North American Aviation Space Scooter, 1963

September 25, 11

Flying Space Scooter — Powered by a jet of air, this one-man scooter is testing the principle of rocket powered flying platforms in a company funded project at North American’s Space and Information Systems Division, Downey, CA.

The vehicle can hover, rotate, accelerate forward, backward or horizontally and accomplish an accelerated climb or controlled descent and soft touchdown.  Safety devices attached to a crane prevent the space platform from rising above roof top heights.

And here’s the real thing, being tested in 1963. From rendering to execution, the image gives us something tangible and immediate to reflect on.

I think it’s especially meaningful and important given the insanity of the current political climate. These images displayed tangible examples of the once entirely impossible on a daily basis.

All of it, too soon forgotten.

Space Scooter Image, 1963

September 23, 11

A 1963 artist rendering from a press image for a Space  Scooter created by North American Aviation.

“Crater Hopping — Propelled by liquid storable propellants, this rocket powered Space Scooter would traverse rough lunar terrain and hop craters in this concept by North American’s Space Division, Downey, CA.

The Space Scooter is a proposed advanced model of the jet-propelled, one-man space platform tested successfully in a company funded research project.

The Space Scooter also might be used to scale steep cliffs, descend into fissures or crevasses, or act as a shuttle bus between orbinting space vehicles.

Diamond shaped figures represent thrusts vector pattern developed by faster-than-sound propulsion.  Spheres on craft contain storable liquid propellants.”

Innovation. Optimism.  The suit that inspired Major Matt Mason.