Tragic Moon Crash Story

Moon Graffiti is an entertaining audio story about what would have happened if the crew from Apollo 11 crash landed on the moon and could not return home. It was told in the perspective of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrich. The story also incorporated the narration of the actual “bad news” speech that was pre-prepared for President Richard Nixon in case of catastrophe. There were many sound effects used to create drama behind this story.

The story starts with the crew reporting an equipment alarm to Houston. Their voices are edited so that they sound like they are coming through a radio. Sound effects in the background layers include equipment beeping, switch flipping noises, and radio static. Then there was a crash sound effect followed by dreaded silence.

The astronauts survive the crash and assess their situation and explore their surroundings. The voices are unfiltered when they talk within the capsule, but are again muffled when they put on their helmets. Eerie music plays in the background to provide suspense as they discuss their plight – perched on the edge of a crater with the return rocket’s fuel cell exhausted. The story then follows the astronauts as they discuss what to do – complete mission parameters, leave messages for loved ones at home, or just leave footprints in the sand?

Other effective sound effects used include breathing as if in a spacesuit, and swooshing sounds for space dust being kicked around. Camera clicks are heard when the astronauts take photographs. Music was used very effectively to create suspense and convey emotion throughout the story.

Sound was minimized at times to provide both peaceful feelings (as the astronauts spoke in awe at their surroundings) and for somber moments (during the bad news speech). The President’s bad news speech is read with no effects in the background which helps you appreciate how it might have felt if the Moon mission had failed in 1969.

I was impressed by the story, the realistic sound effects they used, and the music used to set the tone. I feel like I learn some good ideas to create my own audio stories/sound clips.

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