A Grand Tour

  1. A “deep-space” craft, which does not need to take off or re-enter through Earth’s atmosphere, needs no streamlining and can utilise a very light structure. Such a space-ship is shown here landing at a lunar base.
  2. Having refuelled at a lunar base, the space-ship is shown before leaving the Moon for a journey to one of the other planets of the solar system. The cabin for the crew is separated from the rocket engines by a cluster of huge propellant tanks.
  3. After landing in the twilight one of Mercury, the explorers set out in small tracked vehicles across the parched, cracked, lifeless surface of this innermost planet of our solar system.
  4. After entering an orbit high above Mars, the space-shop releases a number of small landing vehicles which will carry explorers down to the “red planet”. Also in orbit, is a meteorite, representing one of the hazards of space flight.
  5. After a pre-liminary reconnaissance by the small craft, the main space-ship has landed on the surface of Mars, near one of the mysterious “canals” that have puzzled astronomers for years. Soon the riddle will be solved.
  6. Although they cannot land on Jupiter, with its dense atmosphere of poisonous gases, the explorers are able to observe it from a distant perch on an orbiting meteorite. One of the planet’s moons casts a shadow on the clouds as it passes.
  7. Show piece of the whole solar system is Saturn, with its spectacular rings. Although this is another planet on which explorers from Earth may never land, it should be possible to observe Saturn from one if its moon, as depicted.
  8. Somewhere in space, explorers have discovered a dead world. Perhaps Uranus might look like this, or Pluto. Nobody knows at present,. But nobody doubts any longer than man will one day be able to learn the secrets of every corner of his own solar system.

Eagle Book of Rockets and Space

by John W.R. Taylor and Maurice Allward
Longacre Press, 1961

Image source: Numbers Station

By Jove!

Jupiter Lunar Landing

From one of Jupiter’s 12 moons, earth astronauts gaze on this impressive, but bleak, view of the 86,900 mile-diameter planet. More than 316 times the mass of the Earth, Jupiter is seven times further from the sun than Earth; would require voyage of one to two months to reach at velocity of one million feet per second. Max Hunter, Douglas Aircraft Company engineer predicts economically feasible trips to Jupiter will be made through development of nuclear thrust spaceship engines. 

Douglas Aircraft Company, Inc. General Offices, Santa Monica, Calif.

Image credit: Douglas Aircraft Company

Image source: Numbers Station

Venus Flyby / Pluto Landing

Not a lot to read online about Convair’s Electra, but if you did want to know a little more a good place to start is Winchell Chung‘s superb Atomic Rockets site. Winchell says he’s not a technical writer, but you better believe he is. Pop “Electra” into the search box, and scroll through until you hit the section. S’good!

Kraft Ehricke at Astronautix

Image credit: Convair

Image source: SDASM Archives