27Mar2015

Please Take Me To Space

Today, space travel is closer to reality for ordinary people than it has ever been though currently only the super rich are actually getting to space. Several companies have more affordable commercial space tourism in their sights and at least one group is going the non-profit DIY route into space.

But more than a decade before it was even proven that man could reach space, average people were more positive about their own chances of escaping Earth’s atmosphere. This may have been partly thanks to the Interplanetary Tour Reservation desk at the American Museum of Natural History.

In 1950, to promote its new space exhibit, the AMNH had the brilliant idea to ask museum visitors to sign up to reserve their space on a future trip to the moon, Mars, Jupiter or Saturn. They advertised the opportunity in newspapers and magazines and received letters requesting reservations from around the world. The museum pledged to pass their list on to whichever entity headed to each destination first.

Recently, to promote one of its earliest space exhibits, “Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration,” the museum had published some of these requests. The letters manage to be interesting, hopeful, funny and poignant all at once. Some even included sketches of potential space capsules, rockets and spacesuits. The museum shared some of its favorites with Wired for this gallery.

Have a browse at the material below. Be amazed at the historical significance of this stuff. See and feel how it was in and around 1950 when Space Travel was still ‘pie in the sky’… and see if these things affect you as they did me when I read them. Were you around then? I’d like to hear your thoughts baby boomers OK? (Ed.)

Source: Wired science   Images: Copyright American Museum of Natural History


Planetary Time Schedule
Moon, Mars, Jupiter or Saturn?
Spaceship Sketches
As common as driving an automobile
Request to admit for voyager on the mars
My husband thinks I have moths in my head
Dinosaurs on Venus
Are these tours round-trip or one-way?
If I take my dog will you have to charge me an extra fare?
Unitl I am in a rocet, I won't be content
I will be close to 60
Kindly put my name down
Earth-moon communications
If there's ever an express for a foreign planet
Please send the price list
One ticket for the 1976 moon tour
Get me out of here before the H-bomb
If this isn't just an excuse to get suckers' addreses
From whence came my saucer pilot,
Please send free tickets to the moon or Mars
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