Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Rocket to the Moon (1950s?)

This is a single page from a comic story. Not sure when this was published. Probably drawn and written by Walter (Wally) Robertson (1896-1975) and appeared in a British Children's annual sometime between 1951 and 1957.

I am even unsure of the title of this strip so corrections are welcome. It has Rocket to the Moon written in faint pencil at the top,

For all that uncertainty, it represents an archetype of children's comics and stories about space.The story of: mad scientist/father/uncle invents a spaceship/rocket fuel and invites children to participate in a trip to the moon. This is not only the plot of countless comic stories but also of Heinlein's  Rocket Ship Galileo .

The whole page looks like this:

As you can see the page is filled edge to edge with art so to show this panel by panel I had to scan it in a variety of shapes.  Images like these were part of my imagination about what a trip into space would be like for me. It also reinforced the idea that children SHOULD go to the moon rather than boring adults who would not appreciate it. Let me outline the lessons this story gives us.

It will take new technologies to get to the moon. Probably some new innovation in increasing the power of the rocket or reducing the weight of the rocket.

 When the technology is understood spaceflight will be "as safe as in your bed"

There in no gravity in space so you will need to find ways and technologies to adjust to a new environment.

The Earth will look smaller from space as you leave it. Also at the time they are not sure why the Moon looks as it does, there were still discussion whether craters were caused by meteors or vulcanism

What would the Earth look like from the Moon? Are meteors still a danger when we travel in space?

 You will need a space suit to visit the moon and a source of oxygen.

We may use robots to help us explore the Moon.

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