Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Prudential's Guide to Outer Space: The future belongs to those who prepare for it (1965)

 Prudential Insurance Company issued this space map in 1965. It uses elements from the Hammond space maps but seems unique in some of its images too.
 Unfortunately the best way to show it off is to show the panels one by one but you really miss the whole effect. This map came to mind because of the exotic space vehicles shown.
One of my favorites is this "Mars Expedition Spacecraft". I have never seen this as a proposed Mars design before and I am not sure how it would work. The delta wing shape seems unnecessary streamlining but it does look cool.

 This interplanetary craft is more suited to deep space. Has anyone else heard of "Empire"?
 This is the only image that seems directly re-used from the Hammond maps.

 This image also includes lots of details of current and future exploration of the Moon.

 These details of an extended expedition on the Moon are very interesting.
 "Moonship of the Future"? Look more like the moonship of 1955, someone used a little artistic license.

These images of the proposed Voyager probe to explore the planets and the Manned Orbiting Space Base are also cool.  A high value map that gives me (and you) lots of hardware to enjoy.


  1. that "moonship of the future" looks a bit like it is made from tinkertoy.

  2. "Moonship of the Future" straight from Chesley Bonestell & Wernher von Braun in 1950s "Colliers". That triangular Mars-ship was depicted for years in some encyclopedia as the "Mars plan" or some such. Wish I could remember which encyclopedia. As for EMPIRE, David Portree has discussed the various plans on his "Beyond Apollo" blog. He also wrote the NASA history book covering all the Mars plans from 1950 to 2000.

  3. Great! I had this poster when I was a little boy. I had totally forgotten about it until now. Thank you.

  4. I've seen that Mars ship before. It separates into two parts connected by cables, which rotate around their axis to create artificial gravity. That is why the chairs are at 90 degrees to the thrust axis instead of parallel to it as they should be. I'll try to dig up an image.

    1. The Mars ship was published in the World Book Encyclopedia in the early 1970's. The article was about a theoretical mission to Mars, where the craft extended a boom that it used to cause the craft to spin to create artificial gravity for the crew on the way to and from Mars.

  5. Apparently EMPIRE is an acronym for Early Manned Planetary Interplanetary Roundtrip Expeditions. Googling that will provide lots of information.
    I found the Mars ship on page 499 of Ron Miller's THE DREAM MACHINES. I'll send you a scan.

  6. This is really neat! One of my co-workers has this. The triangular Mars ship is from a Manned Spacecraft Center design. As Nyrath notes, it was meant to slit into two parts separated by cables and "arms" and spin end over end for artificial G.

    One odd thing - the "Lunar Logistics Vehicle" is actually the piloted component of JPL's Lunar Surface Rendezvous Apollo mode. Funny to see it on the moon with a Lunar Orbit Rendezvous LEM. I don't know that JPL proposed it as a logistics vehicle after NASA rejected LSR - the timing would be about right, though, since NASA funded a contract for an unmanned logistics lander c. 1963-1964.

  7. David, does the spacecraft labeled "EMPIRE" actually look like any of the EMPIRE designs?

    And do you have a reference for the Mars ship? I found a crude diagram here:

  8. The triangular spaceship was in my circa 1965 World Book Encyclopedia.

  9. That telescope by the lunar Excursion module looks like the one from the motion picture Destination Moon.