Monday, June 18, 2012

Conquering The Sun's Empire (1963) part 1

This is not a young children's book but rather a book for high school students about man's exploration of the solar system.  It is filled with truly beautiful space art by Harry H-K Lange. Mr. Lange was involved with some of the concept drawings for the film 2001, as well as illustrating Von Braun book about the history of rocketry. He worked with Frederick Ordway on a couple of books but these illustrations are very special and not many have seen them.

There are so many illustrations in the book that I wanted to share that I have split them into 2 postings, so look for the rest later this week.

Ordway, Frederick I and Wakeford, Ronald C. Illustrated by Lange, Harry H-K. Conquering the Sun’s Empire. New York : E.P. Dutton and Co. 128 pp. 23 cm. Cloth, DJ.

 The main point of this book seems to be discussing the conditions found on the planets in our solar system and how we will/could  explore them.

 First discussed was exploration of the Moon

 Next they start at Mercury and the conditions found there

 Then onto Venus.  It was still not clear what the surface of Venus was like beneath all the clouds.
Soon we will continue to Mars and out into the solar system.


  1. Thank you for this. I can't wait to see part two.
    Do you know how readily available this book is?

  2. Was this a school text book?

    1. No just a regular trade book. It is cataloged as a children's book even though it could be for a general audience.

  3. The last image, with the square space station, is freaky. If you walk around the perimeter, you'd be standing at a 45 degree angle to the floor at the corners. You would also feel higher "gravity" there. Maybe this is a space fun house?

  4. I have a first edition of this book, one of my most treasured in my personal library. As a youth, in 1963, it inspired my lifelong interest in the stars when I encountered the new book in my hometown public library in Allentown, Pennsylvania. I was privileged to have worked as a science writer for NASA and to go on and teach astronomy. Amazing how a little book and its art can touch the imagination of a young lad to last a lifetime.

  5. I read this book in jr high school and loved it.