Updated: January 29, 2015
ORIGINAL JUPITER-2 WITH LAUNCH PAD
In 1965, Irwin Allen gave the American television audience his greatest and most cherished
creation, LOST IN SPACE. Mid-1960's Americans were confronted with the cold War, Vietnam,
racial unrest and political turmoil - but the escapist world of LOST IN SPACE treated viewers to monsters, ray guns, space battles and of course, the Robot. Colorful sets, creative scripts, and cliff-hanger endings set LOST IN SPACE apart from other prime time fare. Of course, there cannot be a great science fiction show without great special effects... or a great space ship.
Legendary special effects modelers L.B. Abbott and Howard Lydecker brought to life one of
the greatest marvels of the science fiction world, the Jupiter-2. The Jupiter-2 photos
shown here is the most complete of the four-foot filming miniatures; it was used in all
three seasons, and known as a flying model. In the third year of the show it was modified
to allow a small auxiliary spacecraft to be launched for planetary exploration. First
shown in the episode "Kidnapped in Space", the Space Pod would leave through a two-door
hatch on the underside of the Jupiter-2. Other episodes featuring this particular
miniature's unique hatch opening are: "Hunter's Moon", "Fight into the Future", "Target
Earth", "The Flaming Planet", "Junkyard in Space", and the legendary "The Great Vegetable
This was the only Jupiter-2 to feature this function, and thus is the only miniature from
the show that can be positively identified to specific "on-screen" usage! Of particular
importance, this miniature features the only surviving "Fusion Core Atomic Engine", with
dozens of original light bulbs which provided the spectacular display on the underside of
the Jupiter-2. The ship itself is made of fiberglass and wood, and the Fusion Core is made
of fiberglass with metal fins. The original interior flight computers are still intact,
visible through the main view port, as well as the outline for the main hatch, the two
opening doors for the Space Pod, and the lower level view port. The model retains it's
rough "forged steel" texture and color.
With the conclusion of LOST IN SPACE, this model was used in Irwin Allen's City Beneath the
Sea, being slightly modified with additional windows on the ship's hull to create a "city"
The Jupiter-2 was acquired directly from 20th Century Fox in the early 1970's by Academy
Award-nominated model maker Greg Jein, who carefully restored it to it's original LOST IN
With this original Jupiter-2 miniature also shown here is the original Launch Pad and
Gantries from the pilot episode, "No Place to Hide". (The spaceship used in the pilot was
called the Gemini 12.) The Launch Pad & Gantries are crafted of various metals, with
miniature spotlights & tank-style tracks. The workmanship of these miniatures is beyond
compare, created during an earlier era of special effects modeling, long before the
adventure of computer generated images. Created for the pilot, later use of these props
from stock footage can be seen in the episode, "The Time Merchant".
This Jupiter-2 along with the Launch Pad & Gantries, have been displayed at many science
fiction conventions & museums over the years.
(*) Photos & info courtsey of Profiles in History!