Outerspace.jpg (92458 bytes)
Cover scan of 1953 first edition on left by Vince Nowell. Red cover 1957
edition (at right) contains data about the recent Soviet Sputnik.

Zero minus four years and counting till Sputnik showed the world that space travel was more
than just an idle dream of science fiction writers and artists. This 1953 publication stands at
the threshold of spaceflight, and blends science fact articles with science fiction illustrations in an
imaginative amalgam highly characteristic of the spirit of the times. With its informative
articles on space suits, rocket engines, and the medical hazards of space flight, all
written by scientific experts like Wernher Von Braun, Donald H. Menzel, Heinz Haber,
and Willy Ley,
The Complete Book of Outer Space convinced a whole generation that space
travel was possible, and probably inspired many careers in the space related sciences!
I remember well the day my mother brought this magazine back from Julian's Drug
Store across the street from our home in Saltsburg, and recall many hours sitting on her lap while
she read me the articles and showed me the wonderful illustrations.

To view some of the illustrations from this publication,
 click on the following links. 

Tomorrow's Spacesuit
View Frank R. Paul's painting of astronauts
working outside their craft while orbiting
Jupiter.

Spacesuit Diagram
This is artist Paul's diagram of the spacesuit
shown in the above painting.

Moonscape
Artist Scriven Bolten's model of the lunar surface.

Space Station
A scene from an unreleased SF film showing the
construction of a space station.

Lunar Mining Base
See SF editor Hugo Gernsback's design
for a solar powered moon base.


 

The Complete Book of Outer Space provided scientifically based speculations
about how the saga of spaceflight would probably unfold over the next
several decades. Go to
The History of Space Exploration to see how
 things really happened! Then go to the
Earth and Moon Viewer
pick a satellite, and see our world from outer space. And finally, 
tour the solar system with
Charles Hamilton!
 

These pages are dedicated to the memory of my eagle-eyed old friend, Ditch Gault, the author and webmaster of Ditch's Puzzle Palace, for having spotted this rare publication for me on eBay. I'd been looking for it for many years. Sadly, Ditch's website is no longer online. But it will always be fondly remembered as an endless font of information on all things weird, wonderful, and delightfully esoteric. 

Return to Dreams of Tomorrow