Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Lunar High Jump (1979)

As promised, today we have a highlight from the 2020 Olympic Games; the lunar high jump. These Games will, of course, take place on the moon.

One of my favorite things about this image is the "special equipment" needed to replace the bar. At first glance I assumed the bubble enclosing the man in the vehicle was to protect him and that air was being pumped in. I then realized that the athletes don't need the same type of protection.

A reoccurring element of the paleo-future is the expectation of superfluous design. That is to say, we make things appear different and beautiful because we can. With a few design modifications the utility vehicle could be much more practical, but where's the fun in that? I guess that's why we fall in love with the future and why dystopian images are that much more jarring.

This image is featured in the 1979 book Future Cities: Homes and Living into the 21st Century (World of the Future) which is a volume in the compilation book The Usborne Book of the Future: A Trip in Time to the Year 2000 and Beyond.

See also:
Olympic Games on the Moon in 2020 (1979)
Sea City 2000 (1979)
Future Cities: Homes and Living into the 21st Century (1979)
Ristos (1979)
The Future World of Transportation


Anonymous said...

I think the bubble is to protect him in case the pole falls on him, perhaps? Or maybe it's just an all-terrain vehicle, and it's used for ref'ing the beach vacuumball competition as well. (Hopefully, they still wear bikinis under their pressure suits.)

Brendan Crain said...

Oh man....can I borrow Future Cities when you're done with it? ;-) That looks like it'd be a fascinating read.

Anonymous said...

14 meters is about 56 feet, which is *far* too high for a high jumper even on the Moon. It's a common mistake: the Moon's gravity is one sixth of the Earth's so you just multiply existing records by six, right?

Not quite. What is being raised by a high jumper is really just his/her center of gravity which is already 2-3 feet above the ground. The CoG then 'pulls' the legs over as it falls groundwards. So for someone 6 feet tall with a CoG of 3 feet, the gain on the Moon would be 6x3 = 18 + 3 (the 3 feet that exist above the CoG) = 21 feet. Still impressive, but not quite 56...

Jules Beesley said...

I remember this one from elementary school. I gorged on these illustrated visions in books, film strips, and Atari packaging. Myspace and Tivo are poor substitutes for ring worlds and lunar olympics.