Destination Moon movie poster



Based on the Robert Heinlein novel Rocketship Galileo, Destination Moon (1950) was produced by special effects innovator George Pal. The story of the race to the moon -- with the Americans beating the Russians -- is widely regarded as the first "realistic" science fiction film about space flight. Famed astronomical artist Chesley Bonestell served as a technical advisor, and the movie garnered several awards, including an Oscar for special effects and a Golden Globe for the Leith Stevens score.

Destination Moon still photo

In Destination Moon, the astronauts manage to establish a base on the moon but worry about having enough fuel to get back to earth -- and that parallels the real-life story of the first men to set foot on the moon. American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin experienced similar concerns as their LEM landing craft contained just seconds of fuel left when Armstrong set it down in the Sea of Tranquility in 1969. Had they taken any more time, they wouldn't have had enough fuel to get back to the lunar orbiter for their trip back to Earth.

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