Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"My feeling is that the chance of our surviving into the twenty-first century as working civilization is less than fifty percent but greater than zero."
- Isaac Asimov

Jump Harness  
  A device small enough to be worn as a backpack, that gave booster power for jumping.  

Heinlein does not give any real details as to how this is accomplished. I think the use of the device serves a literary purpose, though; a simple word like "jump" goes well with the teen "cherubs."

"Cherub here!"

A youngster in his teens came dashing up. He was dressed in short full robe, tights, slippers and pigeon's wings.

Boone ordered "Fly up to the Sanctum office and tell the Warden on duty that I want another pilgrim's badge at the Sanctuary gate right away. The word is 'Mars.'"

"'Mars,'" the kid repeated, threw Boone a Scout salute and made a sixty-foot leap over the crowd. Jill realized why the robe looked bulky; it concealed a jump harness.

From Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Putnam in 1961
Additional resources -

Heinlein is not the first author to use the idea; I think that the creators of Buck Rogers also used one in the 1920's.

German engineers created the "Himmelstürmer" (Skystormer) towards the end of WWII. This device allowed jumps of up to 180 feet in length, with a height of about fifty feet.

After the war, the device was turned over to Bell Aerosystems. Wendell Moore, an engineer with Bell Aerosystems in 1953, is credited with the first workable rocket belt. Moore then called the device the un-romantic name of Small Rocket Lift Device, or SRLD. This was the type of jetpack used in the James Bond film Thunderball.


(Bell Aerospace Rocket Belt)

Among the many technical difficulties encountered in real life were a lack of stability in flight and the weight of the propellant.

It's probable that Heinlein took the idea from the Jump Belt, created in 1958 by Garry Burdett and Alexander Bohr of the Thiokol Corporation. Compressed nitrogen gas was used for propulsion; two nozzles at belt level (directed downwards) produced enough thrust to jump higher and run faster. Like Heinlein's jump harness, it was not a true flying device.

For a modern version of a device like this, take a look at Swiss Rocket Man.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 1 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Stranger in a Strange Land
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Stranger in a Strange Land
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Jump Harness-related news articles:
  - Jetpack From New Zealand Takes Off

Articles related to Transportation
Griff 300 Octocopter Carries You And Friend
British Airways To Offer An Ingestible Sensor To Passengers
Vahana, The Airbus Flying Taxi
Hi-Yo Modobag! Away!

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

3D Skin Printer Helps Burn Victims
'Over her lacerated right shoulder he sprayed art-derm...'

Tesla Autopilot's 40 Percent Crash Reduction
''I hope all those other cars are on automatic,' he said anxiously.'

Pent-Up NASA Scientists Simulate Life On Mars
'That gives it complete isolation.'

China Now Has Robot Journalists
'A vast complex electronic organism buried deep in the ground, responsible to no one...'

Relationship-Practicing Robot From Turing Robot
'Streamlined, smooth-working, absolutely noiseless, breath-takingly realistic.'

Cormorant Flying Car
'The cab came floating down out of the sky...'

ElliQ Robot To Help Israel's Grandmas And Grandpas
'The robant and the tiny old woman entered the control room slowly...'

EU Debates Kill Switches For Robots
'I have a mechanism which our autofac on Mars builds as an... emergency safety...'

Scotland Set To Implement Basic Income
'Earned by just being born.'

Sales Robots More Persistent Than Humans
'Robot-salesmen were everywhere, gesturing,,, shrilling...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.