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Reed Richards designed and built his experimental Marvel-1 rocket in Central City, California. The rocket was equipped with an experimental hyperdrive. The ship carried Richards, pilot Ben Grimm, Sue Storm, and Johnny Storm to the stars in their infamous unauthorized test flight which led to them being bombarded by cosmic rays and becoming the Fantastic Four. It had inadequate shielding and was destroyed during a crash landing outside Ithaca, New York.[3]

Its wreckage was eventually donated to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.[1]

Alternate Reality Versions[]

Image Description Issue
Earth-8212 from What If? Vol 1 36 001 On Earth-8212, Reed Richards decided to wait and do the rocket launch by the books with proper shielding. As a result, the mission was a success and the Marvel-1 became a cornerstone of Earth's burgeoning space industry. Consequently, it also meant that Reed and his team was never exposed to cosmic rays and developed superpowers. What If? #36
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Earth-9591) from Ruins Vol 1 2 001 On Earth-9591, Reed Richards’ ship was given the ironic name of Astraea ("star-maiden" or "starry night"), the Hellenic goddess of innocence and purity. This version of the rocket went into space with Earth-9591's Victor von Doom as pilot instead of Ben Grimm, who had refused due to a lack of lateral motors. Richards, Sue and Johnny Storm, and von Doom were all mutated by the cosmic rays, but all went into shock and perished shortly after crash landing back on Earth, their bodies being unable to adapt successfully to their new powers. Ruins #2
On Earth-78909, Marvel-1 had a more unique design and was flown by a crew of only three – Earth-78909’s Reed Richards, Sue Storm, and Ben Grimm. Otherwise, just as on Earth-616, the ship was exposed to cosmic radiation which mutated its passengers, then crashed back to Earth. It is implied, however, that the radiation somehow affected the ship’s electronics systems as well, resulting in the creation of the robot H.E.R.B.I.E. Fantastic Four
On Earth-94000, Reed Richards’ triangular space shuttle was built to examine a passing comet up close, protection against cosmic rays being provided by equipment linked to a giant diamond that would absorb and retain the radiation. Unfortunately, the gem was stolen and replaced with a replica by the Jeweler, a homeless master thief who wished to impress a woman he’d been stalking. As a result, Reed Richards and his companions were irradiated by the comet, which they found gave them super powers after crashing back to Earth. Fantastic Four
Marvel-1 from Fantastic Four Vol 1 605.1 Cover On Earth-98570, Marvel-1 resembles its Earth-616 counterpart. Due to Nazi Germany's victory in World War II, the rocket was launched as part of the Nazi space program. Reed Richards couldn't solve the problem on how to shield the rocket from cosmic radiation. After surgically adding a portion of Viktor von Doom's brain to his own, he gained a new perspective and chose to have the shielding focus the rays into the rocket instead of deflect them, resulting in Reed, Ben Grimm, and Jonathan and Susan Sturm gaining superpowers. Fantastic Four #605.1
On Earth-121698, Marvel-1’s equivalent would appear to be a standard space shuttle of the variety designed by private space companies, likely by Von Doom Industries. Interestingly, it was the inadequate shielding of von Doom’s space station, not the shuttle, that allowed the radiation of a cosmic storm to mutate that reality’s Fantastic Four, as well as Dr. Doom. Fantastic Four
On Earth-135263, events occurred similar to those on Earth-121698, and a scientifically advanced spacecraft designed by Reed Richards took him and his companions to an inadequately shielded space station where cosmic radiation affected them. Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes
Marvel-1 from Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four Vol 1 25 001 On Earth-200782, Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm traveled into space and were exposed to cosmic radiation. The radiation affected the germs in Reed's, Johnny's, and Ben's bodies, mutating them into disease that wiped out all the men on Earth, including them. Sue's exposure to the radiation mutated her into a Thing-like form. Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four #25
Marvel-1 (Earth-523003) from What If Doctor Doom Had Become the Thing? Vol 1 1 0001 On Earth-523003, Doctor Doom helped to design Reed Richards’ space shuttle, which was named the Stormrider. As a result, it was intended as a death trap for Richards, his fiancée Sue, and Sue's younger brother, built with inadequate shielding but for a collapsible suit of armor built into von Doom's chair on the flight deck. Unfortunately for him, not only did Richards and the Storms survive and inherit superhuman powers as in the mainstream reality, but Doom’s armor concentrated the radiation he was exposed to, rapidly transforming him into a rock-like being whose monstrous appearance infuriated the vainglorious Doom. The Stormrider came to a crash-landing in the New Mexico desert within sight of a military base, where Doom's continued attack upon his former partners caused Sgt. Grimm to be mutated by gamma rays into a Hulk-like being, thus resulting in a somewhat different permutation of the Fantastic Four. What If Doctor Doom Had Become the Thing? #1
On Earth-534834, Reed’s spacecraft was designed much like a standard space shuttle configuration, with a specially designed orbiter vehicle carried into space by a single external tank which was ejected once in low orbit. As in the mainstream universe, the crew were affected by radiation and the spacecraft returned to Earth, crashing along a beach rather than in the wooded areas of Ithaca. Fantastic Four
In Earth-700089, Marvel-1 implicitly suffered a similar fate to its Earth-616 counterpart, crash landing after flying through cosmic radiation which mutated its crew. This version was designed in a manner similar to the Fantastic Four’s Intercontinental Passenger Missile but with extended wings. Fantastic Four
Marvel-1 from Fantastic Four Vol 2 1 001

Marvel-1 from Fantastic Four Vol 2 1 002
In the "Heroes Reborn" reality, Reed Richards' spaceship, called the Excelsior, is equipped with a "quantum drive" for interstellar travel and was designed to study a mysterious stellar anomaly (later revealed to be this reality's Silver Surfer). Originally built by a collaboration between NASA and the Storm Foundation, the Excelsior was seized by agents of Dr. Doom posing as S.H.I.E.L.D., renamed Contact One, and loaded with nuclear bombs under the pretense that the stellar anomaly had been declared a threat to national security. Escaping their holding cell at the launch site, Richards, Major Ben Grimm, and the Storm siblings attempted to follow Contact One in a prototype spacecraft, despite the inherent danger since the prototype did not have the completed model's shielding from radiation. Transfixed by readings coming off of the anomaly as it appeared, they were unable to stop Contact One from delivering its atomic payload. Bathed in cosmic radiation released by the anomaly as a reaction, the Excelsior prototype crashed on Monster Island in the Caribbean, where the surviving astronauts discovered they had been mutated. Fantastic Four (Vol. 2) #1



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