The world’s first lunar spacecraft is about to launch. The ship, Prometheus, is built from two separate components—one designed to travel from Earth’s atmosphere to the Moon and back, and the other to carry the first component through Earth’s atmosphere and into orbit. Sound familiar? That’s because it’s the basic description of the first space shuttle—well before its launch in 1971.
Prelude to Space was published in 1951—well before the first Sputnik expedition. Even so, the book is full of detailed technical descriptions and conversations regarding the possibilities of spaceflight and telecommunications satellites. Much of the technology described was actually included during the construction of the first spaceships. It’s a fascinating read—from both a fictional and a historical perspective.