The Conquest of Space

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This article is about the 1949 book. For other uses, see Conquest of Space (disambiguation).
The Conquest of Space
Author Willy Ley
Illustrator Chesley Bonestell
Genre Speculative science
The Beta Lyrae binary in the sky of an airless planet, after the painting by Chesley Bonestell.

The Conquest of Space is a 1949 speculative science book written by Willy Ley and illustrated by Chesley Bonestell. The book contains a portfolio of paintings by Bonestell depicting the possible future exploration of the solar system with explanatory text by Ley.

Some of Bonestell's designs inspired the look of George Pal's 1955 science fiction movie Conquest of Space, which also takes its name from the book, but uses it as the framework on which to hang a melodramatic plot. Bonestell's illustrations of the Moon in The Conquest of Space were also used as a basis for Hergé when he illustrated the lunar surface in The Adventures of Tintin comic, Explorers on the Moon.[1]

Of the 58 Bonestell illustrations in Conquest, most were first published in color in magazines.[2]




  • Ley, Willy. The Conquest of Space. New York: Viking, 1949. Pre-ISBN era.