Space Station

Detail of the Space Station in earth orbit, as proposed by Dr. Wernher von Braun

The Space Station with a space taxi just leaving its landing berth . . . the two men on the outside of the station are secured by lines hooked to holding rings which are provided for this purpose. These two men follow the rotation of the Space Station and if not fastened to it would be thrown off tangentially.

The Space Station is 1075 miles above the Pacific Ocean, above a point 800 miles south bu east of the Galapagos Islands. The visual angle of the picture is 50 degrees, the horizon 3000 miles away, and the area of the picture about 4 million square miles . . . The area that would be visible from the station at any moment is a circle with a diameter of 6000 miles, or about 29 million square miles.

painting by Chesley Bonestell
from Across the Space Frontier

edited by Cornelius Ryan



Travel Between the Planets

The nuclear-powered space ship shown here in a dumb-bell design as often proposed by Arthur C. Clarke, ex-Chairman of the British Interplanetary Society, is the ideal design for travel between planets. The nuclear reactor contained in the heavily shielded smaller sphere is sufficient to propel the space ship in orbit-to-orbit journeys to and from the various planets. Here, two space taxis from the space ship are seen moving to the surface of a great asteroid (or planetoid) orbiting about the sun between Mars and Jupiter.

From the book "Worlds in Space"
by Martin Caidin
illustration by Fred L. Wolff

First Trip to Our Moon

The first trip to our moon will be without landing, in a ship designed to travel in space only, taking off near the Space Station and returning to it. Here the round-the-moon ship is some 240,000 miles from earth, 50 miles above the lunar surface. The large crater is Aristillus (diameter 35 miles); the other crater is Autocylus; the distant mountains are the lunar Apennines.

painting by Chesley Bonestell
from Across the Space Frontier

edited by Cornelius Ryan


We interupt this program . . .

Preview for the upcoming movie

"The Day the Earth Stood Still" Movie Trailer


Amazing Stories, Vol. 22, No. 10

Cover painting by James B. Settles, illustrating a scene from "The Brain"

Amazing Stories
Volume 22, Number 10
October, 1948


Individual orientation in space, under zero gravity conditions, will demand superb physical conditioning and control. Completely weightless, the spaceman will lose all reference as to what constitutes an "up" and "down."

illustration by Fred L. Wolff
"Worlds in Space"
by Martin Caidin
published 1954


X-15 Powered Flight

September 17, 1959 -
The first powered flight of the X-15, piloted by
Scott Crossfield.


Special Interplanetary Issue

(The Mystery of Other Worlds Revealed, 1952)


My Flights Towards Space

The X-15 rocket motors firing for the first time in the air, is dropped off towards the unknown. At the controld, Scott Crossfield.

X-15 flights mean great strain on Crossfiled but, as he is sealed in tiny cockpit he shows no sign of worry

X-15 is the forerunner of spaceship. Scott Carpenter's special pressure suit shown here is prototype for spacemen of tomorrow.

from "My Flights Towards Space"
Royal Airforce Flying Review, September 1960


Space Pilots: The First Trip To Space

illustration by John Polgreen
from Adventure in Space: Space Pilots by Willy Ley, 1957


Space Travel

illustration by John Polgreen
from Adventure in Space: Space Travel
by Willy Ley, 1957


Dynamic Science Fiction, Vol. 1, No. 4

illustration by Alex Shomberg
Dynamic Science Fiction
Vol. 1, No. 4
August 1953


Rockets, Jets, Guided Missiles and Space Ships

Illustrations by Jack Coggins
from Rockets, Jets, Guided Missiles and Space Ships
by Jack Coggins and Fletcher Pratt


Planet Stories Vol. 5, No. 7

Planet Stories
Vol. 5, No. 7
July 1952


Dangers in Space

Willy Ley and his daughter Xenia in front of the 15 1/2-ton Wiliamette meteorite. The photograph was taken at the Hayden Planetarium by Mrs. Ley.

from Adventures in Space: Space Pilots by Willy Ley, 1957


Maiden Flight of the X-15

June 8, 1959 - The X-15's maiden flight.

A technician straps test pilot Scott Crossfield into the cockpit of the missile-shaped X-15 rocket plane before flight. Crossfield is carried aloft in his sleek, black rocket plane beneath the wing of a B-52 from NASA's Flight Research Center. It's the beginning of flight research probing the hypersonic speed realm and altitudes at the edge of space.

Image Credit: NASA/North American Aviation



The Cars of the Future

1954 GM XP-21 Firebird

1956 Buick Centurion

1959 Cadillac Cyclone

Inside the von Braun Rocket

A three-stage rocket ship prior to take-off from its base on Johnston Island in the Pacific Ocean. The ship rests on a movable platform; it is boarded, loaded, and fueled from a stationary structure not shown in the picture. For today's comparatively small rockets the firing table is stationary and the Gantry crane movable; for large rockets this procedure will be reversed.

The von Braun three-stage rocket
from "Across the Space Frontier"

Edited by Cornelius Ryan
illustration by Rolf Klep



Space Dog Pluto

Space dog Pluto
Iron-on transfer
Walt Disney Productions

Meteor Storm

Legal space-disputes might very well lead to war if man shows no better sense in the future than now. Laws must be made both to prevent and cover such wars.

