Tintin Forums

Tintin Forums / Official Tintin books /

Explorers on the Moon: A more successful mission?

#1 · Posted: 12 Feb 2007 05:18 · Edited by: Jorgen221
The Explorers post and the excellent responses to it got me thinking, how could Tintin and Co. avoid the problems involved with the original Moon trip...assuming they returned there as Calculus vowed they would.

1. Oxygen--space permitting, definitely include as much as possible. I would suggest putting in a supply to support at least eight people, assuming four passengers and Snowy. Better to have too much than not enough, if something unforseen does happen.

2. Security--Inspect the rocket from top to bottom maybe a week before launch day and again the day before. Check all cargo crates to avoid the possibility of stowaways like Jorgen. Have the rocket be more heavily guarded so no one can sneak aboard.

3. The possibility of a foreign power attempting to steal the rocket by giving false directions was mentioned in the book. Maybe Tintin and the crew could communicate with Earth over a scrambled frequency to avoid this?

4. Have at least a couple of ZEPO security guards on board, armed. Increase the oxygen supply accordingly.
#2 · Posted: 12 Feb 2007 10:23
Surely one of the ZEPO guards would be an infiltrator?

Maybe they returned, but as there was no problems, there was no adventure and hence no need to report it?
#3 · Posted: 12 Feb 2007 11:51 · Edited by: Balthazar
You raise a very interesting topic of discussion, Jorgen. But from your mention of ZEPO guards, it seems that you're assuming this return mission to the moon would be launched from the same base in Syldavia, and I don't think Calculus would want to work for the Syldavians again after their behaviour towards him in The Calculus Affair. You'd have thought that the Slydavians would have made Calculus, Tintin & Haddock Syldavian national heros after helping them to achieve the world's first manned mission to the moon. Yet only a year or so after their return to earth, they've got a covert operation going to kidnap Calculus. Their assaults may not be quite as murderous as those of the Bordurians, but as Tintin discovers when they cosh him on the shore of Lake Geneva, they're pretty ruthless. Surely coshing the first person to step foot on the moon, when he did so on behalf of your country, is pretty ungrateful - especially when that person also risked life and limb to save your country from annexation in earlier times. And as Calculus is being gagged by the Syldavian agents and roughly bundled under the seat of that yellow car, he too must be feeling more than a little let down by Syldavia, and wondering if it had been such a good idea to build his moon rocket on behalf of such a militaristic country. It looks like Haddock was right to feel uneasy at all those armed soldiers and ZEPO men at the start of Destination Moon. You just can't trust that nation of mineral-water-drinkers!

So if Calculus ever did want to return to the moon, I think he'd have to start from scratch with a more peaceful and trustworthy country. Admittedly, it's hard to think of many countries in the world that fit that description, but his home country of Belgium would surely have been something of an improvement on Syldavia. A home-built rocket (knocked up in his own lab) taking off from the back lawn of Marlinspike Hall would be a terrific sight. (And a rocket design less-obviously inspired by the work of Werner Von Braun might prevent military regimes from taking so much interest in his work in future!)
#4 · Posted: 12 Feb 2007 20:52
I don't think you actually want a gun in space. Not sure how thick the hull is but I don't think they were normally carried on spacecraft

#5 · Posted: 23 Feb 2007 17:29
OK, wait a minute, Balthazar, I'm confused. Wasn't it the Bordurians who kidnapped Calculus? Isn't that how Haddock and Tintin run into Sponz, crib the release papers out of his coat pocket in Castafiore's dressing room, and then spring Calculus? Or have I got it wrong?

Although I agree with you, building a space facility in the Syldavian mountains is politically risky, large natural deposit of uranium notwithstanding!
#6 · Posted: 23 Feb 2007 18:22 · Edited by: Balthazar
OK, wait a minute, Balthazar, I'm confused. Wasn't it the Bordurians who kidnapped Calculus?

Both Borduria and Syldavia kidnap Calculus at different points of the book. Both countries each have an agent in the Marlinspike grounds at the start of the book, one of whom notices the other, hence the shooting incident.

The Bordurians kidnap Calculus in Geneva. At their lakeside embassy, Tintin and Haddock pitch into the big fight on the side of the Syldavian agents, because Tintin assumes they're people who are trying to rescue Calculus. But when Tintin tries to get into their speedboat with them, one of the Syldavian agents coshes Tintin and it becomes clear that the Syldavians are actually kidnapping Calculus too. Its a Syldavian agent who's driving that yellow car they chase, and who bundles Calculus into the small plane. Tintin and Haddock are about to fly to Klow (the Syldavian capital) to mount a rescue there but then they read that the small plane hs been downed in Borduria, so they go there instead, which takes us to the part of the plot you remember.

I agree it's confusing, but I think I've got that straight!

Please be sure to familiarize yourself with the Forum Posting Guidelines.

Disclaimer: Tintinologist.org assumes no responsibility for any content you post to the forums/web site. Staff reserve the right to remove any submitted content which they deem in breach of Tintinologist.org's Terms of Use. If you spot anything on Tintinologist.org that you think is inappropriate, please alert the moderation team. Sometimes things slip through, but we will always act swiftly to remove unauthorised material.


  Forgot your password?
Please sign in to post. New here? Sign up!