Men Into Space TV program

I have DVDs of a program that ran from 1959 to 1960, concerning the USAF running a space program that creates habitats on the Moon and makes missions to Mars.

There are interesting comparisons to the Apollo program. These guys have no LEM and land the whole ship, although they use a base with legs to land and provide a launch pad. They have lots of fuel; the first lunar landing is on soft lunar soil, so they lift off and find a firmer landing site.

A very sexist episode, “The First Woman on the Moon.” Rather than selecting a female scientist or a female pilot, they take an astronaut’s Wife along.

I watched an episode tonight where there was a disastrous attempt to refuel from a tanker.

I’ve not seen them land a craft yet, I imagine it will land like a shuttle.

It is not easy going, there has been a guy die on the Moon from a heart attack, and a fellow survives appendicitis as a physician travels through a meteor storm on the Moon from a comet to aid him.

I recall watching this when it was first broadcast, but the memories are vague. For years I tried to find information about the show, but even books specializing in TV science fiction barely mentioned it. Books devoted to listing individual episodes didn’t list this one at all.

It wasn’t until the internet – and many years into that – that I finally found some write-ups and screen captures. I still haven’t seen DVDs of this – where did you find them? I’d be interested in getting copies.

In any event, my recollection was that it was pretty “hard” science fiction. They tried to be accurate about the physics of space flight, and used no “fantasy” science fiction devices, like teleportation or Dean Drives.
as for the sexism, I’m afraid you’d find that in just about any 1950s science fiction. Operation Moonbase, despite being scripted by Robert Heinlein, is positively painful to watch in its sex relations. It! The Terror from Beyond Space is excellent science fiction, but I notice that it’s the women who serve in the mess and make the coffee.

Interestingly, the influence of such ideas was so strong that NASA decided to conduct a number of studies at the start of the Apollo program to determine the fastest and most cost-effective way of reaching the Moon. Three alternatives were considered: Direct Flight (like the Luna in Destination: Moon); Earth Orbit Rendezvous (like Von Braun proposed, using a space station as a stop along the way); and Lunar Orbit Rendezvous (with a CM, SM, and LM). The third was of course the one finally chosen, but only after strong competition from EOR.

I found them on Ebay.

They were good about not having noise in space until the lunar meteor shower. I guess it was more threatening if the meteorites make a “plunk” noise.

I finally saw them land. It was stock footage of what looked like an X-32 landing gear up or on skids like an X-15, in sand.

Our first Star Trek actor, William Schallert in the episode “A Handful of Hours.” I believe he also played Dobie Gillis’ father.

There is some serious physics in this show. “Tanker in Space”, refueling with hypergolic fuel. A hose connects the two ships, and they begin to oscillate. I recall the problem from Graduate School, “This is Not a Quantum Mechanics Course”. Two masses connected by a spring, free to move in three dimensional space. We all went home and lit candles, hoping we would not see that on a test.

But I guess they just couldn’t resist the lunar meteor shower. Yeah, they happen, but you’re not exactly going to have to dodge them.

William Schallert played Patty Duke’s father. He was also Undersecretary Nilz Baris in “The Trouble with Tribbles.”

Frank Faylen played Herbert T Gillis. However, Schallert was also Dobie’s Professor/Teacher Leander Pomfritt.

Drama. Gotta have drama. :cool:

Remember how Ross Martin was killed by a meteor in The Conquest of Space? Ouch! :frowning:

Yes, but do they wear velour microskirts and knee-high boots? :o

My first thought was that Schallert was a teacher. I got the father from IMBD. I was very, very young when I watched Dobie Gillis, but I fell in love with Zelda.

How soon was the plan to have a command module and a lander?

1963–64, I would guess.

You know, of course, that your love for Zelda will forever remain unrequited?* :frowning: (Don’t feel too bad; I always thought Sheila James was cute too.)

*Assuming you’re male… :dubious:

I was crushed to discover that she plays for the other team.

His friends called him “Chips.” :smiley: