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Tom Corbett - Space Cadet was one of the first multimedia sensations. In the 1950s the character had his own radio show, TV series, comic book, breakfast cereal, and a line of young-adult novels. A cross between "Tom Brown's School Days" and Horatio Hornblower (and loosely based upon Robert A. Heinlein's novel "Space Cadet"), the books follow the adventures of Tom and his friends Roger Manning and Astro as they work their way through Space Academy to become officers of the Solar Guard. Along the way they tangle with space pirates, smugglers, and the threat of demerits for breaking the rules. In this volume, we learn how the Polaris Unit first came together -- and how they almost washed out before they got off the ground -- and how their first mission mission went from a training maneuver, to a rescue, to a struggle to survive in the Martian deserts. The authorship of the novels remains unknown -- the credited name, "Carey Rockwell" was a pseudonym created by the publisher -- although the most likely candidates are Joseph Greene (who created the character) and Richard Jessup (who wrote for the TV and radio shows).