Retro-future space visions - "2063 A.D.," from General Dynamics Astronautics.

Over at the Paleofuture blog, a post with digital scans of the rare book 2063 A.D., published in 1963 by General Dynamics Astronautics. Snip:

The book asked politicians, military commanders and scientists to speculate as to where humanity would be, a hundred years hence, in the great push towards space.

A copy of the limited print book (only 200 are believed to have been produced) was included in the time capsule at General Dynamics Astronautics headquarters in San Diego. The building was torn down in the late 1990s and the time capsule is believed to have perished. The book gives some great insight into the general sense of optimism that so typifies 1960s futurism. Space colonies? Sure! Martian life? Why not! Teleportation? Easier than commercial space flight!
Link to post with free PDF of scans, and you can buy a print copy from Lulu. (thanks, Susannah Breslin, via


  1. “The book gives some great insight into the general sense of optimism that so typifies 1960s futurism. Space colonies? Sure! Martian life? Why not!”

    Yep! As a kid in the ’60s, I was sure that by now I’d be eating food capsules, vacationing on the moon and flying (literally) around in my bubble-top sports car.

  2. Before the deconstruction of these ‘cold war fortresses’, there used to be a place in Kearney Mesa (an industrial area north of San Diego, Ca where GD had one of it’s main research facilities, called ‘Missile Park’. It had inert engineering samples of many of the Sixties era missile systems that GD produced at that time and they were surrounded by swing sets and slides for children to play amongst the delivery systems for some of the most terrible weapons ever created by humankind.

    I distinctly remember when the demolition of the facility in Kearney Mesa was started in the early 1990’s. The demo contractor left the Atlas missile that was in front of the main building entrance standing until all the buildings around it were leveled. It stood, alone, amongst the destruction taking place around it, like a testament to the destructive power that this system was capable of delivering. It was truly a surrealistic sight to see that gleaming stainless steel behemoth sitting amidst acres of empty ground, where once ‘cold warriors’ had toiled to keep us free from the ‘evil empire’ of Communist oppression.

    Sadly, Missile Park, along with virtually all traces of this era in American Cold War history, have vanished from the San Diego landscape. They have been replaced by non-descript industrial parks -or huge parking lots for new cars being rail-dropped into town- that pay no homage to the struggles of the engineering minds that once toiled within the walls of those ‘freedom factories’.

  3. Greetings


    Well yeah that was before we became a fearful, claustrophobic, goalless and soulless society busy avoiding responsiblity by electing snarky war mongering frat boys and bitching about taxes…

    We have no great goals as we slip into a terrified lassitude

    Mars? That costs TAX dollars! Moon? Not until we’re done with the pillage of Iraq, thank you very much.

    Enjoy the journey


  4. Awesome. I adore old stuff like this, with its shining optimism for a “Jetsons” -like future.

    Then, media like this can be counter-balanced with the macabre artifacts of the bomb culture from the same era. Burt the Turtle ducked for cover while CD proudly showed us how to build ineffective shelters.

    I still have recordings somewhere around here of an old V-8 -powered raid siren, wailing from several miles away in the desert, so ghostly and terrible. Just far enough away that someone in the 60’s would’ve felt their stomach sink with dread before the terrible flash came.

    Optimistic futurism tempered in Cold War paranoia. It was such a weird time, I can’t help but be fascinated by it.

    And uh, sorry to gush here. Insomnia must be getting to me.

  5. hey it’s 2063, we still got time. Don’t give up on the moon colonies just yet…

  6. Missile Park did not disappear, as a previous poster commented. Missile Park is not part of the Toby Wells YMCA at the corner of Lightwave and Overland. It is open to the public. The Atlas missile was moved to the Gillespie Aerospace Museum in Santee, CA


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