Destination Moon (film)
|Based on||1947 novel |
by Robert A. Heinlein
|Edited by||Duke Goldstone|
George Pal Productions
|Box office||$5 million or $1.3 (US)|
Destination Moon (a.k.a. Operation Moon) is a 1950 American
Destination Moon was the first major U.S. science fiction film to deal with the dangers inherent in human space travel and the possible difficulties landing on and safely returning from our only natural satellite.
The film's premise is that private industry will mobilize, finance, and manufacture the first spacecraft to the Moon, and that the U.S. government will be forced to purchase or lease the technology to remain the dominant power in space. Different industrialists cooperate to support the private venture. In the final scene, as the crew approaches the Earth, the traditional "The End"
When their latest rocket test fails and government funding collapses,
En route to the Moon they are forced to spacewalk outside. They stay firmly attached to Luna with magnetic boots so they can easily walk to and free up the frozen piloting radar antenna that the inexperienced Sweeney innocently greased before launch. In the process, Cargraves becomes untethered in
After achieving lunar orbit the crew begins the complex landing procedure, but they use too much fuel during the descent. Safely on the Moon, they explore the lunar surface and describe by radio their view of the Earth, as contrasted against the black lunar sky. Barnes photographs Sweeney pretending to "hold up" the Earth like a modern
No matter how much non-critical equipment they strip out and discard on the lunar surface, the hard numbers radioed from Earth continue to point to one conclusion: one of them will have to remain on the Moon if the others are to safely return to Earth. With time running out for their return launch window, the crew continues to engineer their way home. They jettison the ship's radio, losing contact with Earth. In addition, an oxygen tank is used as a tethered, suspended weight to pull their sole remaining space suit outside through the open