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The Man Who Sold the Moon

"The Man Who Sold the Moon" is a science fiction short story by Robert Heinlein first published in 1951, part of his pseudo-history of stories sharing a common background from Life-Line to De Capo. This story covered events in pseudo-1978, around the first moon-landing.

Delos D. Harriman, "the first of the new robber barons," is determined to reach the Moon. He wants the Moon legally under his control, not so much as a personal fiefdom but as a longer term prospect for humanity in general, but that does not stop him from doing what he believes necessary: "I would cheat, lie, steal beg, bribe -- do anything to accomplish what we have [to]". His determination is rooted in his personal desire to go to the Moon himself. His achievements are great, but his personal dream is thwarted.

The Man Who Sold the Moon is also the title of two books of short stories. The second one also included Heinlein's stories: "Let There Be Light", "The Roads Must Roll," and "Requiem." The first one had included those stories plus "Life-Line" and "Blowups Happen."