Apollo 13 - 40th Anniversary Essay Contest


Apollo 13 -  40th Anniversary Essay Contest
 
"Manned Space Exploration is Worth the Risk"
Updated January 16, 2010 - additional exposure for winning entries
Updated February 25, 2010 - change in submission address
Updated February 28, 2010 = announcing our panel of judges
 

Apollo 13 was the one Moon Landing Mission that, on the surface, failed.

The crew launched April 11, 1970. Two days later, en route to the Moon, there was an explosion in the unmanned Service Module. "Houston, we have a problem." The Moon Landing was now out of the question.

Worse, at first it looked as if there was no way to get the crew back home safely, and that this was a tragedy in the making, something that they could only watch happen, helpless to do anything about it.
 
But through determination, resourcefulness, ingenuity, and a stubborn refusal of NASA personnel to accept this fate, in a 5 day drama played on television screens world wide, we found a way to give the crew "a slim chance." They splashed down safely on April 17, 1970.

Around the world, there was not a dry eye! If ever there was a defining tribute to the human "never say die" spirit, this was it.

Apollo 13's 40th Anniversary is April 11-17th, 2010.

But while this mission did not involve a successful landing, it was
an iconic example of courage and ingenuity in the face of almost certain disaster and tragedy.

We cannot speak for nationals of other countries, but it is a sad truth that many Americans have lost the frontier spirit and have become risk-averse. This was evident in public reaction to the Challenger and Columbia mishaps. The only disaster in either event was this minority segment of public opinion. None of us would be here if our ancestors had not willingly taken risks.

Our message is: "Manned Space Exploration is Worth the Risk" and the Moon Society is running an Essay Contest on this theme.

The contest is open to members, former members, visitors, and in short to anyone who hears about it.

Of course, this contest is open to anyone, anywhere in the world.


Our panel of three judges:

Marianne Dyson - well-known author of science books, children's books on space and more
Ian Randal Strock - former editor of Artemis Magazine
Charles Lesher - editor of the Moon Society's new Moonbeams science-fiction quarterly

Prizes are modest:  Renewals or new Moon Society memberships.

1st Prize: 3 year renewal, or 3 year new Moon Society membership - a $105 value
2nd Prize: 1 year renewal or 1 year new Moon Society  membership - a $35 value

A 3rd Prize is being offered by the Lunar Reclamation Society, publishers of Moon Miners'  Manifesto:
A hardcopy subscription to Moon Miners' Manifesto* - a $12 value
*Conditions. This 3rd prize is available to only to those who are  not members of the Moon Society. If the 3rd contest winner, as picked by our panel of judges  is a member, he or she must assign this subscription as a gift  to a non-member or to a Library of his/her choosing.
All three prize winning entries will be published in Moon Miners' Manifesto
and also on the Moon Society website.

New - O1.16.2010 - Chuck Lesher, editior of our Science-Fiction (pdf file) magazine, Moonbeams, will produce a special edition of Moonbeams to highlight the top ten finalists or something like that. It would be a spectacular edition filled with Apollo 13 pictures and author bios/photos, plus photos form Apollo 13.

Contest requirements and conditions:
  • Word limit: 1,000 words
  • Submission form: electronic only ( .doc word document, .rtf plain text document, .html web page document, .pdf file -- note: if your mail program allows, you may also copy the unformatted text of your entry into the body of the email message. ) Double-spacing is not necessary.
  • Submission address: president@moonsociety.org
    If you have already sent a submission to secretary@moonsociety.org, please resend it to the email address above.
    Our secretary has lost Internet access.
  • Submission deadline: April 1, 2010
  • Include a "code name": please pick a code name and put that name with no other contact information in your entry. Put your name and full contact information in the accompanying email. The Secretary will compile a list matching code names to real names, which will not be distributed to anyone. This ensures judge neutrality in the event that a judge might recognize the name of an entrant and be influenced favorably or unfavorably by that. Given the code names on entries picked by the judges, the Secretary will notify the winners, the Moon Society webmanster and MMM editor by email.
Awards would be announced on April 17, 2010, the 40th anniversary of the safe touchdown of the A13 crew. Notice will be on our website, as well as emailed to the individual entrants.

Please spread the word to anyone whom you think might be interested.

Address any questions about the Contest or its details to president@moonssociety.org