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Entries in moon (11)


Lunar Crawlers (1964)

For the 1964 World's Fair in New York General Motors hoped to create the same sense of wonder that it had achieved with its Futurama exhibit of the 1939 New York World's Fair. Futurama II expanded upon the highways, cities and conveniences of tomorrow to include lunar and sea exploration. The photo above shows manned "Lunar Crawlers" that are the main form of transporation for future moon travelers.

This image appears in the excellent book Exit to Tomorrow: World's Fair Architecture, Design, Fashion 1933-2005.


Moon Settlement by 2007 (1985)

The February, 1985 issue of The Futurist magazine featured a piece about a permanent settlement on the moon by 2007.

NASA envisions the completion of a permanent settlement on the moon by the year 2007, the fiftieth anniversary of the space age. The final design of the base should be completed by the early 1990s, and construction might begin by the end of the decade.

The lunar base was the topic of a recent three-day conference in Washington, D.C., that brought together scientists, engineers, former astronauts, anthropologists, and lawyers to discuss the future of the space program.

The moon settlement would be the home of scientists and perhaps workers from private industry, NASA officials say. The base might be an international project, including Europeans, Japanese, and Soviets.

The shuttle now operates on a relatively steady schedule, ferrying aloft a variety of experiments as well as scientists. NASA is also moving forward on plans for a permanently manned space station, due for completion in the early 1990s. These two programs are major steps toward establishing the lunar base. The shuttle would fly material and personnel to low earth orbit, and transfer them to the space station, which would serve as a "halfway house" between earth and moon. Objects brought to the space station by the shuttle would transfer into another reusable craft for the trip into higher orbits and eventually to the moon.

The lunar base will probably be built mostly underground to protect the crew from cosmic radiation; unlike earth, the moon has no protective atmosphere to stop cosmic rays. The crew will number about one dozen; stays would vary between three months and one year, and the facility would be permanently staffed.

Transport will be expensive and supplies costly. A pound of water brought to the moon today would cost as much as a pound of gold on earth. Fortunately, the moon is rich in many elements. Most of the materials needed for the base are available on the moon itself; over half the moon, for example, is made up of oxygen. Titanium, silicon, and aluminum are also found in abundance. But hydrogen - an essential constituent of water - is missing. Unless water is locked away at the lunar poles in the form of ice, this important element will have to be supplied from earth in order for the crew to have water.

Previously on Paleo-Future:


A Suit For The First Man on the Moon (1961)

The August 6, 1961 Post-Standard Sunday magazine (Syracuse, NY) ran a short piece about an Experimental Engineering class at UCLA that was experimenting/playing with a "moon man's suit." Designed by Allyn B. Hazard, the suit also appeared on the cover of Life magazine's April 27, 1962 issue. The entire two-page spread from the Post-Standard can be viewed below.

"You're going to land on the moon. You need a suit that will protect you against all the dangers you'll run into. You can start by figuring out what they are."

That's the assignment Professor John Lyman handed his class in Experimental Engineering at U.C.LA. Along with it he gave them a rough model of a moon man's suit designed by California engineer Allyn B. Hazard. The class studied it, wore it, and tried to make it into a practical safeguard for our first moon man. They pin-pointed six major problems the suit must solve:

  1. Breathing: No air on the moon, so the suit must pack oxygen for at least 10 days.
  2. Hot-cold: The moon switches from a boiling 215 degrees F. in the daytime to 250 below at night. Suit must be power-heated and cooled, heavily insulated.
  3. Radiation: A phenomenon called "solar flair" intermittently showers the moon with very intense radiation. Suit must completely shield wearer.
  4. Vacuum effect: Suit must prevent fatal loss of moisture due to moon's near-vacuum atmosphere.
  5. Mobility: Moon's surface is thought to be covered with dust that may be 20 feet thick in places. Also, the atmospheric pressure inside the suit and absence of pressure outside will cause moon man's arms to fly up like Jimmy Durante's and stick there.
  6. Chow: Moon man must carry rations inside suit.

You can see why the suit doesn't exactly have Ivy League cut. Our scientists have dubbed President Kennedy's proposed $40 billion man-to-the-moon project "Apollo." Apollo should sue!

--Joseph Gies

Previously on Paleo-Future:



NASA and the Internet Archive

Last week the Internet Archive announced a partnership with NASA ( which provides searchable access to video and still images from NASA's vast archives. Above is a 1957 artist's rendition of Project Red Socks, which was to be the "world's first useful moon rocket."

From the press release:

NASA and Internet Archive, a non-profit digital library based in San Francisco, made available the most comprehensive compilation ever of NASA's vast collection of photographs, historic film and video Thursday. Located at, the Internet site combines for the first time 21 major NASA imagery collections into a single, searchable online resource. A link to the Web site will appear on the home page.

See also:
Space Colonies by Don Davis
Nucelar Rocketship (1959)
Wernher von Braun's Blueprint for Space (1950s)
Rhapsody of Steel (1959)
Man and the Moon (1955)
Wernher von Braun's Space Shuttle (1950s)



Nuclear Rocketship (1959)

I take a lot of pride in providing material you can't find anywhere else on the internet. But there's an easy way to tell when I'm having a busy week: I steal images from the website Plan59.

Still beautiful though, ain't it?

This illustration is by Frank Tinsley from 1959. The image appeared as part of a series of ads in Fortune magazine for the American Bosch Arma Corporation.

See also:
Air Force Predictions for 2063 (1963)
Fusion Energy in Space (1984)


Wernher von Braun's Blueprint for Space (1950s)

This clip from the DVD History of Spaceflight outlines Wernher von Braun's vision for the colonization of space. Be sure to check out footage of von Braun from the rarely seen film Challenge of Outer Space.



See also:
Wernher von Braun's Space Shuttle (1950s)
Challenge of Outer Space (circa 1950s)
Man and the Moon (1955)


Moon Tourism (1988)

This image of "moon tourists [discovering] the pleasures of this Moon beach," is from the 1988 book The Earth's Moon (Isaac Asimov's Library of the Universe).

Imagine seas on a terraformed Moon! By creating an atmosphere on the Moon, we could capture sunlight and turn the Moon into a celestial tourist trap. This would be fun, but many scientists feel it is more important to keep the Moon pretty much as it is. Then we could use it to help us better understand Earth and the cosmos.

See also:
Vacations of the Future (1981)
Welcome to Moonbase (1987)
New World's to Radically Alter (1981)