Disney RM-1 Lunar Reconnaissance Vehicle (1955)
About the Design
The RM-1 Lunar Reconnaissance Vehicle was the first spacecraft designed to be built in orbit with modular components, specifically jettisoned pieces of the "Man in Space Ship" also featured in this section. The craft was intended to accelerate to escape velocity, loop once around the moon where its crew would take photos in preparation for an eventual lunar landing, then return to Earth where it would rendezvous with the SS-1 Space Station. The conical "aerospike" contained a shielded nuclear reactor that supplied the ship with power during its flight. The projection on the ship's underside is a detachable "bottle-suit," a one-man EVA vehicle.
About the Kit
The RM-1 was released only briefly in the mid-1950s, then re-released in the 1990's by Glencoe Models as the "Mars Retriever Rocket." As conceived by Glencoe, the craft's new mission was to rendezvous with, snag and decelerate ships returning from trips to Mars. This is the Glencoe version of the kit.
Note: Although its appearance in the Disney "Man In Space" TV series should technically classify this as a "Pop Culture" design, that it was based on rigid scientific principals and later appeared throughout the period's speculative literature causes it to be listed in this "Concept Spacecraft" section.