See the past. See the future. Imagine the possibilities.
We’re sitting in the IMAX Theater at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It’s dark and we’re wearing our special 3-D goggles as we wait to watch “Magnificent Desolation” produced by Tom Hanks, the movie about landing on the moon. First, in interviews with kids we find out their ideas about space and space programs, their thoughts about the future.
The moon rover leaves the spacecraft and lands on the moon, flicking up moon rocks as the wheels hit the surface. A couple of small pieces shoot off, flying towards us and at first we duck, as those rocks aim straight for our faces.
The door opens and the astronaut begins a slow backward descent down the ladder, slowly, slowly until he sets foot on the moon surface. We are there, we are on the moon too, a short distance from the rover. It is magnificent and it sure is desolate, the landscape unlike anything we’ve ever seen before, except in movies or in our imaginations. It sure is isolated too, and there’s nothing there on the ancient pitted surface to use as a reference. It’s awe-inspiring—imagine seeing the earth from way back here, to see how small it is really. The view makes us think of peace and mankind—why can’t we all live together there on earth in harmony?
The astronaut, in his bulky suit, turns and walks right up to us.
Such is the power of this movie that we do experience the moon landings. Vicariously, it’s true, but for most of us that’s the closest we’ll ever get.