What If The Moon Landing Failed?
The Moon landing. Arguably the greatest scientific achievement in America's history, the series of events that took Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the surface of the Moon have been immortalized on film and constantly referred to as the crowning achievement in the field of space exploration. But what if the daring Apollo 11 mission had failed? What if we never got to see Neil Armstrong take that "one small step" and instead there was a fatal error that prevented those brave pioneers from returning to Earth? Well, America was prepared for that eventuality. So prepared, in fact, that President Nixon had an alternative speech lined up....
The video above outlines the many challenges that Apollo 11 had to overcome for it to be considered a success. In truth, the chances of Apollo 11 being a complete success were relatively slim. At the time, NASA had only successfully completed four manned missions into space and the longest of those was only 5 hours long. To try and successfully put a man on the moon at this early stage in NASA's endeavours really was a monumental risk. This risk was recognized by Nixon, who in his (thankfully unused) Apollo failure speech, pays tributes to the "epic men" who put their lives on the line for the furtherment of human exploration.
You can read Nixon's speech below...
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 their 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 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.