds us of how history could have played out. Remove interruptions, grab some hot soup or tea, close your eyes and enjoy a rare
NPR gem.

Alt URLs:

The Truth: Moon Graffiti: The Landing Gone Awry

In Event Of Moon Disaster written by William Safire:
Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace. These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice. These two men are laying down their lives in mankind's most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding. They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by the nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.
In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man. In ancient days, men looked at the stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood. Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man's search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts. For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.
PRIOR TO THE PRESIDENT'S STATEMENT: The President should telephone each of the widows-to-be.

AFTER THE PRESIDENT'S STATEMENT, AT THE POINT WHEN NASA ENDS COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE MEN: A clergyman should adopt the same procedure as a burial at sea, commending their souls to "the deepest of the deep," concluding with the Lord's Prayer.

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