Unless you are some half-witted tinfoiler who is convinced it was all complete fakery (despite fucktons of hard, physical, scientific and reprodcible evidence to the contrary), you’ll know that the Moon landings were, one of mankind’s greatest, if not the greatest, achievements.
But when you look at the seat-of-your-pants technology involved, it’s a miracle the astronauts got there at all. The whole world watched in anticipation and prayer as the mission neared its goal. But even the powers that be knew that, should it have all gone horribly wrong the consequences would be felt the world over. So much so that, should the worst have happened, President Richard Nixon would have delivered a very moving speech. Find out what that would have been right after the jump.
Records from the Whitehouse at the time show the following speech, drafted by Bill Safire and forwarded to H. R. Haldeman:
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.
Fortunately, this was never read aloud to the public. Who knows where we would be now had it been.