The movie Apollo 18
opened recently. The plot centers around a supposedly secret Apollo moon landing mission (the last actual mission was Apollo 17
). But never mind the space stuff, what is up with the title of the mission? It's been used for a couple of non-space related music projects.
They Might Be Giants
used it for the title
of their fourth album
Then there's a Korean indie rock band
with the name
, who won the Rookie of the Year
award at the 2010 Korean Music Awards
Of course, the title of the mission was used for space related projects also. The game company Accolade
made a video game
with the title
for the Commodore 64.
As to the movie itself, the reviews have good, though critics have noted plot implausbilities
, such as secretly launching a Saturn V rocket
(you gotta see this). Still, Apollo Flight Director Gerry Griffin
, who worked as an advisor on the movie, thinks
the film's creators got most things right.
But what about those last three unflown Apollo missions
? Oddly enough, the Apollo 18 movie was released exactly 41 years after the NASA mission was officially canceled
. It was to land in Schroter's Valley
and be commanded by Gemini and Apollo veteran Richard Gordon
, with Vance Brand
serving as Command Module Pilot and Harrison Schmitt as Lunar Module Pilot. The mission was to mark the first time a geologist, Schmitt, was to walk on another world
. When the mission was canceled, Schmidt was moved to Apollo 17, bumping Joe Engle
from that mission and putting him on the short list
of people who were supposed to land on the moon but didn't. It is debatable whether Alice Kramden
should be on that list.
Apollo 17 wasn't the last Apollo mission though. Apollo-Soyuz was the 1975 joint project with the Soviet Union and is unoffically called Apollo 18 at times. It featured a docking between the Apollo command module and Soyuz craft
and is viewed as the end of the space race as well the beginnings of the International Space Station.