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Rare Soviet Retro-Future Space Art 162

abramsv writes "A collection of the most inspiring and hard-to-find retro-futuristic graphics from rather unlikely sources: Soviet & Eastern Bloc 'popular tech & science' magazines, German, Italian, British fantastic illustrations and promotional literature — all from the Golden Age of Retro-Future (1930s to 1970s)."
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Rare Soviet Retro-Future Space Art

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  • obvious (Score:1, Funny)

    by User 956 ( 568564 )
    A collection of the most inspiring and hard-to-find retro-futuristic graphics from rather unlikely sources: Soviet & Eastern Bloc 'popular tech & science' magazines

    In Soviet Russia, future finds you!
    • Re:obvious (Score:5, Funny)

      by flyingsquid ( 813711 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @04:07AM (#21489601)
      The present was so much cooler in the past...
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        > The present was so much cooler in the past...

        As Tales of Future Past puts it:

        "It wasn't that long ago that we had a future."

        http://davidszondy.com/future/futurepast.htm [davidszondy.com]
        • by morcego ( 260031 )
          > "It wasn't that long ago that we had a future."

          An optimist thinks we live in the better world possible.

          A pessimist fears that is indeed true.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          > The present was so much cooler in the past... This reminded me of one gallery with soviet architecture - colossal projects that were never built. http://www.muar.ru/ve/2003/moscow/03e.htm [www.muar.ru] - not really space art but very retro-futuristic nevertheless.
      • What I don't get is why, in one picture, the earth in the background shows the Americas and not the USSR. This makes no sense unless the guys in the rocket ship were flipping the bird to the USA.
      • "The present was so much cooler in the past...""

        It was indeed. Look at the 1939 World's Fair in NYC....look at the art, the exhibits, the buildings. Look at the Trylon and Perisphere. Look at each company's building. It was all a prediction of how they hoped the future would look, a prediction that was dazzling and brilliant to people still recovering from the great depression. Everything in art and architecture and engineering from the 30's until the war was a way of looking forward while not ignoring the
  • Verb? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Harmonious Botch ( 921977 ) * on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @04:09AM (#21489605) Homepage Journal
    Ok, Dawson, it's late; but can't you put a verb in there someplace?
  • What "rare"? This looks like clones of old science fiction magazine Analog/Astounding [analogsf.com] covers [vinylzart.com].

    • by eleitl ( 251761 )
      Technika Molodezhi was a very popular teenger magazine.
      I recognize at least one of the front covers from the 1970s that Dark Blend posted.
    • I have a bookshel full of this sort of stuff, love it.

      All I needed to do to collect it was get a good relationhip with my local antiquarian bookshop (chocies on the holidays, stuff like that). They have a list of the things I like and bid for interesting books at auction because they know I'll buy it.

      The contents usually pretty good too. Back in that era you find a lot of scientists elaborating on their idea's of space travel and aliens using a medium that held no risk of peer ridicule. It's surprisingly in
  • Unlikely sources?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by G3ckoG33k ( 647276 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @04:19AM (#21489655)
    Why "unlikely sources"?! The Russians were the first in space after all.
    • by evanbd ( 210358 )
      Depending on your definitions, the Germans were first. The V-2 was suborbital, though obviously unmanned.
      • Tradition states that only a manned launch is considered a "first" for gloating purposes. If you count unmanned launches, then the Soviets were first on the Moon [wikipedia.org], Mars [wikipedia.org], and Venus [wikipedia.org].
    • by apt142 ( 574425 )
      I think what they were referring to as unlikely was not so much the subject matter but the actual art itself. Soviet Russia wasn't the most artistically permissive regime.
  • Those images are sad. It's so easy to imagine the future, and so hard to reach it...

    It's depressing to think we'll be long dead before humanity finally understands the universe.

    Space travel, immortality, living in far planets, knowing the origin and the end of all, and, most of all, contacting an alien intelligence and culture if there is one.

    However, I do feel lucky for living in an era of enlightenment and fast technological evolution. A mere two or three centuries in the past, I'd have seen the same adva
    • Take solace in that: Humanity will be long dead before the universe is understood
    • by mrjb ( 547783 )
      It's depressing to think we'll be long dead before humanity finally understands the universe. Space travel, immortality, ... Take some mianserin [sciencedaily.com] then. It might not make you immortal but it might increase your life span. Even if it doesn't, at least you won't be depressed over it anymore.
    • by llirik ( 1074623 )
      The more you know, the more you understand how little you really know. I don't think we'll ever learn "origin and the end of all".
    • Do you think the Universe is flat? Well we will never know.
    • by vwjeff ( 709903 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @09:41AM (#21491225)
      Those images are not sad, they are wonderful. Images like those show hope and imagination. What's sad is looking at a generation of individuals (including me) that do not dream about exploration.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by SCHecklerX ( 229973 )
        I blame personal computers and the Internet. Focus has shifted from artistic dreaming around future engineering (even to the point where you would use a computer not connected to a network, creativity with the computer was still much higher than it is today, since you came up with your own ideas, rather than looking it up on the internet) to instant messaging and web pages. I, too, am guilty of this as a guy who followed his childhood dreams up to even getting the degree in Aerospace Engineering, but then
        • by ashitaka ( 27544 )
          Add mass media to that. Although we had also our fantasy vehicles (Thunderbirds, etc.), these would spur us on to greater realms of imagination as here was the future as it might be and we were the ones who were going to design it.

