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Missile to the Moon

When government support for his project is yanked, Dirk Green gets mad—then he heads for the moon in this 1958 classic, "Missile To The Moon". Helping the determined scientist pilot his rocketship are two duos: a pair of escaped convicts and a couple of accidental stowaways. In a time when humans had yet to take that "giant step for Mankind," everyone but Green is surprised that the thing actually flies. Little do they know that the real kicker is why Green is so keen to get to the moon in the first place. Populated by giant rock creatures and women in fancy-looking headgear, their destination is so much more than just a pretty rock in the sky.

The improbability of space travel is a major theme of the film, from the skepticism of the project funders who want to shut down the missile project, to the continual amazement of the erstwhile crew. Some of today's viewers might need to be reminded that it wasn't until a year after this film was released that the Soviets landed the unmanned Luna 2 on the Moon, and not until 1969 that the U.S. Apollo mission put the first human footsteps in its dust.

The Science

Lacey Holland

Lacey Holland of the University of Utah’s Think Globally Learn Locally program discusses atmospheric science and the film, “Missile to the the Moon”.

 

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