GALLERY OF TOM SWIFT SPACE BOOKS

TOM SWIFT AND HIS SPACE SOLARTRON

TOM SWIFT SOLARTRON  COVER

Copyright, 1958, by Grosset & Dunlap, Inc.


DISCUSSION

In Tom Swift's Space Solartron adventure, the author deals with Einstein's theory of relativity. It seems that Tom has invented a "matter-making machine." Here is Tom's description: "Well, with atomic fission, you're turning matter into energy. This setup does just the reverse. Both cases depend on Einstein's famous equation E=mc^2, which means that energy and matter are interchangeable. They're simply two different forms of the same thing." (page 2) Tom's concept is to accelerate a particle almost to the speed of light where its mass increases. Tom's proposes to use this concept to help explore the Moon by using his machine to create oxygen, water, fuel and even food. While this concept appears quite far-fetched, it does suggest the concept of insitu synthesis of lunar resources for long term colonization of the Earth's satellite. By creating needed supplies from available resources, space explorers need not bring with them huge stores of supplies.

Years later after Neil Armstrong landed on the Moon, scientists seriously viewed the creation of needed fuel and oxygen through insitu resource utilization as a strong candidate for manned solar system exploration.

A number of technical oversights exist in the above cover picture. Though the astronaut helmets have a transmitting antenna, there is no microphone to transmit sound to the antenna. Tom Swift has earphones to hear messages but no " mike" to reply. The interior of their craft appears altogether nautical as thouugh they are inside a submarine or ocean liner's bridge. Note the cumbersome handgripped controls along with the large gauges. Little evidence of television monitors appears, a usual device in most science fiction vehicle control rooms of the 1950s.


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