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Pinball Feature Story

Pinball and Space Exploration Pinball Feature Story Number VI

The Moon, the Earth, the Cosmos

Forty years ago, on July 20, 1969, 10:56PM EDT, Neil Armstrong became the first human being to set foot on a celestial body other than the Earth. Bally's Cosmos pin from one year earlier depicted a futuristic moon colony in a beautiful backglass, one of my favorites. The world changed when we could finally look at our planet from the far away perspective that the moon provided.

There were many great space-themed pinball games released from the late 1950's through the 1970's, mirroring the enthusiasm that the public at large demonstrated for NASA's conquest of the solar system. Cosmos was but one of them.


Some Space-Themed Games

The following list is by no means complete but includes a lot of the space-themed games made in the USA from the late 50's through to the end of the eletromechanical era. Notice the two games that Chicago Coin came out with in the summer of '69, theoretically capitalizing on the peak of the interest in space travel.

  • Rocket Ship
  • Satellite
  • Rocket
  • Universe
  • Space Ship
  • Friendship 7
  • Moon Shot
  • Apollo/Blastoff
  • Rocket III
  • Cosmos
  • Astronaut (CCM, June 1969)
  • Moon Shot (CCM, August 1969)
  • Space Time
  • Space Lab
  • Space Mission/Space Odyssey
  • etc.

Of more recent creation is Sega's Apollo 13 game from 1995 (a game that I own). It was based on the A13 movie and portrays the dramatic story of that ill-fated Apollo mission to the moon in April of 1970.

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Last updated: July 20, 2009

© Terry Cumming, 2000-2009