Friday, July 27, 2007

General Dynamics Astronautics Time Capsule (1963)

The booklet 2063 A.D., published by General Dynamics Astronautics, was placed into a time capsule in July of 1963. It contains predictions by scientists, politicians, astronauts and military commanders about the state of space exploration in the year 2063. The introduction to the book appears below.

This archive records the predictions sealed in a time capsule during ceremonies commemorating the fifth anniversary of the dedication of the General Dynamics Astronautics facility. The time capsule is located on the west ramp entrance of the General Dynamics Astronautics facility at 5001 Kearny Villa Road, San Diego, California. The capsule is to be opened on July 13, 2063.

See also:
The Tricentennial Report: Letters From America (1977)
Tricentennial Report Ad (Oakland Tribune, 1976)
Journey Into Space (Time Magazine, 1952)
Year 2000 Time Capsule (1958)


El Baboso said...

Holy Chowder! My ex-company demolished that facility! I spent a couple of days there doing take offs once. I don't ever remember anyone mentioning a time capsule. It probably ended up in a pile of concrete and was was fed into the crushers to make road base. How very sad.

There was also a "Convair Employees Club," which Google Earth now shows as an empty lot. (GD bought Convair sometime around 1960.) One of the things that I remember from the site was these very well made padlocks with "General Dynamics" engraved on them in a very professional way. The site by the way, was an Atlas missile factory.

It is all very hubristic in a maudlin sort of way. Employee clubs, time capsules, and engraved locks. Folks assumed that it would last at least a century and it didn't even make it 40 years (built in 1957 according to an Internet source I found... we were pretty much done with it by 1997).

Danby said...

According to Google, he address now belongs to Coham Mgmt Corp.

El Baboso said...

All is not lost. GD printed 200 copies and distributed them to major universities:

Its a pity that the closest one is over 200 miles away.

Bonnach said...

I bet you could contact some of the libraries listed at explaining that you wanted to share it with the world and why, that they would make or send you a copy to scan.

I might do that myself if I have time later.

Anonymous said...

When Conavir demolished the factory in the mid-1990s, the capsule was saved and donated to the San Diego Aerospace Museum at Balboa Park. Of course, it was opened and the predicitons were published, takiong a lot of the suspense out of the whole exercise.

The location of the former Convair factory is now a fancy-smancy urban redevelopment, complete with high-priced condos and big office buildings. So goes the story of the aerospace industry in California...

Matt Novak said...

Anonymous- What is your source on that? I was at the San Diego Air and Space Museum a few months back and asked about the time capsule. They had no idea what I was talking about.