Mission Improbable

Idea for a satire about the space race:

A middle aged white man in a suit carrying a manila envelope walks into an office and opens a desk drawer. He pulls out a tape recorder, and hits play.

“Good morning Mr. Webb. The Soviet Union, led by this man (pulls out a picture), Nikita Khrushchev, is attempting to dominate outer space. Khrushchev enlisted the help of a mysterious rocket scientist, Sergei Korlyov (Webb inspects picture) to launch an artificial satellite named Sputnik in 1957, and begin a series of spectacular firsts including putting the first man (picture of Yuri Gagarin) into orbit. If Khrushchev succeeds, he will reduce America to a second rate space power. Your mission, Jim, should you chose to accept it, is to send a man to the moon before this decade is out, and return him safely to the Earth. As usual, if you or any member of your team is captured or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. Good luck, Jim.”

Webb opens the Manila envelope to pick members of his team. He selects Robert Gilruth, sets aside Richard Nixon. He also picks John Glenn, Chris Kraft, Dee O’Hara and a very young Neil Armstrong.

A barrage of film clips accompanied by frantic music shows key scenes from the space race, including the team members. The last clip shows the recovery of the Apollo 11 crew.

Following this, the team jumps into a van with a NASA logo, looking like the van used to carry Apollo astronauts to the launch pad, and they speed off across a swampy Florida landscape.