Meteor Storm" by Tom O'Reilly
The Complete Book of Outer Space (1953)


Electric Robot & Son

In the 1950's Electric Robot and Son were manufactured in the U.S.A. by Louis Marx in response to the immensely popular Robert the Robot by rival manufacturer Ideal Toys. Electric was just different enough from Robert to avoid copyright infringement, yet the strong similarities undoubtedly appealed to young buyers with smaller budgets.

This toy robot was molded with a black plastic body (there was also a rare silver-brown version) with moveable red head and arms was electrically powered by two batteries, allowing Electric to illuminate his bulb eyes, run along on manually steerable rubber wheels (forward and reverse), and make loud buzzings through a morse code button on his back (a nifty code guide was inscribed on the back of his head). Also on his head is an extendible antennea with an adjustment knob, knobs for right and left arm movement and from his chest opens a small draw with tools (aka the tool chest for a hammer, wrench & scewdriver).

Completing Electric's gadgetry is a smaller "baby" version of himself, all red, and clad in a silvery diaper who the proud Father could swing from one of his silver clawed graspers.


Disney's Man in Space

Guide ship XR-1 maneuvers small cargo rocket into the space orbit.
from Walt Disney's Man in Space, Dell comic No. 716, 1956


Bill Dana: First Man in Space

"What do you plan to do once you're up in space?"

. . . pause . . .

"I plan to cry alot..."

Bill Dana as Jose Jimenez - The Astronaut .mp3

Found at bee mp3 search engine

Into Outer Space

Advertisment for the new selection of authentically recreated Strombecker space craft model kits, after those seen in Disney's "Man in Space" designed by Wernher von Braun.

from the Royal Air Force Flying Review, October 1959

Moon Base

cutaway drawing depicts how men manning moon base would live: note helicopter landing roof and hanger cut into rock

from The Mystery of Other Worlds Revealed

Fawcett Books, 1952

The XSL-01 Assembly Sheet

Assembly instruction diagram for the Revell 1/96th scale model kit of thier XSL-01, dated 1958.

The XSL-01 spaceship was designed by rocket scientist Ellwyn E. Angle of Systems Laboratories Inc. The design has a detailed manned top stage with full interior with a removable top, main and booster stages (dertachable to recreate all phases of the flight from Earth takeoff, lunar landing and the return to Earth), flight and ground crew and fully detailed launch gantry. The kit includes the "XSL-01 Operations Manual" instructing each phase of piloting this spaceship in spaceflight.


Martian War Machine

You can just make out the tripod leg "rays" supporting the ship. Though the H.G. Wells story War of the Worlds was updated for modern movie-goers, producer George Pal wanted to stay somewhat true to the original walking tripod idea, rather than have the Martian war machines be free-flying. Remember, these "ships" were carried inside the Martian pod spacecraft, and were not the spacecraft themselves. The basic design of Pal's machine was inspired by the shape of a cobra's hood, ready to strike. Also bucking the current science fiction trend in 1953 to depict all rockets, spaceships and alien craft in gleaming silver, Pal made the Martian machines of polished copper, which lent them to be even more alien from the norm.


Man in Space - The Ferry Rocket

Man in Space is an episode of Disneyland which originally aired on March 9, 1955 and later, was edited into a featurette to play in theaters.

The episode was converted into a 32 page comic book ("Dell Comics" (#716)) in 1956. Under the title Walt Disney's Man in Space: A Science Feature from Tomorrowland.

It was also made into a "Tomorrowland adventure" book for classroom use in 1959 as Man in Space: A Tomorrowland Adventure.


On a Pillar of Radioactive Gas

Take-off! On a pillar of flaming, radioactive exaust gases, the nuclear space ship thunders off the earth and starts its journey through space to the moon. At the left is the gantry crane employed for servicing the great space ship and at far right can be seen the control center from where the take-off operations are directed.

illustration by Fred L. Wolff
"Worlds in Space"

by Martin Caidin
published 1954


Conquest of Space - 1955

See How it will Happen in Your Lifetime! the bold teaser states . . . Conquest of Space, the 1955 movie produced by George Pal. The plot depicts a voyage to Mars, pulling from all science and technology of the day to be as realistic as possible.

As stated on Wikipedia, "Conquest of Space was based on The Conquest of Space, a non-fiction 1949 book illustrated by Chesley Bonestell and written by Willy Ley. Bonestell is noted for his photorealistic paintings of views from outer space, and worked on the space background art for the movie. The film also incorporated material from Wernher von Braun's 1952 book The Mars Project. The two books are straight popular science, with no story line.

The entire movie revolves around the struggle to endure the long trip, and the struggle to survive on Mars until a return to Earth was possible, with the underlying theme questioning whether mankind has the right to explore the heavens, or is he setting out as an invader to worlds not his own.

Directed by: Byron Haskin
Produced by: George Pal
Starring: Walter Brooke, Eric Fleming, Mickey Shaughnessy
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release date: April 20, 1955 (U.S. release)

Phoning Outer Space

"Operater, give me Space, dahling...."
"Hello? ahh Dahling! How is everything on Pluuuuto?"


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...