Letter: Moonshine

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The Independent Culture
Sir: In your obituary of John Archer (14 December), Archer is quoted as saying that he was amazed how closely the operations in the film Destination Moon resembled the Apollo landing.

Really? As I recall, Destination Moon was rather wide of the mark. They had a weight problem, and bedsteads were thrown out of the rocket. Also, was there not a Russian spy aboard? Then again, no TV cameras. After a stroll round the brilliant Bonestell set, the astronauts decided to ring the President on the radio phone.

The most significant technological deviation was to have the lunar vehicle all in one piece - the old silver needle, beloved of science fiction covers. No detachable lunar module.

No, the virtue of Destination Moon was that it was the first movie to deal seriously with the possibilities of a Moon landing. You can't get everything right, either now or then!

BRIAN W ALDISS

Oxford

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