The 1950 film "Destination Moon" of special interest to Navy

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Why was the navy interested in a Sci-Fi movie?

In 1950 the film "Destination Moon" was released. The film depicted how man would travel to the moon and back. What is interesting is that the makers of this film were 100% convinced that this would soon be reality and brag about it during interviews. The artist Bonestell, who created the model moon for this film, also worked together with Wernher Von Braun who helped to fake the Apollo moon landings.

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The image to the left shows a crater from the film Destination Moon, released in 1950. Roll over it to see a real image of the Tycho crater on the moon. If they could fake it in 1950 why wouldn't they be able to in 1969.

And why was the US Navy interested in the making of a science fiction film in the late forties?

During the making of the film another camera crew made a behind-the-scenes documentary during which they interview the director and other people involved in the production. At one point a Navy Lieutenant joins the group and is introduced as "another Navy guest", indicating that there were more Navy people present during the production. According to the Lieutenant the Navy was interested to see if these people involved in the film were "mad scientists", but goes on to say on camera that he believes this is "not the case at all" and seems quite impressed with what he has seen. If you watch this 47 minute long, rare recording you will see the complete Apollo story being told. For example, the decompression of the lunar module and other details such as dumping extra weight on the moon before lift off (the Apollo astronauts had to leave their life support packs and cameras on the moon). Why would the Navy be interested in a 1950 science fiction film?

See Part 5, time 5:05 for the Navy officer interview. Also see part 3, time 9:53 showing Navy involvement in this 1950 SF film.


Willy Ley and Werhner von Braun

Another interesting fact about "Destination Moon" is that Willy Ley was asked to be the technical adviser for the film, but was fired after insisting that there could be no explosions heard in space due to the vacuum. Who you think they hired to replace him??? You wouldn't believe it if we didn't have it on tape. It was Wernher von Braun, who later faked the Apollo moon landings. (Watch the video Willy Ley and Wernher von Braun).


  • Up Next Intro AwE130 Destination Moon
  • Up Next Destination Moon rare backstage interview part 1
  • Up Next Destination Moon rare backstage interview part 2
  • Up Next Destination Moon rare backstage interview part 3
  • Up Next Destination Moon rare backstage interview part 4
  • Up Next Destination Moon rare backstage interview part 5