Category:
Space Travel

The One-Way Mission to the Moon

1962: Fearing that the Soviets were going to beat the United States to the moon, two engineers from Bell Aerosystems Company, John Cord and Leonard Seale, proposed a way to make sure America got there first. Their idea was to send an astronaut on a one-way mission to the moon. After all, it's a lot easier to send a man to the moon if you don't have to worry about bringing him back.

They presented their idea at the meeting of the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences in Los Angeles and also published it in the Dec 1962 issue of Aerospace Engineering.

Read the entire article (pdf)



Their plan was for NASA to first land a series of unmanned cargo vehicles on the moon that would contain all the necessities for a lunar base. An astronaut would then make the journey to the moon and, after landing, assemble the base. Every month NASA would send a new cargo vehicle to resupply the astronaut with essentials — food, water, and oxygen. This would continue until NASA figured out a way to bring him back.

NASA, perhaps sensing that the public would perceive a one-way mission as an admission of defeat rather than a sign of victory, ignored the proposal.

Base for a one-way lunar mission



Although NASA ignored Cord and Seale's plan, it caught the attention of science-fiction writer Hank Searls, serving as the inspiration for his 1964 novel, The Pilgrim Project. Hollywood developed Searls' book into a 1968 movie, Countdown, directed by Robert Altman and starring James Caan and Robert Duvall.

In both the book and movie, NASA succeeds in landing an astronaut on the moon. The astronaut then discovers that the Soviets got there first — but all died.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Dec 06, 2023 - Comments (8)
Category: Spaceflight, Astronautics, and Astronomy, Space Travel, 1960s

Wate-On

Based on the strange clothing and the thing that looks like an asteroid in the top right corner, I think the two people are supposed to be futuristic space travelers of some kind. Why they're in an ad for a weight-gain product, I don't know.

Sports Illustrated - June 5, 1978

Posted By: Alex - Sun Sep 17, 2023 - Comments (2)
Category: Advertising, Space Travel, 1970s, Dieting and Weight Loss

Space is the Place

The definitive statement from a master weirdo, Sun Ra. A couple of clips below.


The entire movie can be viewed on YouTube (but not embedded here).



Posted By: Paul - Tue Aug 08, 2023 - Comments (3)
Category: Aliens, Eccentrics, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, Music, Space Travel, 1970s

Allan Bryant, “Space Guitars”

Let us all know how far you get before tossing in the audio towel.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Nov 23, 2022 - Comments (5)
Category: Space Travel, 1970s, Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

Space Dance

Raquel Welch dances in a silver bikini to a jazzed up version of Richard Strauss's "Also Sprach Zarathustra" — since Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey forever made that piece synonymous with space travel.

The clip is from Raquel!, a 1970 CBS television special.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Oct 04, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Futurism, Music, Space Travel, 1970s, Dance

Martian Blood Concrete

Researchers at the University of Manchester have proposed that future settlers on Mars can create concrete by mixing Martian dust with their own blood and urine. Details from globalnews.ca:

Water is scarce on Mars and it costs $2 million to send a single brick to the Red Planet, according to estimates. But astronauts can simply make their own concrete on-site using Martian dust and their own blood, according to findings published this month in the journal Materials Today Bio...
The blood-and-dust mixture alone is equivalent to concrete, but researchers say it becomes even stronger when human urea is added to the mix...
Roberts and his team say that animal blood could eventually replace human blood in Martian construction projects, but that would only happen after we send cows to Mars.

Experimental 'astrocrete' made from blood and dust



We've posted before about the use of blood to make concrete. Charles Laleman was granted a patent for this in 1980, but the practice goes all the way back to Roman times.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Oct 02, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Architecture, Patents, Space Travel, Blood

Zero Gravity Toilet Instructions

This has been circulating around for a while, but it was new to me so perhaps it'll be new to others as well.

In one scene during 2001: A Space Odyssey, the character of Dr. Heywood Floyd uses a "zero gravity toilet" while he's on the space station. He's shown briefly examining the lengthy list of instructions on the wall next to the toilet.



Stanley Kubrick was so obsessive over details that, instead of using gobbledygook, placeholder text for the sign, he actually had someone create a list of toilet instructions. Film buffs have extracted this text, and it's available for purchase as a poster (perhaps to hang in your bathroom) or printed on a t-shirt. (I won't link to any specific retailers, but they're easy enough to find using Google).



Far Out magazine suggests the zero-gravity toilet instructions may have deeper meaning within the broader context of the film:

Perhaps, thus the ‘zero-gravity’ toilet instruction is the only intentional joke in the film. In a scene aboard the space station, Floyd is seen peering at a detailed and convoluted instruction manual on the use of the zero-gravity toilet. Kubrick’s disdain of instructions for the understanding of the film highlights the irony of a page long instructions from the zero-gravity toilets. In an interview, Kubrick’s explained the zero-gravity toilet was the only intentional joke in the film. That evolution and technological advancement would lead to convoluting of tending to basic human needs is well worth a snigger. Despite its ambiguity, Kubrick doesn’t “want to spell out a verbal roadmap for 2001”. Kubrick’s film doesn’t come with an instruction manual, but the zero-gravity toilet does.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Aug 13, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Bathrooms, Movies, Space Travel

The Lunar Hilton

Back in 1967, as the first landing on the moon approached, Hilton prepared plans for opening hotels in space. They envisioned first opening an Orbiter Hilton, soon to be followed by a Lunar Hilton.

Details from an article in the Boston Globe (July 20, 1969):

The first moon tourists will enjoy comfortable earth-style living in a tri-level underground resort. Bottom level will contain mechanical equipment and the center level will consist of two 400 feet guest corridors containing 100 rooms. Top level will be for public space.

Hilton said the three floors will eliminate elevators and should minimize power requirements. Multi-story underground moon hotels will come later.

Guest rooms will have wall-to-wall television for closed circuitry views of space and to receive programs from earth. A nuclear reactor kitchen will prepare dehydrated freeze dry foods. Cleaning will be done by small laser units.

The Lunar Hilton's most popular spot will probably be the Galaxy Lounge where thermopane windows will provide a view of outer space and earth. Pre-measured, pre-cooled, "instant" drinks will be served by push buttons.

Hilton even created a key for a room in its lunar hotel and printed up a form so that people could book a reservation.

More info: CNN Travel



Posted By: Alex - Mon Jul 05, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Hotels, Space Travel, 1960s

Page 1 of 4 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›




weird universe thumbnail
Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
February 2024 •  January 2024

December 2023 •  November 2023 •  October 2023 •  September 2023 •  August 2023 •  July 2023 •  June 2023 •  May 2023 •  April 2023 •  March 2023 •  February 2023 •  January 2023

December 2022 •  November 2022 •  October 2022 •  September 2022 •  August 2022 •  July 2022 •  June 2022 •  May 2022 •  April 2022 •  March 2022 •  February 2022 •  January 2022

December 2021 •  November 2021 •  October 2021 •  September 2021 •  August 2021 •  July 2021 •  June 2021 •  May 2021 •  April 2021 •  March 2021 •  February 2021 •  January 2021

December 2020 •  November 2020 •  October 2020 •  September 2020 •  August 2020 •  July 2020 •  June 2020 •  May 2020 •  April 2020 •  March 2020 •  February 2020 •  January 2020

December 2019 •  November 2019 •  October 2019 •  September 2019 •  August 2019 •  July 2019 •  June 2019 •  May 2019 •  April 2019 •  March 2019 •  February 2019 •  January 2019

December 2018 •  November 2018 •  October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •