The space race was always going to be won by filmmakers and science-fiction writers.
Jules Verne penned “From the Earth to the Moon” in 1865 prophesying three U.S. astronauts rocketing from Florida to the moon. George Melies’ 1902 silent classic “A Trip to the Moon” had a rocket ship landing in the eye of the man in the moon. Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” came out the year before Neil Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface.
Still, the moon landing was a giant leap not just for mankind but for filmmaking. The astronauts on board Apollo 11 carried multiple film cameras with them.
Even so, some conspiracy theorists claimed it was a movie: another Kubrick production.
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Margaret Weitekamp sees a reciprocal relationship between filmmakers and scientists.
- Apollo 11 astronauts returning to launch pad 50 years later – Stories
- In this July 16, 1969 photo made available by NASA, the 363-feet Saturn V rocket carrying the Apollo 11 crew, launches from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (NASA via AP)