should have known what I was getting into when a woman at the astronomy club meeting offered this book she’d read to anyone else, with kind of a shrug and a “I’m not saying it’s good or anything.”
Shoulda known faint praise when I heard it.
So, The Cassandra Project is a fiction where a tabloid points out (in a NASA briefing) that Apollo IX (the vehicle sent to orbit round the moon two trips before the “actual” moon landing) made a radio transmission right before going around the far side of the moon, sounding a lot like the astronauts are actually going down there, a secret landing. And that possibly Apollo X did likewise. The question is, why? Why secret landings when we were in a race with the Russians.
After that curious fact, it’s a lot of reading.
At first, we’re centered on the NASA spokesman and his search for the truth. Bland and rather quiet, he’s a strange anti-hero to lead a ground-breaking investigation against the wishes of this superiors. But regardless, investigate he does, running through a number of bland and seemingly useless interviews with anyone he can find still alive from fifty years ago who might have had something to do with it. When his investigation peters out, a super-rich guy who is also curious (and happens to have his own moon spaceship in his back pocket, ready to go) also investigates. Followed by more bland interviews. And then the President of the United States gets involved. More bland interviews. Finally the rich guy flies to the moon – you’d think it would be pretty exciting, way out there in the literal dark, getting ready to touch down and uncover the mystery, but we pretty much sit up in the orbiter and listen, second hand, while the landing takes place.
Really, it could have been better (as the loaner lady implied). Scenes that should have been honed to a sharp cutting edge were dull. And interviews that could have been written off in short order were detailed. I don’t think a single one of the interviews gained a single clue, making it all a tedious endeavor.
What did they find? Not going to say. You’ll have to work for this. So buy your own copy (or join an astronomy club and hope someone is giving it away for free).