Read Nixon’s secret speech written in case the moon landing failed

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As posted on KFYI

Saturday, July 20, 2019 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 spacecraft landing on the moon, ending the Space Race and accomplishing a “giant leap for mankind.” The U.S. landing on the moon using computers with exponentially less power than the smartphone in your pocket, is easily one of the most impressive technical achievements in modern human history.

However, while NASA was optimistic they could get the three astronauts to the moon, there was a large possibility that things could go wrong once the astronauts arrived. As it turned out, the most dangerous part of the journey involved getting the lunar module containing astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin back into orbit to rejoin the command ship Michael Collins was piloting. If the lunar lander failed, Armstrong and Aldrin would have been stranded 238,900 miles away with no way for NASA to help.

To prepare for a possible disaster that claimed the lives of the Apollo 11 crew, President Richard Nixon’s speechwriter at the time, William Safire, was asked to write a speech in the “event of a moon disaster” if there was an accident that left the astronauts stranded. The letter is dated July 18, 1969, two full days before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin would take their first steps on our closest celestial neighbor and titled, “IN THE EVENT OF A MOON DISASTER.”

Read the letter:

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