I'm afraid this might be too broad, but I remember watching this old show on US TV (basic cable) in the late 1980's or early 90's, but it looked even older, perhaps from the 1950's to 1970's. Portions may have been in black and white. (or that may be my faulty memory) I don't know if it was a series or a one-off special.

It had segments with a man speaking about the solar system, and the future of space travel. The man was in a science classroom. He explained some concepts and wrote some words on a chalk board. Then the presentation switched to an animation of a space ship exploring the solar system. The presenter explained that this ship is powered by nuclear fusion and is able to scoop up fuel from space. The design of the ship was reminiscent of Star Trek. It had a saucer where the crew lived, and then an engine "tube" extending down from the bottom-middle of the saucer. The tube then tapered back up at the end.

One distinct memory I have is of the ship orbiting Jupiter.

The show may have been interspersed with dramatic sci-fi segments, or the parts I'm remembering might have been short educational segments and part of a longer sci-fi series.

This TV show sparked my imagination in space travel and science-fiction. Does anyone else remember this?

  • Your description of the ship is somewhat similar to the Discovery from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968 movie version), though Discovery had a sphere, rather than a saucer at the nose.. Could you have caught just a short exposition segment of that movie?
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Oct 25 '18 at 17:03
  • It's method of propulsion sounds a lot like Bussard's "interstellar ramjet" which was in vogue in the 70s and 80s. Does ta phrase ring any bells?.
    – Mike Stone
    Oct 25 '18 at 20:42
  • The show style you've described reminds me of The Mechanical Universe (1985-1986), although I don't remember the spacecraft. Do these episodes look familiar?
    – Gaultheria
    Oct 25 '18 at 20:51
  • @Gaultheria The style is certainly similar, although I don't see any episodes about spaceships either. Oct 26 '18 at 13:48
  • How about Carl Sagan's Cosmos from 1980? Here's a clip where he visited Jupiter.
    – BlueGI
    Oct 26 '18 at 16:58

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