          Now, the state of entertainment has reached such high levels of realism that we know it is absolutely impossible for us to replicate that level and the real exploration done seems frighteningly mundane and remote. Yes, we have robots exploring the surface of Mars, but they do it
    • by mstahl ( 701501 )

      we'll be long dead before humanity finally understands the universe

      Says who? I recall reading that many notable scientists in 1961 said that man would never reach the moon. Didn't take long for them to eat those words. I really hope—and I promise I mean you no offense when I say this—that we'll make it far enough in the next few years for you to eat yours, too. I know it's hard, but optimism just feels great sometimes when you can scare some up.

      I guess the only way to find out is to wait and see. Just, you know, try not to die too soon ;-P

  • Imaginative... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gethoht ( 757871 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @04:33AM (#21489711)
    What happened to mankind's fascination with space? These pictures are awesome to me not because of their scientific validity, but because they are a reflection of the way that mankind used to dream of the stars.

    While great sci-fi is by no means limited to a distant past(thank you gaiman, stephenson, etc...), it is seems that space travel just isn't that romanticized in today's cultures. Have we stopped dreaming of an extraordinary not-so-distant future?
    • by RuBLed ( 995686 )
      I believe the Japanese had not....
    • Re:Imaginative... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by FST777 ( 913657 ) <frans-jan AT van-steenbeek DOT net> on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @05:54AM (#21490033) Homepage
      The Cold War is over.
    • Fell victim of dumbing things down. Stupid society is easier to control and has lower expectations. Interest in science tends to make people smarter. Making science, learning etc unfashionable lowered the supply of smart people, and the consumer industry drained the remaining human resources leaving nearly none for actual science.
    • Agreed 100% (Score:2, Interesting)

      by coder111 ( 912060 )
      When I look at those pictures it makes me sad and very mad at the same time.

      What happened to humanity? We used to dream about bright space future, flying cars, scientific progress and stuff like that. And we had hope to achieve all of this if we put enough effort into it. And now I think we lost that hope.

      I don't see people dreaming about anything more than getting a million dollars and doing 2 chicks at the same time...

      And you can bash soviets all you wish, but they had one thing right- the educat
      • by Shohat ( 959481 )
        It's because we don't have breakthroughs anymore, just slow, normal , progress. We are in the modern dark ages. We are using the same engine, same types of energy, same methods of flight and construction, same communication methods and machines. We are just contstantly improving them, nothing more.
        We don't have flight, radio, nuclear power, combustion kind of progress... we have flat screens instead of normal screens, a smaller mobile phones, we are going from analog to digital, etc... People don't do brea
        • Heh, that might be partially true. However I'd like to see a graph of "breakthroughs" produced each decade. I don't think current decades would fall far behind. And we'd have to agree on the definition of "breakthrough". Maybe its just that current breakthroughs are less visible, less flashy.

          However, there are also things called "disruptive technologies". Maybe they are not "breakthroughs" per se, but they do change the way we do things. Internet is one of them. Mobile phones is another. I really like id
        • Re:Agreed 100% (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Stefanwulf ( 1032430 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @08:51AM (#21490835)

          We are in the modern dark ages.

          I'd argue against that. In my lifetime (since the late 1970's) I've seen amazing progress. Cars have started using different engines on a wide scale for the first time since the early 20th century, plausible theories of physics have been advanced to unify quantum mechanics and relativity, and parents walking through the subway have to explain to their young children that all phones used to have cords like the ones on the wall.

          The world has been connected in a way never before seen via the internet, and embedded computers are making AI pervasive, easing many day to day tasks, from a car that parks itself to a phone that knows what word I want to type based on past usage patterns, or a camera that can recognize faces. Those that aren't embedded are displaying their imagery on screens which are not only made of an effectively heatless light source, but one which we are now growing organically. Every day I read stories selected automatically from hundreds of newspapers, and for better or worse robots have begun fighting for us in wartime. I walk around with thousands of hours of music in my pocket, and what's playing can be altered at the touch of a button, even automatically selected to suit my mood.

