Disney’s 1955 Man in Space film

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 08, 2008

Man in Space was a short film made by Disney about the possibility of putting humans into space. The film was first shown in 1955 and features several prominent scientists of the day, including Wernher von Braun. The film is available for viewing on YouTube in eight parts.

Prehistory of Rocketry (1/8)
Early Rockets (2/8)
How Rockets Work (3/8)
Space Medicine - Adapting to Space (4/8)
Space Medicine - Dangers in Space (5/8)
Werner von Braun - Designing a Rocket (6/8)
Conquest of Space - Launch! (7/8)
Conquest of Space - In Orbit (8/8)

Watch as they gloss over the use of rockets to bomb Europe during WWII and caution against smoking in space. Man in Space was followed by two other Disney short films, Man and the Moon and Mars and Beyond. Particularly entertaining is von Braun explaining his complicated plan to send a manned spaceship to the moon and back, which involves a permanent orbiting space station — which looks not unlike a giant bicycle wheel — with a crew of fifty and powered by a nuclear reactor.