Space Flight – Ten Cents

In 1960, you could drop a dime in the mail and get yourself some genuine space-flight experience! The Science Program was a subscription service, delivering a booklet devoted to a single subject each month. Ten cents was the introductory offer, but future booklets cost a dollar (plus shipping). Subscribers also got posters, star-charts, and other helpful activities to help teach about the varied topics, from nuclear power to cartography.

Take a close look at the date, though: this advertisement was printed on the back of the 27 March 1960 edition of This Week magazine…a full year before the USSR and USA launched their respective manned spaceflights. The potential for wild speculation and amateurish writing was ripe, but the Science Service was above such things. Established in the 1920s, the Science Service was a newswire for scientific thought, sponsored and edited by scientists for accuracy and clarity to the layperson. These booklets were carefully written for accuracy, as much information as they had in the 1960s, and certainly inspired the minds of today’s scientists and engineers. That is, if their parents could come up with a buck a month to keep the sticker books coming.

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One Response to “Space Flight – Ten Cents”

  1. John R Mead says:

    Do you have any idea how tricky it is to try to track down information on the Science Program booklets, especially if you don’t quite remember their name? I subscribed to them as a kid (I was born in 1960), and hadn’t thought about them in decades prior to today, when commenting on a Kickstarter project called them back to memory. Once I found some images via google and had the correct names, it got a bit easier, but your’s is the first site I’ve checked that had information, rather than copies for sale. I eagerly read these cover to cover when they arrived, and I remember carefully placing the stickers in their proper little boxes. I’m sure they are hopelessly outdated now, but at the time, as you state above, they were right on the money. These, and Isaac Asimov’s juvenile science/history books, were formative; my lifelong interest in science and history are the result. Thank you for gathering together this information on this series.

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