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Sunday
Aug092009

Hospitals in the Sky! (1958)

This "hospital in the sky," as imagined by Arthur Radebaugh in the May 11, 1958 edition of his comic Closer Than We Think, operates under the assumption that the "weightlessness, irradiation and low temperatures of outer space" would allow for more effective treatment of patients.

The American Rocket Society has reported to President Eisenhower that practical medical science could benefit importantly from the weightlessness, irradiation and low temperatures of outer space. So we may find that some of tomorrow's hospitals may actually be anchored in the heavens.

One of these hospitals might be shaped like a disc atop elevator tubes leading to the control section. The mushroom-like disc would contain weightless operating rooms for treating heart and other organic troubles as well as bone diseases. It would also serve as a nucleus for crystal balls which, orbiting slowly, would utilize concentrated sunrays to treat cancer, skin diseases and similar ailments. There would also be experimental areas for the study of low temperature therapy -- a challenging new field for medical investigation.

As always, thanks to Tom Z. for the full-color version of this Radebaugh panel.

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Reader Comments (8)

This looks horrific. I don't think I'd want to be trapped in a low-temperature bubble in space. Those girls in the drawing should be freaking out.

August 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDr. Schluss

Exactly my first thought, Schluss. What kind of psychological hell is it to be placed in a transparent sphere high above the planet, tethered by a slim rod to the space station and nothing more than a Gidget bikini to protect you (i.e. no spacesuit in sight).

I suppose someday space travel will be routine, and someone will look on our reactions the same way we might smirk at someone from 1910 expressing disbelief that someone would fly 35,000 feet in the air without a pressure suit or even aviator goggles... but still, this seems like the most ludicrous "Closer Than We Think" yet.

August 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJeffski

The spheres are made of a composite of indestructablonium and unobtainium, so the girls will be just fine - and they'll get one heck of a tan! Just the thing for attracting a husband!

The hospital in space idea really is a potentially good idea. At the least I can see private space industry putting up hotels and similar venues, which you know those who can afford it will take advantage of. Talk about getting away from it all!

And... they'll be out of this world!

August 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Jetson

your site makes me think i might be harboring a crush on you, mr. novak.

August 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenternim

nim, are you hot?

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Jetson

dirty surface dwellers

August 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercthulhu

A hospital in space is a tremendously bad idea. Humans lose bone mass quickly in space - spend more than a year in space goofing off and you'd practically be an invalid when you came back.
Since the 50's, we've learned some important things, including Radiation Is Generally Bad For You. Exposure to the Sun's rays without an atmosphere to protect you is a sure way to GET skin cancer, not cure it.
Sending a sick person into space, subjecting them to severe G forces, keeping them trapped in a confined space with other people...
When one thinks of the details, the scope of how bad an idea this is boggles the mind.

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