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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.

submitted by: Jake_Justus
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In The Event Of The Moon-Landing Disaster [Pic]. The ``worst case scenario`` speech that, fortunately, never had to be used.
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SavageChef
Female, 50-59, Western US
 2203 Posts
Thursday, August 14, 2014 1:55:01 PM
Such an outcome had never occurred to me; I don't know why. Thankfully, they all came home safely.

Mikeoxsbiggg
Male, 30-39, Canada
 1200 Posts
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 9:23:16 PM
Does a lords prayer counter a suicide?

pazerlenis
Male, 40-49, Western US
 770 Posts
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 4:41:40 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.

Runemang
Male, 30-39, Midwest US
 2484 Posts
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 4:35:13 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.

Jake_Justus
Male, 50-59, Eastern US
 4792 Posts
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 2:23:27 PM

Does anyone know why communications would be shut down while the astronauts were still alive?

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