I've read that even with all the SF stories written about the first landing on the Moon, not a single one written before the Apollo missions were planned ever had any hint that the first landing would actually be televised so we could watch it (almost) live.

Is this true? Or did any stories written before the missions were planned (and when we'd know it would be televised) predict that there would be a video camera on the Moon to record that first footstep?

  • 2
    I'm pretty sure that Clarke wrote a story with live reporting of the first Moon landing, but it might have been radio only. What Clarke got wrong is that he thought there would be a British expedition.
    – user56
    Feb 14 '12 at 6:53
  • @Gilles: If you can find the story, why not post it as an answer? It looks like nobody has come up with any other story that fits the point.
    – Tango
    Feb 18 '12 at 2:18
  • @Lighthart: Did they show it being televised?
    – Tango
    Feb 25 '13 at 1:04
  • I cannot find the reference anymore, so I've deleted my comment.
    – Lighthart
    Feb 25 '13 at 1:20

Yes, a televised moon landing was predicted in one Golden Age story that I know of: "All Aboard for the Moon" (novel, 55000 words) by Harold M. Sherman in Amazing Stories, April 1947, available at the Internet Archive. Apparently never reprinted.

The following excerpt is part of Gil Benson's ("playboy; devil-with-the-women; and rich") speech just before taking off for the moon in his atomic-powered spaceship, the Goodbye, World!:

"I'm also indebted to the General Electric Company of Schenectady for permitting me to install a hitherto untried sending and receiving radio set which beams radio waves of such high frequency that we are confident they can penetrate both the Heavyside [sic] and Appleton layers which surround the earth, at respective levels of sixty and two hundred miles, so that we can keep in constant touch with this planet during our travels and while on the moon.

"These new instruments, in conjunction with the television apparatus we are carrying, will permit us to scan some of the moon's surface and project back to earth the actual scenes as we are witnessing them. You know, of course, that television waves travel in a straight line and from the vantage point of the moon they can be beamed directly to earth. In fact, could a television station be established on the moon, we could then beam all television shows to the moon and relay them back to earth on a straight line so that they would be receivable everywhere."

  • 1
    Thank you! It's great someone found a reference like this.
    – Tango
    May 1 '13 at 3:02
  • Great catch! As an apropos, the television-station on moon idea is propably inspired by the contemporary Moon Relay or similar ideas: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communication_Moon_Relay
    – Abulafia
    Aug 30 '13 at 7:34
  • And afaik predates satellite TV as well.
    – Paul
    Jul 16 '16 at 10:40

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