Table of Contents
The Boy Scouts of America has published Boys'
Life since January 1, 1911. I received it for a couple years in the late 1960s while in the
Scouts. I have begun buying copies on eBay to look for useful articles. As time permits, I will be glad
to scan articles for you. All copyrights (if any) are hereby acknowledged. Here are the
Boys' Life issues I have so far.
1938 was still two decades away from
when America would launch its first Earth-orbiting satellite (Explorer 1,
1958) and three decades from when man would first walk on the moon (Apollo 11, 1969),
yet work was well underway by enthusiastic aerospace engineers, scientists, astronomers,
project managers, and others to accomplish those goals. While this Boys' Life
article boasts of rockets attaining speeds of 800 miles per hour, leaving Earth's gravitational
pull for a trip to the moon would require a
escape velocity of 25,000
miles per hour. Telescopes powerful enough to survey the moon's surface for determining
a safe location for landing were being readied with telescopes like constructed 200-inch
having seen first light just nine years earlier. This type illustrated feature page was
common each month.
Reaching for the Moon
Exploring the stratosphere and literally reaching for the moon is the objective of
the American Rocket Society, Inc., with offices in New York City. Things actually move
so fast in this field of scientific experimentation that almost before a rocket is dispatched
into space, it is made obsolete by an entirely new type that meanwhile has been invented
(1) Here is one of the latest types being adjusted preparatory to firing. (2) At the
proving grounds showing the rocket in position for firing with its charge of liquid fuel
being added. (3) America has devoted most of its attention to liquid fuels, which leave
no spectacular wake of smoke as do the dry fuel rockets of Germany. (4) Dr. G. Edward
Pendray and his associate John Shesta of the American Rocket Society are photographed
inspecting a new type of rocket destined for an interstellar trip. (5) Nearly every other
nation has its group of interplanetary space enthusiasts corresponding to our American
Society; here in Japan enthusiasm runs high as this rocket is launched somewhere outside
of Tokyo. (6) Although this, the most recent rocket launched at the proving grounds by
the American Rocket Society, only reached a distance of ten miles into space, authorities
on the subject of rocketry are convinced that if money and materials were available a
rocket could be capable of reaching the moon. It is estimated that some of the more successful
American rockets have attained a speed approaching 800 miles an hour.
A more intimate method of study of interplanetary
space is fast taking shape in California where, under the direction of the California
Institute of Technology, the giant two hundred inch telescope will be installed in the
observatory now under construction on the summit of Mt. Palomar. This giant telescope
is the largest precision instrument ever built and observers may see objects 1,000,000,000
light years distant from the earth. The telescope, including the mounting, will weight
approximately 1,000,000 pounds. The huge lens or "telescope eye" to be used in this instrument
is the now famous 200 inch mirror, moulded by the Corning Glass Works at Corning, New
York. Tremendous care was exercised in pouring and moulding this mirror. More than 40
tons of glass were drawn and about half that amount poured into the mould. It required
more than a year for this great casting to cool, and it is estimated that is will take
three years to grind in an especially constructed optical shop, at the California Institute
of Technology. (7) shows expert welder at work on frame in the Westinghouse shops in
Philadelphia. (8) shows the frame for the giant lens, giving some idea of its size. (9)
Part of the framework of the telescope as it is being made by the Westinghouse Company.
(10) Dr. George V. McCauley of the Corning Glass Works giving the great mirror a final
observation with a polariscope. (11) A glass model of the great telescope made by the
Westinghouse Company (12) The huge mirror before it was shipped to California where
it is being ground.
How the New 200 inch Telescope Works
We are all acquainted with the common telescope in which a series of lenses is mounted
in a long barrel, which can be shortened by sliding the segments together. This is technically
known as a refractory type.
In building a giant telescope it is impractical to make a barrel long enough to accommodate
the giant lenses. So a system of mirrors is combined with the lenses, and we have what
is known as a reflecting telescope. The 200 inch lens of the new telescope described
on page 18 is actually a mirror.
At right is reproduced an artist's conception of how it will look set up in the observatory,
above is a diagram explaining how it works.
The starlight having entered the open tube is reflected from the 200 inch mirror AA
back to a focal point at B. An observer can reach this point of first focus by bridge
J (Fig. 2). To send the rays to a second focal observation point D (Figs. 1 and 2) a
convex mirror C intercepts the rays from A and B and reflects them down to observation
point D, where Fig. 2 shows a platform suspended underneath the 200 inch mirror. The
rays arriving at D come through a tube fixed in the center of the mirror. The rays may
also be extended from mirror C to E, from E to F, from F to G and from G to H (Fig. 1).
I is another point of focus, and down inside the huge arm (an open section of which
is shown) is a chamber for spectrographic work. These arms on each side of the tube are
parallel to the polar axis. The control board is located at K (Fig. 2). The great housing
running at nearly right angles to the telescope is the counter weight to the telescope.
It permits the giant apparatus to be moved and aimed With delicate control.
Posted May 5, 2012