Posts Tagged 'space'

From the Archive: Nat. Geo Our Universe

cover spaceship

Scans from National Geographic Picture Atlas of Our Universe. The book also includes some humorous 80’s illustrations of possible alien lifeforms. Here though, are pages that testify towards the universal vision of the future. Aesthetics and forms that define our present. Check ’em out because they’re awesome, but realize why you feel that way.

space station illustration

space station interior

spaceship asteroid

space shuttle orbit

Apologies for that binding line on the last one…



Gallant, Roy A. National Geographic Picture Atlas of Our Universe. Washington DC: National Geographic Society, 1980.


The Maps of Captain Future

Captain Future pulp cover

This is the first of a new series of posts, here, on Manifest Future.  As part of the ongoing efforts of the Rebellion for Autonomous Future (RAF), I have previously displayed excerpts from a pseudo-fictional archive of documents pertaining to the depiction of the future. Exhibited in January as The Tomorrow Archive, these documents come from an ever expanding collection – some of which I will start sharing here on the blog.

Following, we have some antique maps of off-planet settlements from the 1940-50’s pulp Captain Future. I ran across a book recently while perusing a Pittsburgh bookstore, called The Atlas of Fantasy (J.B. Post – Ballantine, 1979). Totally worth tracking down. These maps are the most relevant to the RAF due to their alluring visions of what the future holds, but the book chronicles all sorts of fascinating fictional cartography – from Burroughs to Lovecraft.

I’ll start posting more archival material in the future (ha).

Scanned fresh and posted large for your enjoyment. Note the predominant geometry of Futuria’s layout, an early emphasis on rockets, and the familiar domed cities of Pluto

Yeeeeaaahh… We’re back baby!

America. Sending androids to the goddamn moon.

That's right, "robonaut"

Check it.

Quick thoughts:

Seems like a potentially good balance of private and federal space programs.

I get the inspire-the-kiddies idea, but do we really need to make them look so shamelessly futuristic? I mean, the unnecessary fact that they’re humanoid kind of irks me(despite being totally awesome), but can we at least paint them bright red or something? What do you think? Is proliferating the accepted future aesthetic more legitimate if it’s done to impress the youth at large?


The proposition is simple: land an operational humanoid robot on the moon in 1000 days. The humanoid will travel to the moon on a small lander fueled by green propellants, liquid methane and liquid oxygen. It will preform a precision, autonomous landing, avoiding any hazzards or obstacles on the surface. Upon landing the robot will deploy and walk on the surface performing a multitude of tasks  focused on demonstrating engineering tasks such as maintanence and construction; performing science of opportunity (i.e. using existing sensors on the robot or small science instruments); and simple student experiments

The mission is also about inspiration, streamlining agency practices and processes and using unconventional partnerships, and building a better workforce and demonstrating technologies to enable the continuation of exploration beyond low earth orbit.

This last part is my favorite.

This mission will change perceptions and attitudes about what can be done, what should be done, and what is possible.


See previous coverage of the “Robonaut“.


Click for more info