By James H. Burns: As I look forward to receiving volume two of William Patterson’s biography Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue With His Century: The Man Who Learned Better, I am finally reminded to make this request here–
For any of the File 770 faithful who may be YouTube savvy…
For YEARS, I had read that Heinlein was part of the Walter Cronkite Apollo moon landing coverage on CBS…
(And for those too young to recall, there were HOURS of live commentary leading up to our landing on the moon, and Neil Armstrong’s and Buzz Aldrin’s climb down the LEM’S ladder.
(I’m betting there’s discussion of Heinlein’s involvement with the space program, and the Apollo commentaries, in the new book!)
When I first got on the internet, in the 1990s, I was thrilled to finally hear Heinlein’s voice, at a website that contained many snippets of Heinlein, through the years. (There’s also a lovely behind-the-scenes featurette on the making of George Pal’s Destination Moon, showing him visiting that picture’s expansive lunar set.)
But nowhere to be found, or as best as I could judge to be seen in many of the Apollo documentaries that have been shown over the decades, was Heinlein’s CBS footage.
And, one would think, it should be extensive.
Many clips of Arthur C. Clarke’s Apollo coverage exist, but the Heinlein moments seemed to survive only in CBS’ vaults.
(There is at least one other, unrelated, rarity, that I don’t believe has been seen since those lovely summer days in 1969: Jim Henson, or someone using the Muppet style, created skits showing puppets playing RUSSIAN scientists, very frustrated over the impending NASA success… I believe the sequences were shown as part of the NBC news live broadcasts…)
If one searches at You Tube on “Robert Heinlein,” intriguing material abounds, but nary any space aged….
I finally caught up with the DVD release of Walter Cronkite’s and CBS News’ Man on the Moon special…
And there, at 41 minutes and 40 seconds, is a Heinlein appearance, and narrative, if only for about twelve seconds.
I believe that any Heinlein work related to the manned space program is vastly important: the person responsible for influencing so many of us to look more wondrously at the stars (not to mention the scientists whose careers he helped inspire, of course!), DIRECTLY participating in those events, and chronicle.
Here’s my request to the readership:
Man on the Moon is available very inexpensively at Amazon (and well worth checking,out!). Could someone here put the clip up at YouTube? Anyone, really, should be able to see and hear Heinlein at this great moment in our history.
As Patterson mentions in the introduction to Volume One of his Heinlen epic, Heinlein said:
“This is the greatest event in ALL the history of the human race, up to this time. This is… Today is New Year’s Day of the Year One. If we don’t change the calendar, historians will do so.”