Thursday, June 22, 2017

Harper's Magazine May 1952 "Space Ships in the Offing"

Something different (and non-illustrated) today.  I found this interesting article in Harper's Magazine published in May of 1952. It outlines some of the current thoughts about spaceflight at the time. More interestingly it shares a debate about whether manned exploration is necessary. While this is not my usual post I am fascinated by how there was a decision point where people needed to be convinced whether or not to support space travel.

 This first article "The astronauts are serious" tries to convince the reader that this idea is not science fiction but a soon to come reality.

The second article tries to explain why space travel is a bad idea with too many unknowns.

I will be offline for a little while but look forward to my July postings as a share a series of 6 coloring books about the Moon landings. See you then!

Friday, June 2, 2017

From Car to Space Ship (1954?)

This is a bit of a "mystery book". I don't have a date on it so I have to guess it might be mid-1950s. It also seems more British than American so there is that. It is only 10 pages.

It displays a lovely streamlined design sense for future vehicles. The vehicles are all driven by children and are fanciful.

The cars especially remind me of both "Thunderbirds" in the 1960s and of the soviet books that always had: A car, a helicopter, a hydrofoil and a spaceship.

This book also had coloring examples for the illustrations so you could chose to paint them?

But I love rockets for children and this final illustration of rockets to Saturn while the animals of Earth wave is pretty special.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Mike Mars Flies the X-15 (1961)

A bit of "science-faction" today. There was a lot of space fiction in the 1950s and 1960s, one series that seemed very timely and stands out in the memories of children was/is the "Mike Mars" series.

The series was: 
(1961) Mike Mars: Astronaut
(1961) Mike Mars Flies the X-15
(1961) Mike Mars at Cape Canaveral/Kennedy
(1961) Mike Mars in Orbit
(1962) Mike Mars Flies the Dyna-Saur
(1962) Mike Mars: South Pole Spaceman
(1963) Mike Mars and the Mystery Satellite
(1964) Mike Mars Around the Moon

I strongly recommend this detailed analysis of the series here:

It covers the detail, politics, and timeliness of this series much better than I could so rather than plagiarize I will direct you there.


I have a good friend Michelle L. Evans who wrote a book in 2013 about the experiences of the pilots in the X-15 program. Please consider buying her book or search out her presentations on Youtube:

The X-15 Rocket Plane: Flying the First Wings into Space (Outward Odyssey: A People's History of Spaceflight)

Friday, May 19, 2017

My Weekly Reader Oct 26 & Nov 2 1959 "Moon Gardens" & "Bounce Me a Phone Call"

More 1959 My Weekly Reader articles.

First is Oct 26 and an article about hydroponics and astronauts growing food on the Moon, plus a couple of short news items.

The second is from Nov 2 1959

An article about early satellite "reflection" of telephone and television signals.