Wernher von Braun: Mars Expedition as seen in 1952

in space •  last year

Wernher von Braun - inventor of Nazi V-2 rockets and father of US Apollo program wrote this book in 1952. This is technical sci-fi novel with flight details. Von Braun's  vision is astonishing: from assembling  spaceships on Earth's orbit, to Mars flight, studying its atmosphere with drones (air bombs as he calls them), landing and finally contact with Martians. In short description of Martian social system we suddenly discover that Martians have a President and call him Elon!!!! Nobody argues that von Braun was on of the greatest engineers, after all all present day rocket thrusters are based on his design from 1940th, but how did he know about Elon?!!! Perhaps, Emmett Brown visited him - they had what to talk about...

In total, there are 280 pages in the book.

To Mars!:

We have landed! Settling....

The Martian government was directed by ten men, the leader of whom was elected byuniversal suffrage for five years and entitled "Elon." Two houses of Parliament enacted the laws to be administered by the Elon and his cabinet. The Upper House was called the Council of the Elders and was limited to a membership of 60 persons, each being appointed for life by the Elon as vacancies occurred by death. In principle, the method was not unlike that by which the College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church is appointed. Usually the Elon chose historians, churchmen, former cabinet members or successful economic leaders who could offer lifetimes of valuable experience. The Council of Elders, however, had but limited authority. Proposed laws could be approved or disapproved as presented, but no riders, amendments or alterations could be voted. The Council of the Elders could stimulate, suggest and test legislation. Its main purpose was not action, but rather to assure the continuity of the basic thought on legislation, as also the protection of that thought. A lower house, the Assembly of Deputies, was devoted to action, for here demands were made and wordy battles were fought. 
The main distinction between the Martian Assembly and analogous terrestrial legislatures was the electoral system. The United Congress of the Earth was composed of representatives regionally elected after the tried and true examples of the formerly great democratic nations. The Martian Assembly of Deputies, on the other hand, consisted of representatives of certain occupational groups. This peculiar electoral system originated in the structure of the entire Martian community which, despite the close relationship between the thinking and feeling of the individual and that of his Earthling brother, yet differed profoundly from the community of Earth. The ancient culture had long since emerged from the age when the welfare of the inhabitants of any region depended upon their being well and powerfully represented in the machinery of government 

The full text is in free access and available as PDF at http://www.wlym.com/archive/oakland/docs/MarsProject.pdf


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