Apollo 18 is a fictional, suspenseful, horror story that was based on recently found footage from a covert 1973 moon landing that was never officially released to the public. The public and the astronauts families were told they were going on a training camp to Japan for practices. Dimension Films had the clever idea to create the movie in a fixed camera perspective so they were able to play it off as the actual lost NASA footage. As you can tell, this is a fictional movie or something like this would have made the news in a matter of minutes, never the less it is very well done. To add to the truth of the movie, there was an Apollo 18, Apollo 19, and Apollo 20 missions scheduled. This movie is supposed to be the explanation as to why the Apollo 18 mission was canceled.
The film has the traditional setting of the actual time frame which is takes place during 1973. The actual Apollo 18 mission happened to be set to launch but it was delayed several times, then it was scrapped all together due to lack of funding. Unlike what the movie displays, the Apollo mission was not scrapped due to alien infestation. In 1971 there were budget constraints put into place by Nixon, this forced the Apollo missions to shut down all together. Casper Weinberg pushed for canceling the 16th and 17th missions as well, but the last two missions were completed anyway. The missions were supposed to adhere to budget cut rules that stated if Apollo 15 was a success then 16 and 17 were not need. Apollo 15 was a success but they decided to go ahead with their schedule anyway. The Apollo 18 mission was supposed to take place near the Copernicus crater, its dated to be 800 million years old and is roughly 57 miles wide.
If Apollo 18 were to have launched they would have used legendary atronauts Dick Gordon (Apollo 12 member), Vance Brand (Later Commanded 3 space missions), Harrison Schmitt who oddly enough was not a pilot but a geologist. Schmitt was later assigned to the Apollo 17 mission and was one of the last people ever to step foot on the moon. Unfortunately they did not get to launch Apollo 18 and NASA focused it efforts to “Skylab”, which later failed after it lost orbit and crashed into earth near Australia. After Skylab the Space Shuttle Program was initiated and ends at the end of 2011.