Epic men of flesh and stone
Travel where are found no bones;
The deepest, where no man before
Could open hope's remaining door.
The men of constellation's fame
Borrowed time, their epic names,
To fight odd battles in the sky
That no one now remember why.
Still there's a corner, not forgot,
An alien, though homelike plot,
Where men of flesh and stone will lie
In state, the doomed spaceship's flight.
They'll rest forever on the cusp
Of magic finds, made in our trust,
So teach the young their names instead
Of ancient heroes, too long dead.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The Nixon Whitehouse had a just-in-case statement
ready for deployment, in 1969, composed by speechwriter William Safire, in the event that the astronauts met an unhappy or unanticipated
end, during their monumental space flight.