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Entries in space travel (58)

Friday
Dec212007

Space Suit (1956)


This image of the space suit of the future appeared in the 1956 book The Complete Book of Space Travel. For anyone that has ever been to the Minnesota History Center you may also recognize it as part of the space exhibit there.

See also:
The Complete Book of Space Travel (1956)
Closer Than We Think! Space Coveralls (1960)
Wernher von Braun's Space Shuttle (1950s)
Mars and Beyond (1957)
Man and the Moon (1955)

Sunday
Nov182007

Wernher von Braun's Space Shuttle (1950s)

These illustrations by Fred Freeman show Wernher von Braun's concept for a space shuttle in the 1950s. The illustrations can be found in the book Visions of Spaceflight: Images from the Ordway Collection.

To provide safety in case of a malfunction of the reusable upper stage - von Braun's 1950s shuttle concept - crew and passengers press buttons on their chair arms. Contour seats straighten automatically and enclosures snap shut forming sealed escape capsules. To abandon ship, the crew and passengers push another button and the capsules, guided by rails, are ejected by explosive powder charges. The arrangement is seen in cross-section.


After ejection, the capsules' descent is controlled by four-foot steel mesh parachutes. At about 150 above the ground or water, a proximity fuse sets off a small rocket that further slows the rate of fall.


See also:
Challenge of Outer Space (circa 1950s)
The Complete Book of Space Travel (1956)
General Dynamics Astronautics Time Capsule (1963)
Mars and Beyond (1957)
Man and the Moon (1955)
Closer Than We Think! Space Coveralls (1960)

 

Thursday
Nov152007

History of Spaceflight

Friday
Nov092007

Closer Than We Think! Space Coveralls (1960)


Due to popular demand, today we have "Space Coveralls" from the March 20, 1960 Closer Than We Think! strip which ran in the Chicago Tribune.

Astronauts will need protection from dangerous radiation, temperature extremes, lack of oxygen, unusual conditions of gravity and other space barriers. Special suits to do that job are now being developed.

 

Air conditioning is a must. Westinghouse is now creating an individual "package" which maintains steady temperature and has a blower to circulate air. Other companies are devising roomy space coveralls with built-in ray protection and oxygen systems. One protective measure that might be included: Metallic pads on the suits - so that disabled "drifters," separated from their mother ship, can be brought back to safety with a large magnet.


See also:
Closer Than We Think! (1958-1963)
Closer Than We Think! Boytopia (1960)
Challenge of Outer Space (circa 1950s)
The Complete Book of Space Travel (1956)
Mars and Beyond (1957)
Man and the Moon (1955)
Spaceport of the Future (1957)

 

Tuesday
Nov062007

Closer Than We Think! Boytopia (1960)

This Closer Than We Think! strip ran in the March 13, 1960 Chicago Tribune.


Community center planners are getting ready to meet tomorrow's challenges. For proof, look at "Boytopia," the concept of the Boys' Clubs of America for the age of automation and space travel.

Such centers would teach youngsters the mechanics of space travel, solar energy and other new phases of science - just as today they are taught about auto engines, television and radio, electricity and wood-working. There would be special facilities for the handicapped, too, so that all the upcoming generation might be better fitted for the strenuous age of interstellar travel.


See also:
Closer Than We Think! (1958-1963)

Tuesday
Oct232007

Vacations of the Future (1981)

The 1981 book School, Work and Play (World of Tomorrow) illustrates what the vacation of the future will surely look like. With robots and computers doing all of the work, your biggest dillema will be deciding what kind of margarita to order on your space colony retreat. Isn't it great, living in the future?

With computers and robots doing most of your work, you're going to have more leisure time in the future. You'll want to enjoy this extra time - and here computers and robots will again come to your aid.

 

Suppose you feel like a vacation. Planning it is easy. On the viewscreen of your home videophone computer, you watch video guides that show any place in the world - or out of it. Eventually you choose your destination - the Space Islands. These are a group of huge space colonies that are resorts for people from Earth, the Moonbase and other space colonies. They have different climates in order to attract all kinds of tourists, and you choose a colony that is like several South Sea islands inside. However, unlike the real South Sea islands, you can play weightless games there and experience other such delights that only the Space Islands can offer.

Getting from your home to the colony is a long and complicated journey, but your computer arranges all the various stages of the trip, books your seats, reserves your hotel rooms . . . and pays your bills.

Then it's off on a whole variety of robot transports as exciting as the vacation itself - beltways, autotaxis, high-speed monorail trains, underground vacuum bullet trains, mammoth jets, space shuttles and finally a spacecruiser out of the colony.

You're there at last, and a wonderful vacation lies before you. There's only one problem - no one speaks English. The Space Islands are designed to suit all the people on Earth, and so their languages vary. You've chosen one in which Spanish is spoken. You can't speak Spanish, so you hire a portable computer that translates instantly from one language to another.


See also:
Language of the Future (1982)
Man and the Moon filmstrip (1970s)
The Future of Real Estate (1953)
Year 2000 Time Capsule (1958)
Connections: AT&T's Vision of the Future (Part 1, 1993)
Vision (Clip 1, 1993)

 

Friday
Oct052007

Space Age Lunch Boxes (1950s and 60s)

The Smithsonian has an online exhibit which includes these lunch boxes from the late 1950s and early 1960s. The satellite lunch box from 1958 shows a torodial space station, which is featured prominently in the short film Challenge of Outer Space. Excerpts from the Smithsonian website appear below each picture.

Satellite Lunch Box (1958)

The Soviet launch of the Sputnik satellite in late 1957 sparked interest in the United States in science education even among elementary school children. In 1958, King Seeley Thermos produced this imaginative box evoking space travel and landings on distant moons and planets. Children provided a receptive audience to this imaginary yet hopeful view of scientific achievement in the early years of the space race. This is one of the few pop culture lunch boxes from the late 1950s not designed around a television show.

Jetsons Lunch Box (1963)
Aladdin Industries profited from the success of The Jetsons television cartoon series in the fall of 1963 by introducing a domed lunch box featuring that space-traveling suburban family and their robotic maid. American notions of family life in the 1960s traveled effortlessly outward to interplanetary space on this fanciful box.

Domed metal lunch boxes traditionally were carried by factory employees and construction workers, but Aladdin and other makers found the curved shape made an excellent young person's landscape, ocean scene, or starry sky. Despite the more earth-bound adult concerns of the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 and the Kennedy assassination, The Jetsons box and bottle showcase the metal lunch box at the zenith of its design life and its popularity among school children.


(Found in yesterday's USA Today)

See also:
Challenge of Outer Space (circa 1950s)
The Complete Book of Space Travel (1956)
Mars and Beyond (1957)
Man and the Moon (1955)

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