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No Return

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Sponsored by BLAP! Models

by Phillip Thomson

Scale: 1/72

What if fate was not so kind to the men from the first moon landing? What if what we all feared actually happened? What if Nixon had to read out his pre-prepared speech written in the event the first moon landing was marred by tragedy?

"Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace. These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice."

In this timeline the speech above actually happened, Forty years later the opportunity has arisen to investigate why the 1st Apollo Moon Landing failed and why our heroes never returned.

NASA reports that the recent unmanned mission to the moon, S.E.L.E.N.E who's primary objective was to investigate the Apollo 18 mission and determine the cause of the failure of the mission has been deemed successful. Images returned via the S.E.L.E.N.E explorer vehicle have further added to the investigation relating to the failure of the Apollo 18 mission in successfully completing their objective and returning back to Earth.

The photographic evidence received at N.A.S.A has helped add to the causal data for the loss of this important mission. Telemetry data received at the time of the mission coupled with the images now show the following is believed to have occurred. The Lunar Module ascent capsule failed to return the two Apollo crewmembers, Armstrong and Aldrin, back safely to the orbiting Command Module Piloted by Colins. Evidence indicates that the ascent capsule engine fired for a brief 100th of a second then inexplicably cut out. This resulted in the module falling back down to the moon crashing heavily onto the descent stage base. The landing gear and base crumpled under the impact. The ascent stage exit door was jammed shut by the impact and the crew, had they survived the impact would have been unable to escape.

There are signs of an ensuing fire within the ascent stage. Fire damage is evident through the discoloration of the metal skin of the ascent stage. The fire however would have been short-lived as the ascent stage ruptured and any oxygen would have quickly escaped into the vacuum of the moon.

The kit is an old Airfix Lunar Module. I have had this kit for a long long time - it was my 2nd kit of this model. The first one I build when I was about 13; this one about 15 years ago. However, it is a very fragile model and it did not survive too well a number of moves, So I applied some heat to the kit and this is what's resulted. I still have an unbuilt kit in my stash and now its been re-released again I'll have to build another and see how long it survives.

Image: Damage

Image: Further back

Image: Another view

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This page was last updated 29 July 2009. © 2009 Starship Modeler