Presumably NASA blocked off time with major TV stations to show the landings. What were they preparing to show if the landing failed? Was there any alternative programming supplied in case Neil did not make it to the moon?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Nixon had a speech ready for that, it's pretty well known history. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 19:08

1 Answer 1


Nixon had a speech ready in case it failed


Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.

These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.

They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.

In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.

In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.

Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.

For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.

If they crashed on the moon, they would have stayed on the moon.

  • $\begingroup$ What a gruesome task could have been to write this speech! $\endgroup$
    – peterh
    Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 19:42
  • $\begingroup$ They released an audio tape of it read by Nixon back in 1999 or something like that. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 20:42
  • $\begingroup$ that's the fail to take off speech, not the fail to land speech $\endgroup$
    – user20636
    Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 21:57
  • $\begingroup$ depends how you define "land" as in "crash" technically if you crash you are landed but the prospect of take off is pretty gloomy. Also I think the assumption was if they didn't land they would still be in orbit or be "crashed" if they were in orbit they could link back up with the command modulo $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 22:05
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Relevant: xkcd.com/1484 $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 23:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.