Great Expectations … Failed

19 Jun

From February 1967 (two years before the moon landings), this tale of expected progress in space:


First landing on moon by American. One astronaut will leave LEM (Lunar Excursion Module) and explore surface, collecting samples and photographing area. After four hours, another astronaut will relieve him.


Lunar research lab operates. Here experiments under lower gravity conditions and complete vacuum can be carried out. U.S. industrial firms have already prepared lists of projects they’d like to try on moon.


Space station. First large manned station may be mongrelized from spent stages of rocket booster or created new from permanent orbit where manned “earth-watching” or other experiments can be carried out.


Radio telescope and astronomical observatory will be established on moon. They may, under lunar conditions, discover things that would be impossible to find by observation from earth due to gravity, atmosphere.

Reading magazines from the 1960s one really feels the excitement as a world full of possibilities was unfolding, but it’s depressing to see what a tiny percentage of those dreams have been realised, even half a century later. Interestingly, one gets the same feeling of excitement permeating the pages of 1920s magazines as well.


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