n May 26, 1950 the Rocketship X-M expedition to the Moon was launched from the planet Earth.
Although frequently over shadowed by the flight of the Rocketship Luna that occurred a month later, the RX-M was actually the first attempt to reach the moon in 1950.
In the intervening years most of the technical specifications of the RX-M has been lost or destroyed. This post is an attempt to use publicly available historical documentation about the RX-M and attempt to derive some performance and flight data as well as address the controversy surrounding this early attempt to reach the moon.
Black Amazon of Mars
lack Amazon of Mars by Leigh Brackett was first published in Planet Stories of March 1951.
The story was later expanded and republished as The People of the Talisman in 1964.
This is one of several adventures of Brackett’s hard boiled interplanetary tough guy Eric John Stark.
Orphaned on Mercury and adopted by Mercurian aborigines before being captured by humans, Stark treks though the solar system and beyond.
On Mars, Stark had been a mercenary on the losing side of a guerrilla war. His companion Camar, has been mortally wounded in the campaign and wants to return home to Kushat before he dies. In their way lie an army of Mekh tribesmen under the command of Ciaran, the titular Black Amazon of Mars.
I love this picture.
A beautiful woman in almost practical scale mail armor swinging an axe.
The writhing tentaculared things grasping at her.
The giant idol and gated walls in the background.
The only problems is, what’s up with the suspenders on the guy with the sword? Because that’s just weird.
The story can be found at the Internet Archive, Project Gutenberg, and of course, Amazon
n the year 1956 the first manned expedition to the planet Mars was pulled into a space warp accelerating them through the Time Barrier leaving it’s crew stranded 552 years in the future where they encounter the leggy cocktail waitresses of the future.
“Edison’s conquest of Mars” by Garrett Putman Serviss
Serialized in the New York Evening Journal from January 12 to February 10 1898. Published in hardback in 1947.
Edison’s Conquest of Mars
dison’s Conquest of Mars is a serialized novel that first appeared in the New York Evening Journal in 1898.
The story is basically an unauthorized sequel to an equally unauthorized and heavily altered version of H.G. Wells “The War of the Worlds”, called “Fighters from Mars” that appeared in a Boston newspaper the previous year.
In this retelling of “The War of the Worlds” it doesn’t have vast cool unsympathetic intelligent blood drinking tentacled Martians invading England for the purpose of making important social commentary.
(The unnamed narrator of the War of the Worlds flees before the embodiment of Social Darwinism that forces him to confronting the inevitable Marxist clash of classes that leads to the development of the Eloi and Morlocks in 802,701 A.D.)
No, this version has giant bug eyed hydrocephalic humanoid Martians invading America.
Little knowing they’ve opened a big old can of whoopass in the form of one Thomas Alva Edison
(A consultation in Wizard Edison’s laboratory between him and Professor Serviss on the best means of repaying the damage wrought upon this planet by the Martians) Continue reading
The Space Ark from When Worlds Collide
I ordered some prints of the Space Ark from a store on Ebay featuring Rocket and Aviation Art work.
Other rockets from Space Patrol, Rocky Jones, Rocketship X-M, Destination Moon and others can be found there.