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This Day in Science Fiction History: 13 September

Fictional Entry—Monday, September 13, 1999

Nuclear explosion as seen from Moonbase Alpha
Nuclear explosion as seen from Moonbase Alpha (© Group Three Productions 1975)

Preparations have been underway to launch the Meta Probe from the Space Dock towards the rogue planet at the edge of the solar system. Unfortunately, a mysterious viral infection has broken out among the astronauts assigned to the probe as well as several astronauts assigned to Moonbase Alpha.

John Koenig, the new commander of Moonbase Alpha, is concerned that the viral outbreak seems to mimic radiation exposure, causing cerebral cancer. Strangely enough there has been no sign of radiation exposure to any of the people who are sick. Also, the astronauts on Moonbase Alpha have not been in contact with those aboard the Meta Probe. Which indicates there should be no way to transmit the virus between them.

A check is performed on atomic waste Disposal Area One to ensure there isn’t any leakage. The site has been closed down for over five years. Disposal Area One shows clean on all radiation detectors. The site is routinely used as Navigation Beacon Delta since it is one of the few human-built areas on the far side of the moon.

It is later discovered that everyone who has contracted the cancer flew over Disposal Area One. An investigation discovers the domes in Area One are emitting strange energy and glowing red. Soon afterward they explode.

The scientists determine that there is a new reaction that is occurring with the waste, one never before seen. Koenig orders the Eagles to begin removing the waste from Disposal Area Two, since the area has more than one hundred and forty times the amount of waste than Area One had.

During the evacuation, a massive explosion consumes Disposal Area Two. The sky above Moonbase Alpha is lit up and the moon is hurled out of its orbit. On Earth, the moon's departure causes earthquakes and tidal waves worldwide. Massive destruction from the geologic upheaval strikes the United States, Yugoslavia, and southern France. Space Dock and the Meta Probe are assumed destroyed since there is a loss of signal from them, which means there is no way to evacuate any potential survivors from the rapidly receding moon. Any of the 311 personnel on Moonbase Alpha who survived the explosion are now doomed to die of dehydration, starvation, or suffocation.

Space: 1999 S01E01 Breakaway

Television Series

Group Three Productions


This Day in Science Fiction History examines notable events, real and fictional, concerning fantasy and science fiction in various media.


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