Episode from the podcastThe John Batchelor Show

717: 2/2 Another Science Fiction: Advertising the Space Race 1957, by Megan Prelinger

Released Sunday, 15th November 2020
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Image:  NASA Engineer Examines the Design of a Regeneratively-Cooled Rocket Engine.  An engineer at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lewis Research Center examines a drawing showing the assembly and details of a 20,000-pound thrust regeneratively-cooled rocket engine. The engine was being designed for testing in Lewis’s new Rocket Engine Test Facility, which began operating in the fall of 1957. The facility was the largest high-energy test facility in the country that was capable of handling liquid hydrogen and other liquid chemical fuels. The facility’s use of subscale engines up to 20,000 pounds of thrust permitted a cost-effective method of testing engines under various conditions. The Rocket Engine Test Facility was critical to the development of the technology that led to the use of hydrogen as a rocket fuel and the development of lightweight, regeneratively-cooled, hydrogen-fueled rocket engines. 

Another Science Fiction: Advertising the Space Race 1957; 1962 Paperback – Illustrated, April 13, 2010; by Megan Prelinger

The late 1950s and early '60s were the golden age of science fiction, an era when the farthest reaches of imagination were fed by the technological breakthroughs of the postwar years. While science fiction writers expressed the dreams and nightmares of the era in pulp print, real-life rocket engineers worked on making space travel reality. The imaginations of many Cold War scientists were fed by science fiction literature, and companies often promoted their future capabilities with fantastical, colorful visions aimed at luring young engineers into their booming workforce. In between the dry articles of trade journals, a new visual vernacular sprang up. Aerospace industry ads pitched the idea that we lived in a moment where anything was possible — gravity was history, and soon so would be the confines of our solar system. Another Science Fiction presents nearly 200 entertaining, intriguing, inspiring, and mind-boggling pieces of space-age eye candy.

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12m 22s
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