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I read it when I was a kid maybe 25 to 30 years ago. I remember details about how he built it, but not if he/they flew anywhere. Maybe it was built/stored in a cave at the beach??

I don't think it is "Welcome to Mars" or "Rocket Boys". I've google searched quite a bit. Any hints? Thanks

marked as duplicate by Organic Marble, Valorum story-identification Mar 4 '18 at 16:03

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  • 1
    Could it be one of the Mad Scientist Club books? – Patrick Mackey Mar 3 '18 at 0:57
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    It vaguely reminds me of "The New Adventures of the Mad Scientists Club". There was one story about a hidden cave (I believe behind a cliff face or waterfall), and one story about building a UFO to prank the town with. – Bob Warwick Mar 3 '18 at 1:55
  • I may have read these as well, but I don't think this is the one. – Dylan Mar 4 '18 at 1:22
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I'm going to go with "The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet" or one of its sequels.

The kids built the ship with the help of the enigmatic Mr. Bass, and as you mention, stored it on a cave in the beach in Pacific Grove, California. They fly to an unknown natural Earth satellite, Basidium.

Here's the ship in the cave on its cradle:

enter image description here

If you remember details, you may remember the "steady peeping of the oxygen urn"!

enter image description here

These pictures are scanned from my old copies of the books from the 50s and 60s.

  • 4
    This was my first thought as well. – ApproachingDarknessFish Mar 3 '18 at 1:15
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    Ditto -- as soon as I saw the thread title, I wondered if that might be it. (Man, it's been a long time since I read any of those books! Even longer than it has been for Dylan!) – Lorendiac Mar 3 '18 at 1:41
  • Yeah...we read them to our son, but that's been almost 30 years ago! I read them in elementary school first. – Organic Marble Mar 3 '18 at 1:41
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    My mom read me these books in the early 2000's to teach me to read. – ApproachingDarknessFish Mar 3 '18 at 1:47
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    YES! I think this is it! I just ordered a copy and can't wait for it to arrive. I'm actually applying for a job with Blue Origin, and it made me remember this book. – Dylan Mar 4 '18 at 1:21
2

Pick a Heinlein juvenile, almost any Heinlein juvenile...

Rocket Ship Galileo, perhaps? From the Heinlein Society link:

In Rocket Ship Galileo, Ross, Art, and Morrie help Art’s uncle, atomic scientist Donald Cargraves, build a rocket ship and fly it to the moon. There, they discover a Nazi stronghold (this was 1947) and thwart an attempt to resurrect the Reich.

The Rolling Stones? From Wikipedia:

The Stones, a family of "Loonies" (residents of the Moon, known as "Luna" in the book [from the Roman goddess]), purchase and rebuild a used spaceship and go sightseeing around the Solar System.

The twin teenage boys, Castor and Pollux, buy used bicycles on Luna to sell on Mars, their first stop, where they run afoul of local regulations but are freed by their grandmother Hazel Stone. While on Mars, the twins buy their brother Buster a native Martian creature called a flat cat, which produces a soothing vibration, as a pet.

  • thanks, but I don't think its one of these, not ringing a bell – Dylan Mar 4 '18 at 1:23

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