Two covers today. The first (above) is the version you would have seen in your school library. The second (below) is a poor copy of the actual book cover you would have seen if you were lucky enough to have bought this in a store.
Today at last it is Beyond Mars! This one, the last in the Nephew/Chester space quartet, is special because of how it marks the edge of non-fiction and science fiction. When everything seemed possible in the late 50s those "wild" ideas about where people would be in 100 years also seemed possible.
In this one the authors take us into the outer solar system, use solar sails, generation ships, hibernation pods, and travel to other solar systems.
Nephew, William and Chester, Michael. Illustrated by Buehr, Walter. Beyond Mars. New York: GP Putnam's Sons. (72 p.) 23 cm.First off is traveling to Saturn. You can see that they use the same sort of ships found in Planet Trip. They hook them to a solar sail and travel outward.
It will be a long slow trip so they all grow beards and play cards for the several months it will take to get there. But the trip will be worth it for the view.
Once you are there, you use your ships to descend to the ice-covered surface of one of Saturn's moons.
So once we have conquered the solar system, what's next? Why on to the stars of course. Again (I am open to alternate arguments) I find very few children non-fiction books that present the idea of travel to other solar systems. Especially innovative is using the concept of hibernation or "cold sleep" to get there.
What is even more startling is the concept of multi-generation ships where part of the crew stays "awake" while others sleep the voyage away. The idea of hydroponic plants and rotating the ship to maintain gravity is pure science fiction yet presented as a logical solution to extended space travel
This illustration in particular is interesting. It shows a 2033 "sleeper" waking up, obviously years later. But in addition you can see that the 2098 capsule above her is not due to "awaken" for even more years in the future.
Here is a nice drawing of the ship from the outside plus their landing on the new home. Beyond Mars to another Earth in another solar system. Is it science fiction or an alternate path we have yet to take?