Ad: Boeing Inertial Upper Stage (Sep, 1979)

What percentage of Scientific American readers could possibly be in the market for an Inertial Upper Stage? Frankly I would be worried if someone was planning to launch a satellite, stumbled across this ad and proclaimed “Aha! Now I know what to do about apogee injection!”


If you’ve been thinking about choosing the right upper stage to get your own spacecraft off the ground, you’re no doubt going through a little anxiety right now. What about reliability? How about performance? Who’s responsible? Costs? Accuracy? Things like that. We’d like to make a case for the Boeing Inertial Upper Stage — the only all-inclusive, worry-free, complete package available.

HERE’S WHAT WE’LL WEAR (in space) (Jan, 1956)

This looks like some kind of Geiger inspired S&M gear.


Designers are already working on the styles the well-dressed space man needs to survive.

By Lloyd Mallan

Author of Men, Rockets And Space Rats

IT MAY or may not be true that clothes make the man, but one thing is certain: when he starts traveling in outer space his life will depend on the clothes he wears. For the past decade a unique group of clothing stylists has been hard at work determining the cut and materials of future fashions in space dress. None of this group is a designer by profession. Among its varied members are biophysicists; physiologists, anthropologists, electronic scientists and doctors of medicine. But they have one thing in common: all are willing to risk their own necks to perfect equipment that will make it safe for other men to fly through the alien vacuum of space. Acting as their own guinea pigs, they are locked into altitude chambers, spun wildly on centrifuges, and closed up in insulated rooms. In the process, they discover whether or not their space fashions are practical. And in order to be absolutely certain they plunge needles into their veins and spines, under their skin and over their brains. Wires connected to the needles carry their slightest physical reaction.

But out of it all, in just ten years, have come the means to prevent the horrors that could happen in space to the unaccustomed human body. Aeromedical scientists at the Air Force’s Wright Air Development Center (who supplied photos on these pages) now know that man can fly beyond the atmosphere without his tissues exploding, brain hemorrhaging, blood cells dying or lungs collapsing.

Ad: Launching Tomorrow’s Satellite (Jan, 1956)

Launching Tomorrow’s Satellite
When the first man-made satellite is launched on its orbit around the earth, it will owe its existence to the thousands of missiles which have preceded it, and to the careful analysis of their patterns of flight. The Univac Scientific of Remington Rand has speeded this effort immeasurably, handling flight analyses for the nation’s guided missile program.
Each missile firing, each analysis, involves enormous amounts of in-flight data, with manual computations normally requiring from 250 to 500 hours. This staggering work load is accomplished by the Univac Scientific Electronic Computer in approximately 4 to 8 minutes.

First Continuous Laser (Apr, 1961)

Laser May Guide Space Ships
GREATLY amplified light beams may provide optical lane” navigation systems to guide planes or spaceships of the future, using a newly-developed material.
Scientists at the IBM Research Center, Yorktown, N. Y., have announced a laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) that gives the first continuous beam of amplified light. It uses uranium ions in a cylindrical 1-1/2-in. crystal instead of the ruby in a previously-announced laser (see p. 94, Nov. ’60 S&M). The earlier amplifier could transmit light only in widely-spaced pulses of about .001 second and needed about 500 times as much power as the uranium type. IBM says future refinements now depend on improved optical design rather than advances in materials research.



Is this the ship that will take us to earth’s first manned satellite?

By G. Harry Stine, Viking-Aerobee Operations Engineer, White Sands Proving Grounds

ON May 24, 1954, a Navy Viking rocket thundered 158 miles into space.

As recently as February 1949, a V-2/ WAC-Corporal “Bumper” rocket soared 250 miles into the sky over New Mexico’s White Sands Proving Grounds.

Just last year, an Air Force pilot flew the Bell X-1A rocket plane “above 80,000 feet” and at more than twice the speed of sound.

We have built rockets which have gone beyond the earth’s atmosphere and returned; they have reached altitudes where the remnants of the atmosphere around them were a better vacuum than that in a radio tube. We have sent men to altitudes where their blood would boil if they were not protected by a pressure suit and a pressurized cabin.

