Lost Media Archive

Drawn ad from a magazine: this is the only visual evidence remaining to this day.

The Young Astronauts was an animated series originally meant to air on Saturday mornings on the CBS channel in February 1986.

Full page ad from 1985, announcing the animated shows that would broadcast starting from fall.

Dealing with space travel, the series was cancelled after the real-life tragedy of the NASA space shuttle Challenger (that disintegrated and caused the death of its crew members) on the 28th January of 1986. It was never shown again anywhere, and there are no known copies of episodes or audio available.

According to a New York Times article that was originally published in August 1985, The Young Astronauts would have been set on a spaceship in the 21st Century, and each episode would have "real astronauts" (possibly live-action) in an educational segment called "Astro-Minute" talking about space-related science facts (including astronomy and gravity). According to some other sources, the protagonist would have been a young boy who was accidentally launched into a space shuttle.

Several sources describe it as being produced by Marvel Productions and the show was once listed on Toei Animation's website as one of their many foreign collaborations with the company.

According to an anonymous commenter on a blog, the pilot episode was actually shown on January 26th of 1986 of CBS, as it was two days before the Challenger tragedy. The anonymous commenter claims that they worked on the series at Marvel Productions and there were a total of 13 episodes made, with only the first one that aired.

An animation cel collector is known to own a cel that he believes is from the program.[1]

Considering that other sources claim to have seen the lone aired episode (and provided the loose description of the young boy accidentally sent into space - fitting the character in the drawn ad), it is possible that at least this episode could have been recorded on VHS by someone.