Moonbase Alpha was the main setting for the TV series Space 1999, the story of the inhabitants of a lunar base that survives the Moon being blasted out of orbit after nuclear waste dumped on the Moon's dark side detonates, sending the satellite hurtling into interstellar space.
The television show Space 1999 was created by Gerry Anderson for ITC Entertainment. Initially intended as a second season of the Anderson's UFO show, Anderson was asked by ITC head Sir Lew Grade to set the new season mostly on the moonbase shown in UFO, which ratings suggested had been popular with viewers. Over time the concept grew and morphed until it became a brand new show. It began airing on 4th September 1975; the same week a tie-in comic strip began in Look-In Magazine. At ITC's insistence, the TV show had two American leads, married couple Martin Landau and Barbara Bain, in an effort to make it more saleable overseas, and in November 1975 Charlton began publication of both a US tie-in comic and a magazine.
Earth's Space Research Centre on the Moon, Moonbase Alpha, began construction in 1983 in the crater Plato, and, despite a hiatus necessitated by the outbreak of world war in 1987, was eventually completed in 1997. In 1999 Commander John Koenig took over command from Anton Gorski, but a couple of months later, in August, the Moon was unexpectedly fired out of orbit when a nuclear waste dump on the far side from Alpha reached critical mass and detonated. Perhaps influenced by unknown extraterrestrial parties, the Moon transited interstellar distances in mere weeks, with the 311 inhabitants of Alpha now nomads looking for a new home.