THE SPACE EDUCATORS' HANDBOOK

MECHANIX ILLUSTRATED (circa 1945)

MECHANIX ILLUSTRATED SEPTEMBER 1945 Cover

Copyright 1945 by Fawcett Publications, Inc.


DISCUSSION

The September 1945 MECHANIX ILLUSTRATED cover depicted a Moon rocket based on Willy Ley's article ROCKET TO THE MOON? The above cover painting was by the famous space artist Chesley Bonestell. The base of the Moon rocket was approximately 50 feet in diameter. Its height was 135 feet. Included in the issue with Ley's writings was an essay by a rocket expert of the era. The essay entitled ROCKET TRAVEL THROUGH SPACE stated, "The problems (with regard to a lunar rocket) ...are tremendous... the ship itself when approaching the halfway distance between earth and moon WOULD BE UNDER CONDITIONS OF 'NO GRAVITY'." This is the same erroneous concept that Jules Verne advocated in FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON, that weightlessness only exists because of the balance of the opposing forces of lunar and earth gravitational pull. We know that weightlessness is actually the result of the balance between centrifugal force and gravity.


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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.