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AUGUST 5, 2010

Moon Maroon
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Moon Graffiti

History has the strange quality that it easily could have been otherwise. You can experience one conceivable “what if?” in Moon Graffiti, an excellently executed radio story that plays out what could have happened had the first moon landing gone awry.

Based on a chilling contingency speech written for Richard Nixon titled “In the Event of Moon Disaster,” this nostalgia-laced 15-minute radio broadcast, courtesy of American Public Media, tells its story entirely through the radio communication between Mission Control and the astronauts. Seconds after tuning in, you’ll witness Apollo 11’s crash landing on the moon. Buzz and Neil are okay, but the lunar module is destroyed, and the men are running out of oxygen. The story is haunting in its plausibility, and despite the fact that the astronauts sound less like test pilots from the Air Force than hipsters from Brooklyn, the quality writing and sound effects bring this macabre counterfactual deliciously close to reality.

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