Explanation of:


September 13, 1999 was the date given in the original title sequence of "Space:1999", the date on which a nuclear accident would shove the Moon out of our solar system into a distant galaxy where even stupider stuff happened. Fortunately, the gigantic explosion that rearranged the entire Solar System did't hurt Martin Landau, his expressionless wife Barbara Bain, or anyone else on Moonbase Alpha. I was really looking forward to 9/13/99 because then we could wear white bellbottoms and go-go boots and there would be cool disco music playing as the Moon blew away.

On sci.physics, Alexander Abian (a former math professor) kept ranting about "TIME HAS INERTIA" and "VENUS MUST BE RE-ORBITED TO BECOME A BORN-AGAIN EARTH". He once made the cover of the Weekly World News with his plan to blast the Moon out of orbit. The inherent silliness of that dovetailed nicely with the identical inherent silliness of "Space:1999".

Unfortunately, Dr. Abian had the bad timing to die right before 9/13/99, when I hosted an alt.religion.kibology party where two dozen of us gathered to watch the Moon blow up, which it didn't. We're hoping it's just late.

My favorite "1999" episode is the one where the Moon gets covered with soap suds ("John, enough of that 'foam' as you call it, could crush anything!") and then the soap suds go away and then Martin Landau makes a speech about how many worlds will die because of the Space Brain.

From:         kjenks@gothamcity.jsc.nasa.gov
Subject:      Re: Mnemonics
Newsgroups:   alt.folklore.urban, rec.arts.startrek.misc, alt.religion.kibology
Followup-To:  rec.arts.startrek.misc
Organization: NASA/JSC/GM2, Space Shuttle Program Office
Date:         Tue, 2 Feb 1993 05:28:15 GMT

Ted Frank (thf2@ellis.uchicago.edu) wrote:
: Which reminds me, I noted in the paper the other day that Japan is looking
: into putting nuclear power plants on the moon.  Wasn't that what caused the
: explosion [which caused the moon to zip through interstellar space at
  amazing, yet plot-dependent velocities]?

With mixed pride and chagrin, I announce to the world that my extensive
personal collection of vintage science fiction contains:
    SPACE: 1999 #2 "Moon Odyssey"
    SPACE: 1999 #5 "Astral Quest"
    SPACE: 1999 #6 "Lunar Attack"
all by John Rankine, unashamedly published by Pocket Books, New York.
Each book includes (ugh) really, really bad photos of the REALLY,
REALLY bad special effects.  (NO, I will NOT post any GIF's.)

There isn't anything which says it explicitly, but as I recall it, the
explosion was caused by nuclear waste which had been dumped on the

The blurb on the back cover of #2 states that "THEIR ONLY WORLD
IS THE MOON -- WITHOUT THE EARTH!  A freak explosion blasts the
moon out of orbit.  And the men and women of Moonbase Alpha
unwittingly become courageous travelers on man's first
intergalactic odyssey.

"Joy turns to terror when Alpha's first infant grows up in a
matter of seconds [PVGH -- KJ]...an alien 'gift' transforms the
barren moon into sunny Eden...a deadly but primitive rocket from
Earth makes Alpha the target for mass revenge...and the interstellar
journey becomes a personal hell for the crew when they see how
their lives MIGHT have been!"

Yech.  I can't believe I actually read this dreck.

: Ted "Space:1999 was clearly superior to Star Trek" Frank
: -- 
: ted frank                     | thf2@ellis.uchicago.edu 
: standard disclaimers          | void where prohibited
: the university of chicago law school, chicago, illinois 60637

I also have all of the ST:TOS books.  Say what you will, I'm consistent.

-- Ken Jenks, NASA/JSC/GM2, Space Shuttle Program Office
      kjenks@gothamcity.jsc.nasa.gov  (713) 483-4368

     "NASA turns dreams into realities and makes science fiction
      into fact" -- Daniel S. Goldin, NASA Administrator

Some SF is really a nightmare.