GALLERY OF RARE "MEN INTO SPACE" PUBLICITY PHOTOS AND MORE
Wikipedia on Men into Space:
Men Into Space is an American science-fiction television series
broadcast from September 30, 1959 to September 7, 1960 by CBS which
depicted future efforts by the United States Air Force to explore and
develop outer space. The black-and-white filmed show starred William
Lundigan as Col. Edward McCauley. The series was not set in a
specific era, but clues throughout the scripts indicated that it took
place in the mid-1970s to mid-1980s, with the first moon landing
somewhere around 1975. Props were occasionally futuristic (such as a
forerunner of today's real-life LCD TVs) but the show's earthly clothing
and environs, including automobiles, telephones and other machines,
were decidedly 1950s. However, a line of dialogue in "Christmas on the
Moon," suggests that the events of that episode take place 2,000 years
after the birth of Christ.
Men Into Space was somewhat unusual for a TV action series in that it
had numerous recurring characters, but only one --- the protagonist,
Col. Edward McCauley (William Lundigan) --- who was in each of the 38
episodes in the series. Tyler McVey appeared in seven episodes as Major
General Norgath. Ron Foster appeared five times as Lieutenant Neil
McCauley was a sort of "everyman" character who was viewed in the show
as the most experienced and illustrious astronaut. As depicted in the
scripts, the low-key but decisive McCauley was ubiquitous, assigned to
every important space mission over at least a decade, including the
earliest manned flights, the first flight to the moon, many additional
moon landings and moon base construction missions, construction of a
space station, and two flights to Mars (neither succeeded, and folklore
has it that plans for a never-aired second season would have focused on
further missions to Mars and beyond).
In many episodes, the astronauts were faced with accidents or technical
problems that required innovation. The program was not idealistic;
missions sometimes failed and astronauts sometimes died. For example, a
scientist-astronaut stricken with a coronary thrombosis while exploring
the moon was not expected to survive the G-forces of the return flight,
so his comrades stowed the space-suited patient in a steel drum filled
with water, to cushion him during launch. A "Space Race" episode
involved spacecraft from the USA and USSR starting out almost
simultaneously on the first Mars mission, with one of the craft aborting
its effort to rescue the other craft and crew after it experienced
The series included an episode whose plot essentially paralleled the
ill-fated Apollo 13 mission's explosion in space more than a decade
later, and another that was an uncanny foretelling of the accident that
befell the real Gemini VIII mission in 1966.
Scripts often considered the human factor, and while action was the
show's forte, humor and romance were part of the mix. Men Into Space
predicted women astronauts and scientists, and married couples in space.
The series was advertised as being for its era an extremely accurate
preview of manned spaceflight, based on scientific studies and
buttressed by technical assistance from the USAF's ballistic missile and
space medicine offices. The spacecraft designs, however, veered
inconsistently between early 1950s Wernher Von Braun concepts, and
later, totally scaled-down proposals.[clarification needed] Visual
backdrops and conceptual designs of spacecraft, space stations and a
moon base depended somewhat on contributions from notable astronautics
artist Chesley Bonestell. The series also availed itself of extensive
documentary footage of early missile launches. It evoked the earlier
Disney space exploration documentaries, which in turn owed their look
and feel to a widely read, early 1950s series on the subject in the old
Collier's Weekly magazine, where Bonestell's art also held sway.
Prediction of technologies in use today
Men Into Space, later syndicated as Space Challenge, used for its plots
many technical and human problems anticipated by engineers and planners.
For example, the show depicted attempts to refuel spacecraft by tanker
in orbit, construction of a space telescope, an experiment to dispose of
high level atomic waste by launching it into the sun, the search for
life-sustaining frozen water on the moon, exploration and destruction of
an asteroid whose orbit threatened Earth, and exo-fossil evidence of
Although the series was modestly budgeted, it was cleverly mounted with
what, for its era, were good special effects helmed by Louis DeWitt.
Even decades later, the series can still be appreciated for its
attention to detail and accurate physics.
A narrator explained in nearly every episode why the astronauts needed
magnetic boots to walk in or upon their free-falling spacecraft, how a
jet thruster backpack could propel an astronaut through the vacuum of
space, why a wrong angle of attack could doom a spacecraft upon
atmospheric re-entry, and so forth. The spacecraft in the program were
shown gliding to a powerless landing on a dry lake bed, just like the
real Space Shuttle nearly 25 years later.
On the other hand, the show repeatedly depicted sound in the vacuum of
space. Airlocks hummed, rockets roared, explosions boomed, and footsteps
on the moon's surface could be heard.
The program was produced by Ziv Television Programs, Inc., whose other
notable series included Sea Hunt. The theme and recurring background
music were written and conducted by David Rose. The series was produced
by Lewis J. Rachmil.
Among the guest stars was Keith Larsen of the CBS series Brave Eagle and
The Aquanauts. Joyce Taylor played the role of Mary McCauley in the
series, but Angie Dickinson played the role in the pilot episode. Other
guest stars include Robert Vaughn, James Coburn, Joe Maross, Gavin
MacLeod, Donald May, Harry Townes, Whit Bissell, Simon Oakland, Warren
Stevens, Murray Hamilton, Brett King, Robert Reed, William Schallert,
James Drury, James Best, Nancy Gates, Allison Hayes, Werner Klemperer,
Paul Burke and Marshall Thompson.
Spacesuit costumes and special-effects footage of space vehicles (shot
with miniature models) were later re-used in The Outer Limits. The pilot
episode used real, high-altitude pressure suits developed by the United
States Navy but most of the space suits used in the show were US Air