Rocket Flight Dream or Reality? (Jan, 1938)

Rocket Flight Dream or Reality?

Prophetically depicting what future commercial rocket flight “space ships” will look like, a recent motion picture features scenes showing a passenger rocket taking off from a long runway (left) and another super-rocket ship being nosed out of its hangar (left center) in preparation for a transcontinental flight at speeds surpassing 1,000 miles per hour. Bona fide rocket experimenters, however, acknowledge that it will be a long time before passenger rockets will be practical.

In the photo at right, an experimental rocket is seen just at the moment of leaving the ground. Rockets do not have to be shot into the air in order to conduct tests, but are usually “launched” on a proving stand, special instruments indicating power, rate of climb, and other data.
Much in the manner of pioneer aircraft experimenters, groups of rocket fans are constantly seeking to improve rocket flight in an effort to hasten the day when commercial rocket travel will be practical. Left——German experimenters with a newly developed rocket. Above—Test plane fitted with a rocket motor at tail. Rocket motors have also been tested in boats and automobiles.

Lunar Explorers May Ride in Squirrel Cage (Aug, 1960)

Lunar Explorers May Ride in Squirrel Cage
SPACE explorers may roll around the moon’s surface in a squirrel cage-type vehicle much like this one.
Once a space craft lands on the moon, the collapsible Moon Sac would be inflated, then equipped to house and provide for explorations by a two-man team. The inflating gas would also serve as an atmosphere and allow natural breathing, speaking and eating.
The lightweight, bar-bell-shaped vehicle was designed by Scully-Anthony Corp., a division of Scully-Jones Co., Chicago, 111


Moon Farms to Banish Starvation (May, 1954)

Moon Farms to Banish Starvation

FIFTY years from now much of the world’s food may be grown high in the sky! Tomorrow’s farmers may raise their crops on artificial “moons” that have been launched into space and move in orbits around the earth. And the successful agriculturalist will probably be a combination chemist, biologist and engineer.

Fantastic as it may sound, this revolutionary type of farming is more than possible. Five years of intensive research in this country and 60 years of study by five other nations have explored its potentialities. This news comes from the very conservative Carnegie Institution of Washington which has released a 357 page report on the almost unbelievable new science of “algal culture.”

Junior Cadet Space Helmet (Aug, 1962)

Wow, this looks like it’s harder to make than than the street legal kart.

Junior Cadet Space Helmet

As any budding young astronaut will tell you, his most important piece of equipment is a realistic helmet with light, radio, oxygen tanks, and plenty of colorful armor.

WETHER they’re solving re-entry problems on the living room banister or stalking Martians in the orchard, junior spacemen need plenty of imagination-inspiring equipment. So vital a piece as the helmet should be built at home where the astronaut can help and be sure the construction meets space-age requirements.


I love this. The 3 page description of how man will explore the moon includes this crucial fact: “Movies may be shown, if desired.”


An original MI design by FRANK TINSLEY

EARTHMEN who land on the moon will need a special lunar vehicle for exploration. The vehicle must be self-sustaining and capable of traversing both the smooth, dust-paved crater beds and climbing the steep rocky passes of their mountainous rims.

Mi’s design for this difficult job is a giant Moon Explorer unicycle with a spherical body mounted inside its rolling rim and composed almost entirely of inflated fabric parts. These constitute the lightest possible structure and can be easily disassembled and deflated for storage.

The Moon Explorer is 32 ft. high. It is driven by electric motors and stabilized and steered by gyroscopic tilting. Power is derived from a circular “parasol” faced with solar batteries that always face the sun. Those atop the disc are of the light-actuated type. The bottom units are thermal generators, extracting electricity from reflected ground heat. This arrangement uses every inch of area and constitutes a simple, long-lived generator with no moving parts. It not only produces free power but also serves to shield the vehicle’s body from the burning rays of the unfiltered lunar sun. Despite its large size, the parasol is extremely light in weight. It consists of an envelope of thin, inflated fabric, stiffened by internal spokes and a rim of inflated tubing. It is carried above the wheel tread on four light magnesium legs and mounted on a ball-joint so it can be tilted to any angle. An electric eye, linked to gyros in the hub, controls its movements automatically.