Monday, July 20, 2009

Moon Mission Contingency Speech

President Nixon Was Prepared for Apollo Disaster

"The triumphant success of NASA's Apollo 11 moon landing 40 years ago is a familiar story to most Americans, but it may be a surprise to some that then-President Richard Nixon was ready for disaster.
Tucked away in the National Archives the speech written for Nixon for the historic lunar landing on July 20, 1969, but one he never hoped to read. It was a contingency speech, one Nixon would only read if tragedy struck the Apollo 11 mission and stranded commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin on lunar surface forever while their crewmate Michael Collins circled the moon in the command module. The speech surfaced about 10 years ago, around the 30th anniversary of the first moon landing.
In his 2001 book "Almost History," which chronicles backup plans, speeches and documents that were never needed, author Roger Bruns details the origins of the Apollo 11 failure speech. They can be traced to astronaut Frank Borman, who commanded the 1968 Apollo 8 mission around the moon, who recommended to Nixon speechwriter William Safire that it would be prudent to have a plan in case the Apollo 11 astronauts suffered a very public demise, Bruns explained.
According to the plan, Bruns added, Nixon would have called the wives of the Apollo 11 astronauts to express his condolences and then give the following speech:
"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."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we went to the moon....why can't we go to the moon?


20/7/09 9:14 AM  
Blogger nolocontendere said...

Most interesting question, anon.
And I don't think it can be answered by people who believe the fairy tales we're told about the current "space program".

20/7/09 11:07 AM  

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