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First Men to the Moon (1960)

The 1960 book First Men to the Moon by Wernher von Braun tells the story of John Mason, a fictional astronaut of the future bound for the moon. The dedication page reads, "To Iris and Margrit [von Braun's daughters] who will live in a world in which flights to the moon will be commonplace."

In the book we read of the training and technical expertise necessary for a journey into space, accompanied by amazing illustrations and diagrams by Fred Freeman. As one of my favorite pre-Apollo books of space retro-futurism I can't recommend this book highly enough. With hard to find retrofuture books like these I sometimes wonder if there might be a market for them if a publisher were to reissue them.

Below I've included a couple of illustrations from the book which show what the fashionable spaceman of the future will be wearing. Look for more from this retro-futuristic classic coming soon (on this blog at least).




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Reader Comments (6)

YES this link will do

December 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterløl

Thank you so much for sharing these, Matt. At the Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville (not far from me so I've been there about a thousand times) they're always changing things around but one thing that has not budged in decades is a giant display of Freeman/von Braun illustrations. Glorious. It's likely that seeing those when I was a little boy started my lifelong love of, well, things like your most excellent blog. I even won a Science Fair prize one year for building a moon base model that was more-or-less-completely swiped from the Freeman drawing of a space station I saw at the SRC. Is that drawing in FIRST MEN TO THE MOON? It's a cross-section of a "wheel in space" station that's manned like an aircraft carrier.

December 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLee Shackleford

That moon suit looks basically like the early pressure suits they used for high altitude experimental flights. The Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, KS has one.

December 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMister.44

You might like this early design for a lunar exploration suit. It's a photo I found in the NASA / JPL photo archives (which I regularly peruse for gems like this)

December 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKevitivity

I am struck by how optimistic the portrayal of mobility is in these pictures. The actual space suits that were used in the Apollo program looked vastly more cumbersome and restricting. But perhaps that's the principle of futurology: to be deliberately over-optimistic.

December 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlfred Kracher

I saw these pictures full size in Huntsville a few weeks ago!

December 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJan

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