Movie-A-Day #202: Destination Moon (1950).
Neil Armstrong took his small step (and giant leap for mankind) 42 years ago today. The Apollo moon landing was the high point of the American space program up to that point – and, unfortunately, after all this time it still is. It was the first time that humanity had ventured beyond the orbit of the Earth, and it seemed to be the start of a great age of space exploration. But after just five missions in three years, the manned moon landings were over and we have not left our home planet since. And now in 2011, even the Space Shuttle program has ended, with nothing planned to replace it. It’s a big change from the heady days before the moon landing, when both the scientific community and the general public were giddy with the idea of exploring the “final frontier.” Robert Heinlein’s “Destination Moon” was a good expression of that excitement and it even managed to accurately predict many aspects of space travel, a full decade before Yuri Gagarin made is pioneering flight and nearly two decades before the moon landing.