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The working titles of this film were None Came Back, Rocket Ship to the Moon, and Journey into the Unknown. The onscreen credit reads: "Produced-Written and Directed by Kurt Neumann." According to a news item in Daily Variety, portions of the film were shot on location in Death Valley, California. A red-tinted stock was used for the scenes set on Mars. Modern sources and contemporary news items report that producer Robert L. Lippert rushed the film into production and into theaters to capitalize on publicity generated by Destination Moon, a space exploration story released in August 1950. A press fact sheet contained in the Destination Moon production file at the AMPAS Library, titled "A Slight Case of Mistaken Identity," enumerated the differences between the two films, noting Destination Moon's greater investment of research, production time and money.
According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Lippert Productions was sued in 1954 by writer John Weiz, who claimed the film plagiarized his story, "The Rocket," which was copyrighted in 1944. The outcome of the suit is not known. In 1976, producer Wade Williams acquired the rights to the film and added three minutes of new special effects footage. Rocketship X-M is recognized by modern sources as one of the first films to present a cautionary message about atomic energy, a theme that would later become a staple of science-fiction films. Modern sources add Judd Holdren to the cast.