Monday, February 11, 2008

James B. Utt on Space Travel (1963)

California congressman James B. Utt wrote a short piece for the time capsule book 2063 A.D., which was buried in 1963.

The honorable James B. Utt first says that he could not even make an uneducated guess as to the future of space travel but then, in true politician form, makes one anyway. His contribution appears in full below.
The Honorable James B. Utt
Congress of the United States

Your request with reference to a prophecy for your space capsule, I can only say that I do not have a Buck Rogers imaginative mind and could not even make an uneducated guess. The cost of escaping gravity will probably always curtail any commercial space travel, but the time will come when the scientists will be able to change the molecular body system and reduce the weight to zero and reconstruct the molecular system at any place and any time. Travel will then be as rapid as the mind can conceive. Personally, I do not look forward to this with any sense of enjoyment

You can find the book 2063 A.D. listed here on Amazon but I wouldn't count on copies becoming available anytime soon. Only 200 copies were printed and distributed to various universities.

See also:
General Dynamics Astronautics Time Capsule (1963)
Broken Time Capsule (1963-1997)
Lyndon B. Johnson on 2063 A.D. (1963)
Edmund G. Brown's Californifuture (1963)


Anonymous said...

Turns out that escaping earth's gravity isn't that big a deal, I guess, but this weightless molecule crap the Hon. Utt is getting off is something else, however. No doubt the Hon., however, was able to make it roll trippingly off the tongue.

On the other hand, it may seem smart when 2063 finally comes around.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Herr Utt had quite the imagination according to the Wikipedia article.

In 1963, he claimed that "a large contingent of barefooted Africans" might be training in Georgia as part of a United Nations military exercise to take over the United States.

In 1963, he also claimed that black Africans may be training in Cuba to invade the United States.

He died in church in 1970. I blame the hippies. Especially the black ones.

Matt said...

If the Higgs Boson is proven to exist, then we might theoretically be able to remove the mass from an object without affecting the molecules in other ways.
So I'd say Mr. Utt was visionary.
Or maybe he'd been talking to the writers of Star Trek, which was surely somewhere in development hell at the time.

Anonymous said... travel is implausible, but changing the molecular structure of the human body is perfectly do-able? Hm. Sort of an odd thought process, I think.