“Apollo Reflections” Film & Titan II Missile

After producing four short films in the Apollo Reflections series, we are now focusing our attention on our feature-length documentary, “Apollo Reflections.” During our recent trip to Tucson, AZ for Spacefest we were fortunate to interview several more Space Shuttle era astronauts and others who witnessed Apollo history or were inspired by it, including Shuttle Astronauts Eileen Collins (1st US female mission Commander), Mario Runco, Kathy Sullivan (1st US female Spacewalker), Linda Godwin, and Clay Anderson, as well as authors, and the only college journalists given NASA press credentials to report on the Apollo 11 mission, David Chudwin and Marv Rubenstein, and Ryan Nagata, among others.

We also shot some great B-Roll at the Titan II Missile Museum south of Tucson.

I gazed upon the Titan II pondering its power with a mix of awe, wonder, excitement, trepidation, and sorrow. It was an amazing experience to explore the depths of the missile silo and marvel at the engineering of this incredible machine, but I couldn’t help but consider that for 21 of my first 22 years of life an active nuclear warhead sat atop it, armed and aimed for Armageddon.

Grateful that I wasn’t standing inches from annihilation, I recalled Robert Oppenheimer’s quote from the Bhagavad Gita following the explosion of the first atomic bomb:

“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

Those words were even more visceral as I sat in contemplation before the proverbial “button.”

And I considered another proverb as I reflected on how, in a cold war rush for glory, my nation replaced the nukes on some of those Titan IIs with two men in a spaceship and launched them into space:

“They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”Isaiah 2:3–4

Titan II missile launching Gemini 12 capsule and crew into space. Credit: NASA