In December 1957, only two months after the Soviets launched Sputnik, Look magazine presented a timetable predicting the future of American space travel. "If you have a life expectancy covering the remainder of the 20th century, you will live to see man land on the moon," it stated confidently. At the time, the U.S. space program had yet to successfully launch a satellite of its own. Perhaps as a result, Look's timeline was surprisingly cautious.
PILOTED SATELLITE will mark man's first venture into outer space . . . It will come only after long experience with unmanned satellites. Best-informed opinion places the date with the decade 1970 to 1980. Later, manned satellites may be used as "space platforms." Moon rockets could be assembled and launched from such space laboratories. A TRIP AROUND THE MOON in a rocket ship launched either from a space platform or from the earth's surface (depending on technological developments) will be the next step. . . Experts believe that will come in the decade 1980-1990. A LANDING ON THE MOON . . . man's goal for as long as he has had the imagination to think about it, will be made in the last decade of this century. Travel to all these planets will come, but probably not within the lifetime of anyone now alive.Of course, all of these were accomplished by July 1969.