Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Saturday, July 10, 1999 Published at 13:39 GMT 14:39 UK


Full text: Nixon's unused Apollo speech

In the event Nixon personally welcomed the astronauts back home

Recently discovered documents detail the steps Nasa and the Nixon administration would have taken had the Apollo XI astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin been unable to return from the moon.

The following is the full text of the unused speech, ominously entitled "In the event of moon disaster", which President Nixon would have given as the astronauts lived out their final hours:

[ image: A lonely view of a distant home]
A lonely view of a distant home
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.

[ image: No-one knew whether the module would successfully launch from the moon]
No-one knew whether the module would successfully launch from the moon
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.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Sci/Tech Contents

Relevant Stories

10 Jul 99 | Sci/Tech
A silent death

10 Jul 99 | Sci/Tech
Moon walker dies in bike crash

10 Jul 99 | Sci/Tech
Apollo veteran calls for new vision

Internet Links

Nasa: Apollo XI

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

World's smallest transistor

Scientists join forces to study Arctic ozone

Mathematicians crack big puzzle

From Business
The growing threat of internet fraud

Who watches the pilots?

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer