The Conquest of Space (1931)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Conquest of Space
The Conquest of Space (1931).jpg
AuthorDavid Lasser
PublisherApogee Books
Publication date
September 1931 (original)[1]
September 1, 2002

The Conquest of Space is a nonfiction book written by David Lasser in 1930 and self-published in 1931.[2] It was the first book written in English that presented rocketry and spaceflight in a serious manner.[3][4] The book profiles a fictional journey to the moon to explain the science of rocketry as it stood in 1931.[5] It uses contemporary knowledge on rockets to create a reasonable description of the hardware necessary to make spaceflight possible. The book was out of print until 2002, when it was republished by Apogee Books.[4] As of 2011, the book remains in print.


The book was generally well received. The New York Times stated on January 10, 1932 that "despite its literary and artistic faults the book cannot but capture the imagination of a reader interested in science."[4] Harold Horton Sheldon wrote the original introduction to the 1931 edition.[6] Arthur C. Clarke, who wrote the introduction to the 2002 edition, said that the book "was one of the turning points in [his] life."[4]

Despite being published in 1931, it "still stands up to scrutiny"[4] for many of its predictions in rocketry. However, other predictions appear to Larry McGlynn as "quaint" and "naive", among them the use of rockets solely for peaceful purposes.[5]


  1. ^ "Marine Park, Great Kills" (PDF). AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF AERONAUTICS AND ASTRONAUTICS. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 18, 2011. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  2. ^ Lasser, David (2002). The Conquest of Space. ISBN 978-1-896522-92-0.
  3. ^ Huurdeman, Anton A. (2003). The worldwide history of telecommunications. Wiley-IEEE. p. 409. ISBN 978-0-471-20505-0. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d e "The Conquest of Space: Apogee Books Space Series 27". Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  5. ^ a b McGlynn, Larry. ""The Conquest of Space" by David Lasser Apogee Books Edition, 2002". Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  6. ^ Winter, Frank H., Prelude to the space age, The Rocket Societies, 1924-1940, p. 76, retrieved November 22, 2015, As science editor for The New York Tribune, Sheldon was a powerful voice in the promotion of space flight at the time. He also gave his own lectures and wrote the foreword for Lasser's book.