As all true space buffs know, from 1952 to 1954 the weekly magazine Collier’s ran a series of feature articles over eight issues written by the luminaries of rocketry (including Wenher von Braun, Willy Ley, Fred Whipple, and others) and illustrated by some of the most notable space artists of the day (Chesley “Destination Moon” Bonestell, Rolf Klep, and Fred Freeman). These articles are legendary for inspiring a generation of young men to grow up to become engineers and help launch the first Americans into space.
Trivia: We’re willing to bet you didn’t know, however, that the Collier’s articles were edited by Cornelius Ryan, who would later go on to fame as the author of such war epics-turned-1970s-Hollywood-cameo-spectacles as A Bridge Too Far and The Longest Day.
Anyway, back to the point. Thanks to the subspace grapevine, Channel 37 has learned that the Houston Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has just started reprinting the Collier’s articles in its newsletter, Horizons, starting with the July/August 2012 issue, which is available as a free downloadable PDF.
Imaginatively, the articles are being reproduced as facsimiles of the originals, with new ads and mini-articles in place of the advertisements in the originals. The remaining articles from the other seven issues will be reprinted in future issues of Horizons.
Horizons is chock-full of all kinds of other interesting articles and news about aviation and space, past and present, so it’s worth a read anyway. And following the links to all the fascinating blogs and sites of the contributing authors will pretty much eat up the rest of your weekend, so be warned now.
Sadly, Collier’s, which had been founded in 1888, folded in January 1957 — just over a half-year before Sputnik launched the space age that the magazine had so confidently forecast. One can only imagine how enthusiastically the magazine would have covered the reality of the space age it had helped bring about. However, to our surprise we discovered that it had been relaunched in February of this year after a 55-year hiatus, including a digital issue available as an iPad app — something that not even Wernher von Braun or Chesley Bonestell could have predicted.