Sci-Fido's Blog and Editors Pick

 

Destination MoonDestination Moon 1950

One of the first science fiction films to attempt a high level of accurate technical detail tells the story of the first trip to the moon.

 

Author: Richard Valero (admin@sci-fido.net) from Las Vegas, USA
20 October 2014

 

 

 

We obviously know what an actual moon landing looks like, so if you want to call the 1950 film Destination Moon, accurate based on Heinlein's book go ahead. The big question was it a decent depiction based on what was to come 19 years later?


I say it's 1950 and the moon was made of cheese.


In the beginning of the movie, when the rocket scientist pitched 'private' industry the whole trip to the moon and rocket glockenspiel, I thought what insight into the future, even though it didn't start out that way. By today's standard, privatizing in general has become the norm, the post office, public transit and many other business entities that were once publically owned are now outsourced to private corporations.  


The movie does not go off on any "whoever conquers the moon" maintains the strategic advantage; It is just a pretty good story.


Although you're not going to be able to stop comparing the film with the actual Apollo mission's events, realize the time period and just have fun.


The Special Effects were great, especially when they used oxy tank jets to maneuver, something the first Galileo space walkers didn't even think to use. You can't help but wonder whether any of the folks that planned the Apollo mission used information from this movie.


I especially enjoyed astronaut Joe Sweeney with the heavy annoying 'Charlie Tuna' Brooklyn accent (played by Dick Wesson) doing the countdown..., 3, 2, 1, Fieya! In another scene, Sweeney went on with this rant about choosing a better way to die in a wheel barrel off Niagara Falls. I thought he was kind of an idiot, not someone you would expect to be the 'right stuff' for the voyage, even in 1950. At least, get your GED.


The idea to land the entire rocket directly on the moon was an original concept until designers discovered that it would just be easier to create a Lunar Module.

 

Take-off was great..., the whole 6 miles a second and the strain in the faces was funny. It was also pretty good the way the moon looked in this film.

 

Although they utilized powerful telescopes to see the lunar surface, they did not possess this technology in 1950. In addition, the whole payload and airlock problem was indeed imposing as they had to lower the payload to make take-off for the return trip home.


Also... When you watch the movie, be sure to make note of what was said by the two astronauts who first step onto the lunar surface as oppose to what Buz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong said.


Keep in mind this was all-theoretical and much more than a decade before anyone even went to space, so cut some slack.

 

Thanks, Rick Valero