Sunday, November 15, 2015

Harpalus (crater)

In April of 1950 I was 12 and on TV there was Buck Rogers..
In June of 1950 "Destination Moon" showed.
It was based on Robert A. Heinlein's 1947 book, "Rocket Ship Galileo."
When you look at this time after WWII you see the science fiction books continuing the idea of defending the home land, only now we take it to space.

Look up! There is the Moon just waiting to be of use as an outpost where you could launch a weapon.

If the government won't foot the bill, just find someone with deep pockets and build a rocket in your back yard.
When you get there, take a look back at Earth from Harpalus crater

Space in art helped us look up as well.  Check out the paintings of Chesley Bonestell

Chesley Bonestell and the Landscape of the Moon
The purpose of art is to soothe the soul, but sometimes it can predict future realities with uncanny precision.

The links below have a lot of information in their references as well.

- LRK -

Inline image 1

Harpalus is a young lunar impact crater that lies on the Mare Frigoris, at the eastern edge of the Sinus Roris. To the southeast at the edge of the mare is the small crater Foucault, and to the northwest on the opposite edge is the walled plain named South.

The rim of Harpalus is sharp-edged with little sign of wear or erosion. The wall is not perfectly circular, and has a few outward notches and protrusions, especially along the eastern half. It is surrounded by an outer rampart of ejecta, most notably towards the north, and is at the center of a small ray system. Due to its rays, Harpalus is mapped as part of the Copernican System.[1]

The inner surface is terraced, and flows down to the floor. The interior wall is the least wide along the northern face, making the floor slightly offset in that direction. Near the midpoint is a system of low central ridges.

Popular culture references

Harpalus was the rocket landing site in the 1950s science fiction film Destination Moon. It was chosen by artist Chesley Bonestell as it had a relatively high latitude and the Earth could be realistically displayed at a low altitude during camera shots. However, the resulting clay model depicted crazing (net-like cracks) across the crater floor, an addition to which Bonestell objected.

Destination Moon (film)
Destination Moon (aka Operation Moon) is a 1950 American Technicolor science fiction film independently produced by George Pal, directed by Irving Pichel, and starring John Archer, Warner Anderson, Tom Powers, and Dick Wesson. The film was distributed in the United States and UK by Eagle-Lion Classics.

With Destination Moon, George Pal produced the first major U.S. science fiction film to deal with the dangers inherent in human space travel and the possible difficulties of America's first lunar mission landing on and safely returning from our only satellite.

The film's premise is that U.S. private industry will mobilize, finance, and manufacture the first spacecraft to the Moon, while making the assumption that the U.S. government will then be forced to purchase or lease this new technology to remain the dominant power in space and on the Moon. Industrialists are shown cooperating to support the private venture. In the final scene, as the crew approaches the Earth, the traditional "The End" title card heralds the dawn of the coming Space Age: "This is THE END...of the Beginning".[2]
Inline image 2

Rocket Ship Galileo

Rocket Ship Galileo is a science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein, published in 1947, about three teenagers who participate in a pioneering flight to the Moon. It was the first in the Heinlein juveniles, a long and successful series of science fiction novels published by Scribner's. The novel was originally envisioned as the first of a series of books called "Young Rocket Engineers". It was initially rejected by publishers, because going to the moon was "too far out".[1]

Plot summary

After World War II, three teenage boy rocket experimenters are recruited by one boy's uncle, Dr. Cargraves, a renowned physicist who had worked on the Manhattan Project, to refit a conventionally powered surplus "mail rocket". It is to be converted to run on a thorium nuclear pile which boils zinc as a propellant. They use a cleared area in a military weapons test range in the desert for their work, despite prying and sabotage attempts by unknown agents.

Upon completion of the modifications, they stock the rocket, which they name the Galileo, and take off for the Moon, taking approximately 3 days to arrive. After establishing a semi-permanent structure based on a Quonset hut, they claim the moon on behalf of the United Nations.



Chesley Knight Bonestell, Jr. (January 1, 1888 – June 11, 1986) was an American painter, designer and illustrator.[2] His paintings were a major influence on science fiction art and illustration, and he helped inspire the American space program. An early pioneering creator of astronomical art, along with the French astronomer-artist Lucien Rudaux, Bonestell was dubbed the "Father of Modern Space Art".

Thanks for looking up with me, 
- LRK -