As the Apollo 11 Command Service Module covered the quarter of a million miles back from the Moon back to the Earth, NASA had big plans for the Moon with Apollo only being the first step. However, with the Apollo 11 flight accomplishing President John F Kennedy’s pledge to go to the Moon before the decade was out, as well as giving the USA its biggest propaganda victory over the USSR during the Cold War, the political will was no longer there to fund such expensive undertakings whilst the country was still fighting a war in Vietnam.
Airfix remained optimistic however and produced this set of astronauts and their equipment for their HO/OO range of figures. The HO/OO scale of 1/76 was virtually indistinguishable from the 1/72nd scale of the Lunar Lander kit while the set of figures includes extra equipment such as Lunar Rovers and equipment packages. Indeed, the Lunar Rover proved somewhat of a problem for the company, after they got in touch with the real Rover manufacturer Boeing, who had to get permission from their only customer for the Rover before allowing Airfix to produce their version of it.
NASA agreed – on the condition that it was as accurate a representation as possible so that it could be used for educational purposes if required, no doubt oblivious to the fact that in back gardens in Britain the Rover was more likely to be confronted by similarly-sized German soldiers and tanks taking imaginary pot shots at it…
• Coinciding with Jeremy’s countdown to the 40th Anniversary of the first Moon Landing, downthetubes published “Moon Landing 40th Anniversary: A Comics Celebration” – a gallery of illustrations and comic art inspired by space exploration
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