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Man and the Moon (1955)

The Disneyland TV show episode Man and the Moon originally aired December 28, 1955 and was released theatrically outside the United States.

The entire episode prominently showcases Werhner von Braun's torodial space station. The clip below dramatizes what a space mission may involve some day in the distant (paleo)future.



You can view a clip of the program here and you can find this program in its entirety on the DVD set Walt Disney Treasures - Tomorrowland: Disney in Space and Beyond.

See also:
Challenge of Outer Space (circa 1950s)
Mars and Beyond (1957)
Animal Life on Mars (1957)
Plant Life on Mars (1957)

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Reader Comments (9)

Hey, at least with this film, the actual reality of physics in space is displayed compared to the crap that is portrayed today.

June 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRobert

Now those were some of the worst looking (space) helmets I've ever seen! But disregarding their design, they didn't seem very practical either. If you'd hit your head, which is what I assume it mainly guards against, then the little light thingy on top of the helmet would probably break. And if it guards against radiation instead, then still, what's up with that? Or the extension on the front, a scanner wouldn't be very useful if you couldn't see the information it picks up.

June 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterFrans

Disney's wholesale endorsement of von Braun's concepts mirrored the enthusiastic embrace of those plans by the government and industry. And yet it has to be remembered that von Braun was directly responsible for the deaths of 15,000 people - 10,000 of whom were slave laborers - because he himself enthusiastically embraced the Nazi regime and all its resources. Von Braun was remarkably indifferent as to what uses his research was put so long as he could do that research.

June 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

"As long as they go up, who cares where they come down? / "That's not my department", says Wernher von Braun.


Some say our attitude should be one of gratitude / Especially the widows and orphans of Old London Town who owe their large pensions to Wernher von Braun.

Ah, Tom Lehrer telling as it was. (Not quite, I know I've misremembered the lines, but the misremembered lines are the ones I remember. If you see what I mean.)

June 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPaul M. Cray

The freaky thing about this movie is that it anticipated that a hole in the hull of the ship might occur, as the result of an impact, and it portrayed the astronauts as well able to go outside and do repairs on their ship.

This was forgotten by NASA by the time the Columbia mission, so the astronauts died.

June 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

That voice... the narrator/robot on "Lost In Space"; cool.

June 23, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBradley

Anonymous, I take your point about von Braun. But it wasn't just the space plans that were enthusiastically embraced here.

Remember, at the time of the Disney show he had been working for years (and would be working for several more) on our ICBM descendants of the V-2. By the mid-1960s, we and the USSR had built systems capable of dispensing many, many World War IIs' worth of death and destruction in less than an hour. Those systems still exist, although most worry about them less. Your taxes and mine maintain them. But hey, that's cool, because no slave laborers were harmed in our version.

I submit that rather than feeling virtuous as we pile onto callous, amoral Wernher von Braun, we think more in terms of the old Pogo line:

"We have met the enemy, and he is us."

June 23, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMonte Davis

Did anyone spot the pen floating past one of the astronauts in the spaceship cabin? Shades of Kubrick! (or the reverse, of "2001": shades of Kimball!)

August 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Modern civilization was built on the blood and bones of many people over the ages, not just one group. Half-educated people are very selective about what they accept and reject with our modern society. It's easy to dismiss rockets because most of those folks have nothing to do with them in their lives, but I bet they won't be terribly eager to return their land to the Native Americans, now will they?

September 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Jetson

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