By Jack Hagerty and Jon Rogers

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Title: Spaceship Handbook
By: Jack Hagerty and Jon Rogers

$59.95 from the ARA website . Go to website for Shipping & Handling information.  Make sure you mention that you are a cadet from the Solar Guard Academy for a 15% discount. i.e. if you are reading this, you are a Solar Guard Cadet :-).


Spaceship Handbook has landed on the Shores of the USA. For those who have been waiting and watching for the arrival of the " The neatest rocket designs that ever were, that never were" book, the wait is OVER!!! To use an over used word. It is FANTASTIC!!! For those who have followed the development of Spaceship Handbook on the Solar Guard Academy website, you know it has been a long and time-consuming project. The wait has been worth it, the Spaceship Handbook is a fan's delight.

Jack and Jon are fans who have provided a reference book for fans and researchers alike. Spaceship Handbook will be used to look up facts on these "fictional spaceships" AND is a well-researched source about the shows, movies and books that spawned the wonderful travelers of deep space. There is a section on the "Real Thing" with explanations on the basic concept of space flight and the possibility of "atomic rockets". Astro would love this section of the book.

Spaceship Handbook is a FULL sized tabletop reference book with over 500 pages of information and is illustrated with many diagrams, pictures and graphics. Spaceship Handbook satisfies researchers looking for facts, modelers looking for spaceship designs for flight and Space Opera fans who have waited many years for a well-written and researched book on the genre.

Spaceship Handbook includes rockets from the fantastic art of Chesley Bonestell, the Collier's magazine spaceships and the movie and TV spaceships from the 1930's to the late 1960's. The spaceship fleet of the 1950's is well represented with rockets from Captain Video, Space Patrol, Tom Corbett and Rocky Jones.

Jack and Jon consulted both professionals and fans in their research of the Spaceship Handbook. Cadets of the Solar Guard Academy will recognize many names in the forward. Jack McKirgan's excellent design work on the Terra V, Rory Coker's research from Roaring Rockets and mention of other cadets who were consulted for the book are acknowledged with footnotes and direct references.

Thank you Jack and Jon for what is a real tribute to the fictional spaceships that we all grew up with. Your work is appreciated. For the amount of work, effort and research required in getting this book published, the price is a "give away" and books half as good have sold for twice the price. To make things even better … there is a discount to fellow cadets of the Solar Guard. Just mention the Solar Guard Academy and receive 15% off the cover price.

Cadet Jack McKirgan gives Spaceship Handbook a five Solar Guard Academy Rockets rating. Read his Review
A Very Special Christmas Present for All Cadets!
Authors Jack Hagerty and Jon RogersAUTHORS

Jack Hagerty and Jon Rogers have a dream. One that should excite all cadets:

From the back cover of the book:

When the 20th Century dawned, the spaceship was a fantasy. As it closes, it's a commodity. See how one of humanity's oldest dreams become astounding reality.

The driving force behind this evolution was imagination: The imagination of scientists and engineers, the imaginations of authors and artists, the imaginations of movie and TV producers. Despite hordes of detractors and naysayers, their collective vision lifted us off of this planet in these ships of the imagination which lead directly to us making our first actual teetering steps into the cosmos.

Space flight historian and rocket enthusiast Jack Hagerty chronicles the evolution of the spaceship during the century by examining 70 of them: some serious, some whimsical, some terrifying and all fascinating. Jack delves into the background of each design, examining the motivations of and influences on the designers. Each ship is described and analyzed in detail. Each entry includes a data drawing by Jon Rogers sufficient for hobbyists and/or craftsmen to build one of their own.

From Jon Rogers:

I sometimes think that these "fantasy ships" were historically more important than any present historians give them credit for! Without Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, Buzz Correy, Capt. Video, all the Science Fiction pulp stories and comics of that pre Sputnik era, I don't believe we would have had the talent to apply to the Apollo program that we had! Hurrah for the Space Hero's of the Past!! They showed us what the future can be.... Exciting!!!

This is a book that every cadet will love to add to their library and a project worthy of our support. The spaceships of Tom Corbett, Space Patrol and Rocky Jones are special memories for all of us and would be preserved for future cadets in this excellent researched book.

Thanks and Spaceman's Luck to Jack Hagerty and Jon Rogers for remembering those great spaceships of our youth.

A Very Special Christmas Present for All Cadets!
“The Spaceship Handbook”
By Jack Hagerty and Jon Rogers
Review by Jack McKirgan II

Maybe I’m prejudiced….Maybe not. It is certain that I am as excited as a child waiting for Santa Claus! When Jack Hagerty and Jon Rogers announced that they were going to produce a new book that would focus on the spacecraft that defined our concepts of what space travel should be like, I must admit that I was skeptical. So many times in the past, I have purchased books that purported to document the ships of Golden-Age Science Fiction, only to find that they were incomplete, fictionalized or did not even pertain to the subject. The only bright spot was Ron Miller’s “The Dream Machines: A Pictorial History of the Spaceship in Art, Science and Literature”. This book was a near- complete history of real and imagined spacecraft from the earliest printed thoughts on the subject through the beginnings of the Space Shuttle program. Being such an inclusive book meant that it could not be as detailed as I wished that it could be. Enter Jack and Jon…

“The Spaceship Handbook” is a compilation of monographs about the spacecraft that we dreamed of steering through the cosmos. “Real” spacecraft… Not saucers or blobs of plastic laminations on a box. These ships are conceptually flyable! In fact, one of the purposes of this book was to document the history and design of some of the greatest entertainment and imaginative minds of the 20th Century. This was done with the express purpose of providing model rocketeers and static modelers with scale references in order to build and fly those ships which, in the past, only flew on wires or on paper.

Beginning with the real pioneers of transport rocket design, we are guided by Jack and Jon’s well-presented research from the early cinema through the familiar and esoteric designs of the ‘20s and ‘30s, W.W.II concepts, magazine submissions, space opera and hardware of the ‘50s and ‘60s. There is also a section on “real” designs that would have been feasible, if not economical to accomplish. There are no “Star Trek” ships, which are well-documented anyway. However, the inclusion of Supermarionation, Clay-animation and comic book/strip ships is a stroke of genius! How many times have you wished you were flying the “Fireball XL-5”? There are some delightful representations of Tin Tin’s ship, Wallace and Gromit's ship and Myst Island’s beautiful retro machine.

Each subject is given an analysis as to feasibility of design, discrepancies in presentation by the production company, history, anecdotes, personal insights and opinions from fans, historians and even artists. A number of subjects are given in-depth treatment, including complete plot descriptions and explanations of apparent deviations from the credible.

This massive book contains photos and original artwork of the subjects as well as Jon Roger’s fantastic CAD scale drawings of the major ships featured in each story. Are the drawings and text 100% accurate? No, there are some minor errors, but given the fact that it is impossible to be 100% accurate with the absolute dearth of references on many of the subjects, every effort was made to minimize errors.

All in all, this is a wonderful addition to anyone’s library. Is it a complete representation of all of the ships from every source? No. It would require a volume as big as this one just to document the ships of “Space Patrol” and “Dan Dare”. OOPS! “Dan Dare” is not to be found in the book! However, for the non-Anglophiles, “The Spaceship Handbook” will be the definitive tome on this subject for many years to come. I rate this book with five Solar Guard Academy Rockets!

Jack McKirgan II
“Cadet Jack”

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