Except for bookends taking part in "present day", this story flashes
back to shortly after the founding of SHADO, when Moonbase was still
On page 37, Straker says only he, Freeman, General
Henderson, and NASA astronaut Ralph Baxter know the complete
secrets and setup of SHADO.
NASA, of course, is the United States' official space agency,
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Also on page 37, NASA astronaut Ralph Baxter is described
peering through the transparent beaten gold visor of his
space helmet. NASA space helmets actually do have a visor
coated with a thin layer of gold to filter out the sun's
Baxter takes part in a survival test in the Moon Terrain
Survival Simulator at the NASA Simulation Training Center.
As far as I can tell, this is a fictional simulator and
center. Page 41 goes on to suggest that the designers of the
simulation have somehow managed to reproduce the sensation
of moon walking quite well; is it related to the artificial
gravity technology that is suggested to exist within
Moonbase in "Training"? The current story also suggests that
the computers in Moonbase have a means of controlling the
Page 38 features a photo that is presumably meant to
represent Moonbase while it was under construction. The shot
is actually of the Russian moon base that appears in
"The Responsibility Seat".
Page 39 reveals that Baxter used to be an intelligence
officer with NATO. NATO is the
Atlantic Treaty Organization, a military alliance of most of
the western world's democratic nations.
Also on page 39, Baxter uses the British idiom "that takes
the biscuit". It seems unlikely he would use this expression
since he's American, where the phrase is largely unknown.
More likely, he would use "takes the cake", which has
essentially the same meaning, i.e. an expression of
Page 40 suggests that, at the time of this story, SHADO has
only recently formed and the organizations, astronauts, and
pilots were still being trained.
The photo on pages 40-41 is from
"The Dalotek Affair".
Page 41 reveals that Moonbase is still under construction
during this flashback story. SID is already in orbit around
On page 41, Straker states that there are several other
installations on the moon besides Moonbase, such as NASA
geological and mining stations and the Interstellar Lunar
Observatory. In the real world, there are as yet no stations
based on the moon.
On page 43, Straker reveals that a single company has built
all of the current installations on the moon, including
Moonbase. The company remains unnamed.
Freeman tells Baxter he has 16 hours until liftoff from Cape
Kennedy. The NASA launch facility of Cape Canaveral, Florida
was officially known as Cape Kennedy (as a memorial to the
assassinated President John F. Kennedy) from December 1963
to October 1973. Before and after that time, it was known as
Cape Canaveral, a name applied to the area by Spanish
explorers in the 16th Century.
The photo on page 43 is from a scene in
"Flight Path". The
story here suggests that the gun in the picture is an
atomizer, but in
"Flight Path" it was more of a bazooka, as it required a new
explosive shell to be loaded after each shot.
After sabotage induces a decompression and weightlessness
incident in Baxter's Moonbase quarters, page 44 suggests
that the computer finally restores normal moon gravity to
the room. In
"Training", it is suggested that
the gravity inside Moonbase is somehow adjusted to something
closer to Earth standard than the natural gravity of the
moon; since Moonbase is still under construction at this
point, it may be that the full technology for inducing
Earth-level gravity has not yet been installed.
Back to UFO