From what I recall, it had artwork and the story went as follows:

  • Boy aspires to be astronaut but when he's old enough he doesn't qualify

  • When he's older they start accepting everyone (except the elderly) and he's disqualified again.

Throughout his life his dreams keep evading him.

This short story was set in the future. I do recall there being robots as well. I think initially he wasn't qualified then they accepting everyone for manual labor/colonizing but he was to old to make the trip. I don't recall the main characters name unfortunately. I have a feeling it's an Asimov or Bradbury tale but I could be wrong.

  • This seems quite sparse. Can you remember any additional details? Was it set in the future, for example. Why did they start accepting everyone? What was the main character's name? Why did he flunk out when he was younger?
    – Valorum
    Dec 7, 2014 at 0:43
  • Sounds an awful lot like real life to this guy. But maybe I'm just bitter.
    – Broklynite
    Dec 7, 2014 at 13:26

1 Answer 1


"Requiem" by Robert A. Heinlein (1940), maybe? Reads as a sequel to his book, The Man Who Sold the Moon, but was actually published before it.

The story centers around Delos David Harriman, the lead character of "The Man Who Sold the Moon". Harriman, a tycoon and latter-day robber baron, had always dreamed of going to the Moon, and had spent much of his career and resources making space flight a practical commercial enterprise. Unfortunately, his business partners prevented him from taking the early flights because they could not risk the public face of their company. Now an old man, Harriman has still not been to the Moon, a fact that frustrates him, since he lives in a world where space travel is so commonplace that carnivals have their own barnstorming spacecraft. Although no longer bound by his contractual obligations, he is now too old to pass the medical examination needed for space travel.

Very wealthy, Harriman bribes two spacemen to help him get to the Moon after encountering them at a funfair in Butler, a small town outside Kansas City, Missouri (Heinlein's birthplace), where they sell rides on their old, somewhat run-down ship.

The three of them fight many obstacles, including Harriman's heirs, who want him declared mentally incompetent or senile before he can spend their inheritance. In the end, Harriman finally makes it to the Moon, only to die on the surface soon after landing, content at finally having reached his goal. His body is left there, with his epitaph scrawled on the tag from an oxygen bottle. It is Robert Louis Stevenson's "Requiem", which is inscribed on his own headstone in Samoa.

Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie:
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will!

This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.
  • This sounds like a fantastic story. I don't remember the lead character being a business tycoon or reaching his goal but that could have been lost to memory. I'll pick it up and let everyone know if that's it. Thanks!
    – Danny
    Dec 12, 2014 at 11:56

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