U.S. Moon Ship (1958)
About the Design
This conceptual spacecraft was heavily influenced by the work of Dr. Werner von Braun. Designed for purely non-atmospheric flight, it eschewed the wings and other sleek aerodynamic features of the V-2-inspired rocketships of its era in favor of a purely functional "Tinker Toy"-like design that placed practicality over aesthetics. Conceived several years before photovoltaic solar cells were perfected, this Moon Ship nonetheless enjoyed the benefits of inexhaustible solar power thanks to a gimbaled reflector that heated a gas tube from which electricity could be generated.
About the Kit
First released in 1958 as the "U.S. Moon Ship," this model was subsequently re-released in the late 1960's as the "Mars Probe Landing Module," then again in the 1970's as the "Star Probe Space Shuttle." It was ultimately re-released by Glencoe Models in the 1990's as the more appropriately named "Lunar Lander".
The U.S.Moon ship was also released by Lindberg in the mid-50s as part of a 5-kit "Spaceships of the Future" collector's set.
This is a "Mars Probe" edition from the 1970's.