A typewritten note has been found among the items in the papers of Richard Nixon. It is a small bit of a history that, luckily, never was.
William Safire, Nixon's speechwriter, drafted the address two days before the moon landing, to be ready if Armstrong and Aldrin had become stranded on the moon.
The scanned-in typewritten memo from from William Safire is here
“Fate has ordained that the men who went to the Moon to explore in peace will stay on the Moon to rest in peace . . .
These brave men know there is no hope for their recovery but they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.
In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.”
I remember how these moon missions gripped my young imagination. I can only guess how I and the country would have been impacted if Armstrong and Aldrin had been left stranded on the moon. Ughh.