During the SpaceX live stream tonight, when Elon Musk announced that Yusaku Maezawa would be the first paying customer to fly to the moon on the BFR, another interesting tidbit came up in the conversation. Elon Musk talked about how great it would be to have a base on the moon (and how surprising it is that we don’t have one yet.) Then he talked about how he watched something called Moon Base Alpha that partially inspired his thoughts on a moon base. What is Moon Base Alpha?
It’s easy to think that Moon Base Alpha is a video game, since that’s the main result that comes up on a Google search. But Elon Musk was talking about a little known TV series. You might not know about it unless you’ve seen some of his posts on the topic in the past.
Here’s a look at what Moonbase Alpha is:
It’s a 1978 TV series called Space: 1999 – Destination Moonbase Alpha. Space: 1999 refers to a British-Italian science fiction show that only ran for two seasons, from 1975 to 1977. The story begins with nuclear waste stored on the moon exploding, knowing the moon out of orbit and sending the inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha hurtling through space. Martin Landau and Barbara Bain starred in the series.
Sometimes when Musk talks about his thoughts of creating a moon base, he calls it Moonbase Alpha in memory of the TV series.
Moon Base Alpha is also a video game that gives a realistic simulation of life on a moon, based on several potential moon programs. The game was made in 2010 by the Army Game Studio, with help from NASA Learning Technologies. That’s not what Musk is referring to when he talks about Moonbase Alpha, but it’s still fun to watch a clip of that too. And people sometimes make fun of this one, too:
Have you ever watched Moon Base Alpha?