Tom Corbett and his friends, Astro and Roger Manning, participate in the most daring undertaking in all space history. While on an experimental trip in the Polaris to test out some new equipment they and Captain Connel learn of a scheme of a pair of notorious space freebooters to steal the rich mineral resources of one of the planet Tara's small satellites. To foil the scheme the members of the Polaris crew themselves land on the satellite with the daring plan to blast it out of Tara's orbit and into Earth's orbit where its valuable mineral wealth may replenish Earth's shortages.
r-class cadets in deep blue, enlisted spacemen in scarlet red, and Solar Guard officers in their striking uniforms of black and gold. Chatting and laughing, they all were entering the great building.
The Polaris unit was well known among other cadet units, and they were greeted heartily from all sides. As Astro and Roger joked with various cadet units, forming up in front of the slidestairs leading down to the mess halls, Alfie turned to take a slidestairs going up. Suddenly he stopped, grabbed Tom by the shoulders, and whispered in his ear. Just as abruptly he turned and raced up the ascending slidestairs.
"What was that about?" asked Roger, as Tom stood staring after the little cadet.
"Roger--he--he said our next assignment would be one of the great experiments in space history. Something to be done that--that hasn't ever been done before!"
"Well, blast my jets!" said Astro. "What do you suppose it is?"
"Ahhh," sneered Roger, "I'll bet it's nothing more than takin
"Tom Corbett" was a joke, and I never watched or read any of the stories. I got these mainly because Willy Ley was the technical adviser for the series, but I hope Rockwell overrode him on things; I know Ley wouldn't have let some of the things pass if he had any control. Rockwell apparently had no idea how rockets worked [Newton's Laws of Motion were totally beyond his knowledge], as were properties of materials: they were going to get rich from copper for electronics uses, even though they said silver was cheap, and silver would be preferable to copper. I'm ignoring the fact that they now use gold [even better] for many electronics purposes. The purpose of the trip to Tara was to test an audio communicator, even though radio waves travel at the speed of light, while their ships are traveling through hyperspace, which allows them it ignore the limitation of light speed [unless I missed something and the communicator used something similar to ignore the limitation].
It's easy to see why Rockwell is ignored when people discuss SF writers. Compare him to H Beam Piper, who wrote at the same time, and see the difference. You can't even compare him to Robert Heinlein, who also wrote "juveniles" in his early years. His ignorance of science makes reading his stories difficult.
I also am dating myself. Read this series when I wan 10. Purchased them for $1.00 at Woolworth's in Dodge City, KS. Downloaded so my two grandsons can have the chance to read them. Science may be different now but the action and characters are great.
OMG! Tom Corbett Space Cadet is back. I'll date myself by saying that I watched the original series on TV in the early 1950s. My favorite was Jan Merlin who played Roger Manning. Like the last reviewer, I read these books and along with "Rip Foster Rides the Grey Planet," they started me on Science Fiction as a young teen. It's fun to re-live the experience now, and good to see other kids can have access to this now naive, but timeless adventure of young friends facing challenges, finding their places in life, and exploring new worlds.
While time has made most of the suppositions about the planets obsolete, these are still readable as good old fashioned space operas. Our uncle gave us a set of these books when I was about twelve and I have read and re-read them many times. I snagged these from usenet a year or two ago and found them a pleasant trip down nostalgia lane.
Sad that these are no longer in print, but not sad that they are now available as ebooks.