Tintin and friends landed on the moon in 1952, some 17 years before Apollo 11 got there.
While writing the story, Herge and his team researched what the moon would look like on the surface, and as anybody who’s read the book would know, it’s uncannily accurate.
After Apollo 11 made it to the Moon, it seemed that Herge had got only one thing wrong: in the story, Tintin and Haddock observed stalactites and stalagmites in a lunar cave, and then after falling down a crevice found ice.
…the existence of ice on the moon came about at the insistence of [adviser] Dr Bernard Heuvelmans. Herge had agonised about the question, not at all sure if he agreed with the prevalent scientific evidence that the moon was an icy place, but Heuvelmans’ advice won the day.
— “Tintin — Herge and his creation”, Harry Thompson, p146
Now NASA have sent a probe to the Moon which may prove Herge (and Heuvelmans) right after all — they’re looking for the presence of water and ice. It seems a rather unsubtle method — crashing the probe into the Moon’s south pole — but the expected debris cloud hasn’t been seen, and it may be a little while until they know if water has been detected or not.
5 replies on “NASA to prove Herge right?”
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Eerily you and another blogger I read have both posted about Tintin on the same day – is there something in the water?!
Has anyone noticed the irony that on the day President Obama is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, he goes ahead and bombs the Moon? What did it ever do to him!?!?
Seriously though, the discovery of water on the Moon would be of extraordinary significance! Imagine- it would have the facility to support humankind should it ever decide to colonise the Moon! It may even indicate the possibility of some form of primitive life- though how it would survive in such an environment is unfathomable!
One of the things that I have never understood, as someone who studied astronomy and has followed the space race for years, is how we have never been back to the Moon since the early ’70s? By all rights, humankind should have established some sort of presence by now, considering all the technological advances in the last 40 years! It is a real shame that Apollo was the only real effort at going to the Moon!
If anyone has seen 2001: A Space Oddysey, you see the established presence on the Moon- a fully functional Moon Base! Arthur C. Clarke, when writing the novel, in my humble opinion, wasn’t writing anything far fetched, but extrapolating based on ’60s technology, would have thought such a possibility was reasonable! Too bad politics and other considerations got in the way of that!
I was watching live on Fox News the coverage of the Moon bombing- admittedly you really didn’t see anything- it seemed to happen in a flash- literally!
I don’t know how much value this experiment may have- hopefully it can justify the budget!
It is a sad indictment that it would take another decade just to get back to the Moon- what has happened to human ingenuity?
Jayne, thanks for the link!
Andrew, nice dig at Obama there, but of course the mission was devised during Bush’s era, and announced in April 2006.
I know- I was being facetious! I think I heard Dennis Miller mention it on his radio show- had to use it!!