A long while ago I collected a series of space stickers made by Top Sellers. called the Conquest of Space, they covered the very beginnings of flight right through to space travel. Besides some cool photos and illustrations of spaceships and planes, there was a subset of airline insignia stickers. In the end, I got fed up with shelling out 5p for a pack of five stickers every day and getting a handful of swaps and bought in all the stickers i needed direct from the manufacturers. Among them in the futuristic section was an odd painting of a 'Space Towing Vehicle'.
Not so long ago I discovered an awesome website, Altair IV which later developed into 'Beyond Apollo'. This site covered all kinds of projects that never made it into development by the various space agencies and was a wealth of informed detail on all aspects of the space programme. I contacted the owner, Dave Portree with a view to looking over some of the extant Project SWORD toys to see if there was any correlation between real world designs. Almost immediately, Dave came back with the origin of probably the single most exciting vehicle in the SWORD range, the Nuclear Ferry
Consequently, I have been a devotee of Dave site ever since and check in daily for more fabulous insights into the world of what if ? I'd highly recommend it as required reading for anyone interested in space vehicle design. Just recently, I came across that same image of the Space Towing Vehicle under its real name and function, revealing further surprises. Apparently, the vehicle was a design for a dyna-soar like glider vehicle for a manned mission to Mars.
The resemblance is quite clear and the close up below shows further evidence that Marx designers were looking at speculative designs for environment suits as well.