A Spaceship Has Landed On Earth

A Spaceship Has Landed On Earth

The last Space Shuttle mission took off today. And that reminded me of this.

In October 1978 I bought a copy of the first edition of OMNI. Apparently I didn’t have enough money to make it a regular purchase because that’s the only copy I ever bought. I still have it.

There was one page that I remember making a big impression on me. And it was the Rockwell advert I’ve scanned and uploaded above (there’s a larger version on Flickr). The headline on the advert is printed backwards as it’s supposed to have been printed using special ink so that you can iron the design on to a t-shirt. I have no idea if that worked as I didn’t want to cut up the magazine in order to try it out. There’s certainly something different about the ink on that page though – it’s leaked through to the following page in a way that none of the other pages have.

I wish someone sold t-shirts with that design on. I’d buy one. Wouldn’t you?

I wonder how the sixteen year old who bought that magazine would have pictured the world of 2011. In many ways we have technology that he would never have dreamt of. But in other ways he would have been bitterly disappointed. There’s no way he would have believed that he wouldn’t have travelled in any kind of spaceship in the next thirty-three years.

OMNI was last published in 1995, although it remained as a web magazine until 1998. The web site was finally closed down in 2003.

Rockwell sold off various businesses in the 80s and 90s. In 2001 what remained was split into two companies – Rockwell Automation and Rockwell Collins.

The Space Shuttle made its final flight in 2011. No-one is sure what, if anything, will replace it.

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