          The introduction of the FMRI and MRI have allowed us to safely look inside a persons head without opening it up (which if you think about it is truly amazing), and to see with such detail and precision that we can follow distinct tracts of neural connections (diffusion tensor imaging) or watch the patterns of thought activity play across a living human brain (FMRI). The Poincaré Conjecture was proven after stumping mathematicians for a hundred years, and new construction materials are allowing us to build ever grander and more elaborate buildings, of a scale that dwarf the skyscrapers of the previous century. People can don gloves and climb walls like geckos. We have mapped the human genome and brought cloning from conjecture into reality.

          If we go back a bit before my birth, we began to take people's failing organs out and replace them with new ones, or with artificial ones we have made ourselves. Now we can alter blood types and revitalize failing systems with stem cells. If you suffer nerve damage and are rendered blind or deaf, we can wire sensory devices directly into your brain to bypass the affected areas. We have eradicated smallpox and invented plastics, not to mention the introduction of home refrigeration. Containerization revolutionized the shipping industry, allowing me to eat whatever food I want at any time of year, without regard for growing seasons. We understand how continents form, and that the earth moves beneath our feet.

          This is an amazing time, and breakthroughs are happening every day. Many of us just don't see them, because of the sheer volume we encounter, and the rate of change we have become accustomed to.

          • I'm also guilty of posting a "we live in mundane times" missive in this thread (albeit related to space exploration) but you are right, we aren't seeing the forest for the trees. We take as granted things that were science fiction dreams just a couple of decades ago.

            From time to time I will catch myself thinking "Wow, we are now finally living in the real future" as imagined in the Sci Fi pulps of the past. Step back a bit and take a look at through the eyes of someone from the 50's or 60's. [apple.com]

            The huge, fla
          • I think people are pretty bright and happy about technology and medicine. Every year is the year of the linux desktop and every year MS gets closer to defeat.

            On the flip side, I think people are more skeptic about a bright and happy social future. While the nerd population is getting more educated than ever before, it seems the majority of the population is as ignorant as always. There is a growing divide between us. There is also the fact that governments and leaders always slightly corrupt or stupid (o
          • by MrKaos ( 858439 )
            All tell-tale signs that we have commenced the 21st Century however for many in the third world those technologies are still not accessible. Their way of living still hasn't changed much and if anything has gotten worse due to the first worlds voracious use of resources required to support our "advancement".

            The issue of course is resources that can only be accessed from space to support "advancement" that brings us out of mediocrity, because for all of those excellent advancements you cite, we still live a

      • by Eivind ( 15695 )
        I don't think dreams are any smaller or larger than they used to be, most likely you're just older than you used to be -- 15-year olds have "larger" dreams than 30 year olds, because they're less likely to reject dreams on the basis of unlikeliness and/or hard-to-reach goals.

        How about "Provide the sum total of human knowledge for free to every human being, in every human language" for an ambitious dream ?

        How about a network and a laptop for every child ?

        How about reducing by half the proportion of humans su
      • by tgd ( 2822 )

        What happened to humanity? We used to dream about bright space future, flying cars, scientific progress and stuff like that. And we had hope to achieve all of this if we put enough effort into it. And now I think we lost that hope.

        I don't see people dreaming about anything more than getting a million dollars and doing 2 chicks at the same time.../quote>

        WTF, I don't get flying cars, space ships, a million dollars or two chicks at once.

        I can't even have a good present, much less future!

    • Re:Imaginative... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tgd ( 2822 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @08:56AM (#21490863)
      What happened? For a long time people's lives were getting better as time progressed. Life was easier, less stressful, healthier. Science and technology were improving the world in very real ways that were visible to people all the time.

      Now we live in a polluted world of mass-media violence, government oppression; people have lost all the power they believed they once had. Education is not valued; the long term doesn't matter.

      When those "retrofuture" pieces were being produced, there was a real sense around the world that tomorrow was going to be better than today.

      Who here honestly thinks tomorrow is going to be better than today? Who here honestly thinks their kids are going to live in a world better than we are?

      That sort of mass human space exploration was a powerful vision of where the future was leading back then... whereas these days something between Mad Max and Bladerunner is probably more accurate.

      Times have changed, thats what happened to mankind's fascination with space.
      • >What happened? For a long time people's lives were getting better as time progressed. Life was easier, less stressful, healthier.

        When was this? Looks like you are dealing with the fallacy of idealizing a fictional past, like how Americans look back at the 50s as being like Happy Days but in reality was a socially a pretty nasty place to be: segregation, conformist conservative values, etc.

        Even the oldest dams caused environmental problems, but the benefit of draining an area to humans was worth it to th
      • by Pecisk ( 688001 )
        You saddened me, but only because you are completely right. As human being it is hard for me to watch that people allow themselves to "encode" paranoia message in their brains, just because then they are better consumers, less trouble makers, etc.

        Interesting question is - why? When visionaries and pioneers in politics where replaced by rightous selfish short-sighted and what's worst, stupid junkbags (not everywhere, not all the time, but it is close)?
    • Re:Imaginative... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Sleepy ( 4551 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @09:12AM (#21490997) