LONDON, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke said in a lost 1963 television interview Russia would win the space race by landing the first man on the moon in 1968.
The author of "2001: A Space Odyssey," who died in 2008, made his erroneous prediction in an episode of "The Sky at Night," the world's longest-running television science program, thought lost until a copy was found in a television station archive in Africa, The Guardian reported Thursday.
Clark said he thought the Americans would lag behind the Russians in getting to the moon but would catch up within two years.
"Around 1970, if you want to pin me down," he said. "The American moon project is a colossal thing, costing $10 million a day. I believe they will succeed in getting a man on the moon -- and back again, which is equally important -- not before 1970, but it will not be much after that."
The U.S. Apollo 11 mission reached the moon and landed on July 21, 1969, with Neil Armstrong the first human to walk on it. No Russian has set foot on the moon to this day.
Scores of the earliest "Sky at Night programs," which began in 1957, are missing, producer Jane Fletcher said.
Most went out live, she said, and very few were recorded. Some of those that did survive were wiped, or just thrown away.
"They were seen as over and done with, and not having any special importance, so there was no great concern about preserving them," Fletcher said.