Mission to Mars

While having a bit of a late spring clean I stumbled across a 36 year old Brooke Bond picture card annual from 1970. The annual, The Race Into Space, was built up from picture cards that came with tea and covers the then recent space race. In fact it was published just before the cancellation of Apollo missions 18 and 19 and its optimism about the future of human spaceflight makes fascinating reading. It mentions the upcoming Skylab, the Viking spacecraft, a re-useable space shuttle, the Voyager missions (not by name) all of which have been and almost gone.

The annual also describes some programmes that have not (yet) been realised such as a 12-person space station, a lunar shuttle, Moon base and even a human trip to Mars. One plan that was described would have sent two spaceships to Mars in November 1981, each carrying six astronauts. These were to arrive in early August 1982 and orbit for 80 days before heading back to Earth via a swing-by of Venus. With hindsight this was an amazingly over-optimistic timescale as we are still at least 15 years off such a mission today.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Sunday 21st May 2006 (15:50 UTC) | Permalink
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