The pilot episode of The Twilight Zone entitled "Where Is Everybody?" portrays a lone astronaut going crazy due to long-term isolation and lonliness. At the end of the episode, the general in charge of the experiment claims

You see, we can feed the stomach with concentrates. We can supply microfilm for reading, recreation - even movies of a sort. We can pump oxygen in and waste material out. But there's one thing we can't simulate that's a very basic need. Man's hunger for companionship. The barrier of loneliness - that's one thing we haven't licked yet.

The episode aired October 2, 1959, almost two years before Yuri Gagarin's first manned spaceflight on April 12, 1961. Through 1963, both Soviet and American programs sent only single-person crews into space. Starting with Voskhod 1 in 1964, the Soviets flew multi-person crews (with a few early exceptions). The American program has exclusively flown multi-person crews, starting with Gemini 4 in 1965.

Did this Twilight Zone episode have any influence on this trend toward multi-person crews? Please support your answer with a relevant source of that era.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I'm looking forward to reading some unearthed report to Congress or the Politburo saying "After thorough review of all relevant episodes of The Twilight Zone, space agency administrators have concluded that..." ;-) $\endgroup$ – uhoh Nov 7 '18 at 4:10
  • $\begingroup$ It's a bit silly to assume a TV show can make a major psychological breakthrough. IOW the problems of long-term isolation were well known by then. $\endgroup$ – Hobbes Nov 7 '18 at 7:04
  • $\begingroup$ Let me be clear that I personally doubt there was such a connection. However, I can expect some reporter at the time asking an official about the connection, and the official denying it. That's what the question is asking about. $\endgroup$ – Dr Sheldon Nov 7 '18 at 15:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.