from "The Space Explorers" (1958)
Production Run: 2008 - 2013
About the Design
Inspired by the launch of the Sputnik satellite earlier the previous year, 1958's "The Space Explorers" was a mulit-part educational/motivational series that followed the adventurers of young Jim Perry as -- with the help of Professor Nordheim and his crew -- he searched the cosmos for his father, commander of the missing spaceship Polaris I. Aboard the Polaris' sister ship, Polaris II, Jim (and viewers) were exposed to the vast wonders of our solar system and educated on the potential of manned space flight.
"The Space Explorers" was a co-production of New York's Hayden Planetarium, producer William Clayton and director Fred Ladd. Cobbled together from various film clips and original animation, the multi-part package was syndicated to local children's programs throughout North America. It played regularly in local markets for nearly 10 years, inspiring a sequel, "The New Adventures of the Space Explorers," in 1961.
The centerpiece of both series was the Polaris II, a classic "winged bullet" that was actually a live-action miniature taken from the little-seen 1939 German "propaganda" film "Weltraumschiff 1 Startlet" ("Spaceship 1 Launches.") Resembling a rocket-powered zeppelin, the Polaris was an atomic-powered single-stage-to-orbit-and-beyond spacecraft that launched horizontally via a rocket-powered sled.
About the Kit
What You Get