By Spaceship to the Moon -The flight into interplanetary space. How and when and the awesome implications.
By Jack Coggins (illustrations) and Fletcher Pratt (text)
Random House, Inc, 1952, 1958
This book was written before man actually went to the moon so it is mostly supposition and fantasy but I imagine it inspired the kids who read it!
Some of the many sections
- Who Pays For It? – Even 70 years ago folks were worried about money. Their estimate even then was “a couple of billion dollars.” The author accurately concluded that the only organization that would be able to afford going into space were governments.
- The First Step and The Supply Ship – All about 2-stage rockets, fuel and the creation of a space station.
- The Clothing Shop – All about the space suit complete with tools on the end of the arms which are operated from inside the suit.
- The Space Station Gets Ready for Take Off and Life in the Space Station – Do you remember the movie 2001: a Space Odyssey? The space station in that movie is a copy of the one in the book. Since the book came out years before, I wonder….
- Building the Space Ship – The presumption of this book is that a trip to the moon will originate from the space station because its’ cheaper and easier to build and take off in space. The moon rocket depicted here definitely can be seen in the Lunar Landing Module’s bones.
- Explorers on the Moon and Building the Moon Base – Here we learn how man lives on the moon. He digs caves deep underground, grows food hydroponically and stores WMDs down there as well. (The don’t call them WMD’s but that is what the missiles are!)
- Other uses for the Moon Base – The authors propose using the moon base to start our exploration of the rest of space as well.
This book is so cool. It is so out-of-date but so charming in its naïveté. I am certain the men and women who developed NASA read this book as children. They may not remember it but I’m willing to bet they did. A lot of the illustrations seem quaint now but you can see the inspiration and how it was later realized during the 60’s and beyond.
Rating: 3 paws for imagination and creative thinking.
Checkout some of these illustrations by Jack Coggins
Taking off for space from the desert
Space suits look familiar?
Building the rocket to the stars.
Precursor to 2001: A Space Odyssey?
Lunar landing module.