Destination Moon was a 1950 film, which won the Academy Award for Visual Effects. The rocket ship in the movie looks very similar to the planned SpaceX Super Heavy Starship.
The film’s premise is that U.S. private industry will mobilize, finance, and manufacture the first spacecraft to the Moon, while making the assumption that the U.S. government will then be forced to purchase or lease this new technology to remain the dominant power in space and on the Moon. Industrialists are shown cooperating to support the private venture. In the final scene, as the crew approaches the Earth, the traditional “The End” title card heralds the dawn of the coming Space Age: “This is THE END…of the Beginning”.
Space development was stalled for many years after the Apollo missions. We had the space shuttle and the space station but there was a long plateau in capability. SpaceX is giving a private industry rebirth. SpaceX will send the next major manned mission around the moon.
The SpaceX Super Heavy Starship will now be made of mirror polished stainless steel and will have tripod legs. The real SpaceX vehicle looks very similar to what is in Destination Moon. The real-life story of a return to the moon has parallels to the fictional story.
The first private passenger to fly around the Moon aboard SpaceX Super Heavy Starship is fashion innovator, billonaire and globally recognized art curator Yusaku Maezawa.
More Destination Moon
The plot of Destination Moon is when their latest rocket test fails and government funding collapses, rocket scientist Dr. Charles Cargraves and space enthusiast General Thayer enlist the aid of aircraft magnate Jim Barnes. With the necessary millions raised privately from a group of patriotic U.S. industrialists, Cargraves, Warner and Barnes build an advanced single-stage-to-orbit atomic powered spaceship, named Luna.
The story was written by Robert Heinlein, James O’Hanlon and Rip Van Ronkel.
The Man Who Sold the Moon and Requiem
Although the science fiction film Destination Moon is generally described as being based on Heinlein’s novel Rocket Ship Galileo, the story is closer to The Man Who Sold the Moon. The Man Who Sold the Moon has a multi-staged rocket. Destination Moon uses a single-stage-to-orbit spaceship that takes off and lands vertically, both on Earth and the Moon.
Delos David Harriman, “the last of the Robber Barons”, is obsessed with being the first to travel to—and possess—the moon. The technical problems are solvable with money and talent. To solve the tougher financial problems, Harriman exploits commercial and political rivalries. He implies to the Moka-Coka company that rival soft drink maker plans to turn the Moon into a massive billboard, using a rocket to scatter black dust on the surface in patterns.
“Requiem” is a short story by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, a sequel to his science fiction novella “The Man Who Sold the Moon”.
The story centers around Delos David Harriman, the lead character of The Man Who Sold the Moon. Harriman, a tycoon and latter-day robber baron, had always dreamed of going to the Moon, and had spent much of his career and resources making space flight a practical commercial enterprise. His business partners prevented him from taking the early flights because they could not risk the public face of their company.
He is now too old to pass the medical examination needed for space travel. Harriman bribes two spacemen to help him get to the Moon on their old ship.
The three of them fight many obstacles. Harriman finally makes it to the Moon and dies soon after landing. His body is left there, with his epitaph scrawled on the tag from an oxygen bottle. It is Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Requiem”, which is inscribed on his own headstone in Samoa.
Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie:
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will!
This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.