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In The Event Of The Moon-Landing Disaster [Pic]

In Event of Moon Disaster: The White House Speech for the Worst-Case Scenario

Today is the 45th anniversary of the lunar landing. In the event that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were stranded on the moon, William Safire wrote this heartbreaking speech.

In July 1969, the world watched as the crew ofApollo 11successfully entered lunar orbit, landed, then blasted off and returned to Earth. At each step of the way there were dangers and NASA had backup plans in case something went terribly wrong — though there wasn”t much NASA could do from 384,403 kilometers away. In 1999, William Safire discussed the speech he wrote for Nixon just in case the mission failed. From Safire”s article:

The most dangerous part of the trip was not landing the little module on the moon, but in launching it back up to the mother ship. If that failed, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin could not be rescued. Mission Control would have to “close down communications” and, as the world agonized, let the doomed astronauts starve to death or commit suicide.

Nixon aides H. R. Haldeman and Peter Flanigan told me to plan for that tragic contingency. On July 18, 1969, I recommended that “in event of moon disaster . . . the President should telephone each of the widows-to-be” and after NASA cut off contact “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.” A draft Presidential speech was included.

Here”s a scan of the speech:

And here”s the text:

IN EVENT OF MOON DISASTER:

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.

The “”worst case scenario”” speech that, fortunately, never had to be used.

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Date: 08/13/15 11:15 AM

10 Responses to In The Event Of The Moon-Landing Disaster [Pic]

  1. Profile photo of Jake_Justus
    Jake_Justus Male 50-59
    7033 posts
    August 11, 2014 at 2:58 pm
    Link: In The Event Of The Moon-Landing Disaster - The ``worst case scenario`` speech that, fortunately, never had to be used.
  2. Profile photo of BoredFrank
    BoredFrank Male 40-49
    2209 posts
    August 13, 2014 at 11:29 am
    It`s a great speech. I too am glad it`s nothing but a historical curiosity now.
  3. Profile photo of drawman61
    drawman61 Male 50-59
    7707 posts
    August 13, 2014 at 12:52 pm
    Haha...yeah right.
  4. Profile photo of Fatninja01
    Fatninja01 Male 30-39
    25408 posts
    August 13, 2014 at 12:54 pm
    But but but... wasnt if faked and done in a studio :P
  5. Profile photo of 747Pilot
    747Pilot Male 18-29
    1455 posts
    August 13, 2014 at 2:01 pm
    Space program fatalities
  6. Profile photo of Jake_Justus
    Jake_Justus Male 50-59
    7033 posts
    August 13, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Does anyone know why communications would be shut down while the astronauts were still alive?
  7. Profile photo of Runemang
    Runemang Male 30-39
    2676 posts
    August 13, 2014 at 4:35 pm
    Dunno, Jake, that part sounds a bit weird to me too. Maybe they just tell the public that so the press and the families aren`t going to "listen to them die", but I can`t imagine NASA would stop communications for REALZ until quite awhile AFTER there was nothing more to hear.
  8. Profile photo of pazerlenis
    pazerlenis Male 40-49
    1380 posts
    August 13, 2014 at 4:41 pm
    @Fatninja01, "But but but... wasnt if faked and done in a studio"

    In that case, the letter was to be read if the studio rental time ran out before they could film the fake take off.
  9. Profile photo of Mikeoxsbiggg
    Mikeoxsbiggg Male 30-39
    1502 posts
    August 13, 2014 at 9:23 pm
    Does a lords prayer counter a suicide?
  10. Profile photo of SavageChef
    SavageChef Female 50-59
    2692 posts
    August 14, 2014 at 1:55 pm
    Such an outcome had never occurred to me; I don`t know why. Thankfully, they all came home safely.

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