serious

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.


There was an interesting article in the paper yesterday about risk. It started with an excerpt from a speech apparently written just before the Apollo 11 landing by William Safire, for Richard Nixon to read to the world if for any reason the two astronauts were not able to leave the moon's surface. I can't find an official copy of this, but it doesn't seem to be disputed anywhere I can see.

Anyway, the text is here.
I think the existence of two speeches is cited in "Failure Is Not An Option" by Gene Kranz.
The BBC quote it too, but I can't see anything on a .gov site, which I vaguely expected to.
That sort of thing might be in the Nixon presidential library by now, not in US archives.
"AT THE POINT WHEN NASA ENDS COMMUNICATION WITH THE MEN"

Jesus H Christ. "We're a bit embarrassed about the slow deaths you both face, so even though we are your only contact with (literally) the world you knew, we're going to ring off now to spare us listening to your final agonies. Sorry about that. Chin up, eh?"
And get through the funeral bit before they're actually dead, too.
Yes but I expect that to mean when they close the channel because they're getting nothing back. Maybe I just have too much faith in NASA, but I don't think they'd cut their men off if they were still speaking...
The general assumption - see wikipedia et al - seems to be that the protocol specified the opposite. This, of course, is one of the reasons an official account would be nice.
communication breakdown
i'd have thought that nasa would have wanted to collect every last bit of information about the moon landing, even if the moon taking-ff-again proved insuccessful.

and who could resist the opportunity to hear the last words of the first men on the moon?
The implication of some of the articles is that they might have wished to be left alone to take their helmets off and open the hatch.
Interestingly, the episode of The Clangers in which they're visited by a human space traveller aired immediately before the televised moon landing. Oliver Postgate comments in his autobiography that if something had gone wrong with the landing, it would have gone down as one of the sickest jokes in TV history.
Creepy. There is something about the 60s and early 70s which has that kind of darkness about it: Kennedy's assasination, Vietnam, Hells Angels at the Stones concert, Nixon, etc. Rather cool to have grown up then....
rather than, say, growing up now? twin towers -> afghanistan -> iraq, maybe iran soon, india/pakistan going on, terrorist attacks in london, bali, etc. etc.? For concerts, remember the one on the continent a few years back where a couple of dozen people were crushed to death, or the riots at reading a couple years ago. (i forget the details, but you get the point). I think the thing is that these events are sort of romanticised because of the view of the sixties as the era of free love and so on, and also the government's spin on the threat of nuclear annihilation.

Um, on the astronauts; I would have thought that "cutting off communication" is a euphemism for "giving them up for dead". After all, they'd lose consciousness and become unresponsive before they died, but you have to draw the line somewhere.
At the time, I was too young to be critical or aware of events. They just formed the background to my life, like wallpaper or music. Events since must mean as much to those who are young now whereas older people (in my own experience anyway) are more distanced from them.

The 60s certainly were romanticised. The creepy thing is reading up on them as an adult and seeing just how gruesome the reality was. I wouldn't say that was a special time compared to now, though one could perhaps argue that they left a legacy on life since, eg civil rights, space exploration and music, which is possibly not the case with today's events. Maybe everyone has 'their' war, whether it be Iraq or Vietnam and that forms a reference point for what follows.
I know what you mean; for me, it was the gulf war when i was growing up. It was interesting at the time, but i wasn't really fully aware of what was going on, or able to be particularly critical of it. Seems a bit different now.
For those of us who were active then, the reality was a bizarre mixture of heady optimism and grim danger. We were conscious that parts of humanity were changing their outlooks in ways that were probably irreversible. At the same time, we knew that our foes were unscrupulous bastards not above shooting a few of us now and then pour encourager les autres. It's "romantic" only in the way that NSTIW war stories are romantic; at the time, it was terror and exhilaration inextricably blended.