The president discovers the moon landing in 1969 was fake and struggles with what to do with the information. When NASA tells him that a recent botched launch has stranded two astronauts in space, he does his best to rally the country around another trip to the moon.
Synopsis:A newly-elected president is told, quite unexpectedly, that the entire moon-landing was a sham. Scientists from NASA promise to give him the whole story if he will come out to Area 89. (Area 51 was made up too-- just to keep people off the trail.) Two scientists, one a smart, young woman with whom the president is quite smitten, reveal that the entire "Space Race", everything that America did and continued to do in effort to understand the mysteries of the cosmos, was fake. We just needed to beat the Russians. The good news is that now we do have the technology to get to the moon, just not the money needed to complete the shuttle.
The president is understandably shocked and surprised. He decides that now might just be a good time to try another moon landing. After years of war and economic uncertainty, the president reckons that a bit of hope and excitement might just be what the nation needs. He decides to let America know the truth and hedges his bets that the nation will rally behind him. There is, however, one huge caveat. NASA tried a launch a few days ago and lost the Shuttle. They have no idea if the astronauts have survived. This is now, officially, a rescue mission.
The President breaks the news to his cabinet and to Congress. No one thinks it's a good idea to tell the truth. The president also reaches out to the last surviving member of the first, fake moon landing and is met again with resistance. At a nationally televised news conference he makes his case to the country. Folks want to help but they are confused. Not to mention terrified of the whopping price tag. The president pours out all the patriotism he can but still is met with disappointment.
That is until Russia and Iran step in. Our former enemies agree to help finish the project and fund the rest of it in exchange for a seat at the table. Russia, especially, feels they should be involved as they have been faking the whole thing as well. Just in an effort to outshine the U.S. And Iran, has the capitol, but not the resources already in place for such a mission.
An agreement is reached. One American, one Russian and one Iranian will be launched into space in hopes of recovering our two lost astronauts... and hopefully to learn just what the heck is really out there.
This is a brisk, hopefully fun screenplay that is the first in a planned trilogy. It changes what we think we know about outer space-- mostly because in the world in which the story is set, we don't anything about outer space.