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1972 Film of SF Authors on Cruise Ship during Apollo Launch 
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Centennial Attendee
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Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:46 am
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Location: Aurora, IL, USA, Terra
Post 1972 Film of SF Authors on Cruise Ship during Apollo Launch
I learned from Mike Glyer at File 770 that a film has popped up on Youtube of a legendary science fiction event.

As Mike explains:
On December 3, 1972 many of the leading sf writers, artists, and scientists of their generation boarded Holland America’s cruise ship SS Statendam to view the launch of Apollo 17 and to discuss the future of space travel. This would be the last manned mission to the Moon — the rest of the Apollo series had been cancelled — but it was still too early for so many optimists to internalize that America was entering the doldrums of manned space exploration.
Some of the most interesting figures on board were Isaac Asimov, the only two people Asimov would admit were more intelligent than he was, Carl Sagan and AI specialist Marvin Minsky, plus Richard Hoagland, Ben Bova, poet Berguet Roberts, artists Rick Sternbach and Don Davis, Harry Stine, Robert Heinlein, Frederik Pohl, Theodore Sturgeon, Fred Ordway, rocket designer and space visionary Krafft Ehricke, SETI pioneer and director of the Arecibo Observatory Frank Drake, and physicist Robert Enzmann. They were joined by a sprinkling of other comped celebrities – Norman Mailer and Katherine Anne Porter among them.
The documentary, Voyage beyond Apollo, was posted by Marie Morgan, one of the filmmakers.

Robert Heinlein gives his impression of the nighttime Saturn V launch from 3 minutes 38 seconds onward to about 4 minutes.

Heinlein is also seen in brief glimpses at a party (1:34) or coming down a gangplank (17:45). Maybe you can spot further appearances I've missed.

Some of the footage has a home-movies quality, the copy is not very high in resolution (perhaps a transfer from VHS?), and there are passages where the sound is terrible. But there are also bits of interviews and panel discussions with decent sound. It seems unfinished-- perhaps this is only a part of a longer film.

There are shots touring the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico, with Frank Drake and Carl Sagan explaining.

There's a lot of history in there. Also, probably more Norman Mailer than you would like.

Bill Higgins

Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:02 pm
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Post Re: 1972 Film of SF Authors on Cruise Ship during Apollo Lau
You're right; way too much Norman Mailer. But otherwise very interesting.

Dan Thompson
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Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:13 pm
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Post Re: 1972 Film of SF Authors on Cruise Ship during Apollo Lau
Too bad that Gore Vidal wasn't along as well.

Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:54 am
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Post Re: 1972 Film of SF Authors on Cruise Ship during Apollo Lau
And maybe Bill Buckley to really stir the pot with Gore Vidal as well. :lol:

Tom Kendall

Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:31 am
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