Monday, March 4, 2013
4 March 2013
Prediction: A working model of the interplanetary rocketport of the future at the moment the rocket departs.
Predictor: Popular Mechanics magazine, 1938
Reality: I break one of my rules today because I wanted to display a larger version of this month's splash illustration. No date is attached to when this rocketport will be available, but I love the the style of the painting and the vivid primary colors which remind me of the Max Fleischer Superman cartoons from about the same era. Note the ocean going ships in the foreground that give a sense of scale.
As for reality, the blast from a interplanetary rocket exhaust would not be as neatly contained as is shown here. Once the engines get past the top of the firing barrel, the heat would spread out, effecting everything below it. Anyone on that ship below better be inside because the heat would be vicious.
This illustration, which sadly has no attribution to the artist, is from the 2009 book The Wonderful Future That Never Was, a compendium of predictions from Popular Mechanics magazine made before 1969. It is available at Amazon through this link or you could order it from your local brick and mortar bookshop. I'm sure they would appreciate the business.
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE! Tuesday is Heinlein's turn. Will we be hearing from The Sensible Heinlein or The Ridiculous Heinlein? Tune in tomorrow to find out.
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!