GALLERY OF TOM SWIFT SPACE BOOKS

TOM SWIFT AND THE COSMIC ASTRONAUTS

TOM SWIFT COSMIC ASTRONAUTS 
COVER

Copyright, 1960, by Grosset & Dunlap, Inc.


DISCUSSION

In THE COSMIC ASTONAUTS, Tom Swift has tired of his "solarton" and "super-repelatron" propulsion systems: "The real hope...lies in finding a different type of space propulsion...If only I could come up with a brand-new approach!" The new type of propulsion is the harnessing of cosmic rays using space kites to catch the "winds" of the rays in order to power a space vehicle. NASA has considered such schemes which use the existing "solar-wind" effect for propulsion.

The cover art depicts a type of space tugboat. The controls include a steering wheel and crane-like levers. Astronauts do not fly spaceships with steering wheels. A steering wheel provides two-dimensional control while a hand controller is a three degree of freedom (three dimensional) device. Space navigation is not limited to a two dimensional plane of reference since the effect of gravity is all but removed. Though this is the case, the inclusion of the lever system offers a third degree-of-freedom for control of the spacetug. Actually, a crane used to construct buildings and scoop dirt from the Earth is a three dimensional machine. It is a able to move its lifting scoop in three directions at right angles from one another.


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Last modified: Wednesday, 30-Nov-04 09:15:00 PM CDT

Author: Jerry Woodfill / NASA, Mail Code ER7, jared.woodfill1@jsc.nasa.gov

Curator: Cecilia Breigh, NASA JSC ER7

Responsible Official: Andre Sylvester, NASA JSC ER7

Automation, Robotics and Simulation Division, Walter W. Guy, Chief.

Picture of the logo of NASA Johnson Space Center's Automation, Robotics, and 
Simulation Division.  The logo depicts a robot extended arm and hand.  The robotic 
hand holds Mars in its grasp.