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Cover of 'Journey To Jupiter' (UK) Cover of 'Journey To Jupiter' (US)
Gateway cover

Journey To Jupiter

Publishing details:

UK: Faber, 1965, reprinted 1968, in print until about 1975, h/b.
US: Criterion Books, 1966, h/b. [publ. the year after Mission to Mercury]
eBook: Gateway SF, 2020.


Jupiter is the next target of exploration for UNEXA. It proves to be a journey of some months for our team, who get increasingly scratchy as they are cooped up together. Unfortunately, a miscalculation of Jupiter's gravity means that the mission has to be aborted before the planet is reached, and even so there is insufficient fuel to return home. A daring attempt is made to land on Io, and then wait for an opportune moment to set off back to Earth, but Io's surface is a mass of razor sharp pinnacles, one of which damages the ship on touchdown. After repairs are effected Jupiter I lifts off, and Sir George arranges for the Mars III expedition to be diverted to rendezvous with the Jupiter ship and rescue the astronauts.


One of the weaker of the early novels, 'Journey To Jupiter' suffers in that there is no particular motivation for the journey. Also, whereas in previous books the build-up to launch was always enjoyably captured, here the first page of the novel has the final seconds of the countdown! The novel is also somewhat shorter than its predecessors.


'Science fiction at its most exciting.' - Friend

'One never dare believe that Chris Godfrey and his crew will be the first to reach Jupiter, so fearful are the perils they encounter, but at last a landing is made on a hostile surface thickly covered with jagged pinnacles. The ship is damaged, but a courageous attempt is made to return to earth, though there seems no hope at all that oxygen and food will hold out. Will Chris's desperate messages get through to earth? Is there any chance that another ship on its way to Mars will be diverted on a rescue mission? Mr Walters leads the way in space-ship stories for young people, and this book of continual suspense should vastly increase his following.' Eastern Daily Press

'Suspense and near-tragedy in the latest of Walters' SF series, as the three young astronauts head for the giant planet at a speed no one has approached before: the problems are therefore new and deliciously frightening.' Books and Bookmen

'Local author's latest novel - "Journey to Jupiter", the seventh science fiction novel to come from the pen of Bilston author Hugh Walters was published last week (Faber and Faber, 15s0d).

'This is another gripping adventure in which astronaut Chris Godfrey and his three colleagues attempt to take the first manned rocket to the planet Jupiter. Travelling at speeds no spacemen have ever reached before presents them with unexpected problems. First, the astronauts find their sight affected; then one of the fuses in the rocket blows and they caannot see to deal with it. The journey seems so ill-fated that Control decide to recall them, much to their annoyance. But, before this can be done, Control discover that it is already too late; the spaceship is travelling so fast that it seems certain to hit the planet itself.

'What happens when they discover the rocket motors cannot slow them down enough to prevent them crashing into the planet forms the basis of this tale of mounting tension. once again the author has introduced much fascinating, plausible, technical detail, which teenage science fiction fans will revel in.' T.G. Bilston & Willenhall Times 06/02/65
Diagram of Jupiter