Back in the 1950s, when the allure of space travel captured the imagination of a nation, Collier's magazine fed that desire with a series of articles that outlined in detail how the US would explore the reaches of space. While the scenarios detailed in the magazine over the span of two years didn't come true, it wasn't for lack of talent: Collier's editor Gordon Manning put together a dream team of scientists and artist to bring their vision to readers, a vision that included a 50-man moon expedition by 1964 and a manned mission to Mars not long after.
io9 has a great look at the endeavor, with plenty of detail on each step of the scenario dreamed up by Manning's team — and just as importantly, a wide variety of the original illustrations are included as well. The circular space station, in all its 2001 glory, is a particularly impressive piece of art. Of course, to built the massive structure would have required an estimated launch every four hours at the height of construction. For all the details behind this wildly ambitious and visually stunning space exploration that was not to be, head on over to io9.