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Entries in wernher von braun (6)


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).




Previously on Paleo-Future:


The Domination of Space (1950s)

The History Channel documentary Sputnik Mania uses footage from the films Space and National Security and Challenge of Outer Space to tell the story of the United States' ambitions to dominate space. Wernher von Braun and General John Medaris are seen in this clip from the film speaking out publicly about their desire for the militarization of space, fearing that if they do not act quickly the Soviets would do it first.


During an interview Major General Bernard Shriever proclaims, "The day will come when perhaps our major battles will be space battles instead of air battles. I certainly couldn't predict exactly when that will be, but I'm sure it will come in the future."

Previously on Paleo-Future:



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)


Wernher von Braun's Space Shuttle (1950s)

These illustrations by Fred Freeman show Wernher von Braun's concept for a space shuttle in the 1950s. The illustrations can be found in the book Visions of Spaceflight: Images from the Ordway Collection.

To provide safety in case of a malfunction of the reusable upper stage - von Braun's 1950s shuttle concept - crew and passengers press buttons on their chair arms. Contour seats straighten automatically and enclosures snap shut forming sealed escape capsules. To abandon ship, the crew and passengers push another button and the capsules, guided by rails, are ejected by explosive powder charges. The arrangement is seen in cross-section.

After ejection, the capsules' descent is controlled by four-foot steel mesh parachutes. At about 150 above the ground or water, a proximity fuse sets off a small rocket that further slows the rate of fall.

See also:
Challenge of Outer Space (circa 1950s)
The Complete Book of Space Travel (1956)
General Dynamics Astronautics Time Capsule (1963)
Mars and Beyond (1957)
Man and the Moon (1955)
Closer Than We Think! Space Coveralls (1960)



Man and the Moon (1955)

The Disneyland TV show episode Man and the Moon originally aired December 28, 1955 and was released theatrically outside the United States.

The entire episode prominently showcases Werhner von Braun's torodial space station. The clip below dramatizes what a space mission may involve some day in the distant (paleo)future.



You can view a clip of the program here and you can find this program in its entirety on the DVD set Walt Disney Treasures - Tomorrowland: Disney in Space and Beyond.

See also:
Challenge of Outer Space (circa 1950s)
Mars and Beyond (1957)
Animal Life on Mars (1957)
Plant Life on Mars (1957)


Challenge of Outer Space (circa 1950s)

Wernher von Braun begins the film Challenge of Outer Space by saying, "The conquest of outer space is the greatest technological challenge of the age in which we live."

Even before a manned mission to the moon the nation's top space scientists were speculating about what space stations would look like. I find it difficult to mentally put myself in an era when space exploration had not yet occurred, but films like this help a great deal.

The torodial space colony is featured heavily in the film and is a favorite among those depicting space stations of the future.

Above is a short clip of the 30 minute film and I hope to explore Challenges of Outer Space in depth as more information about this paleo-futuristic wonder becomes available.

There is very little information about Challenge of Outer Space on the web, including the year. Any additional information you may have about this film is much appreciated.

See also:
Space Colonies by Don Davis
More Space Colony Art (1970s)
Mars and Beyond (1957)
Sport in Space Colonies (1977)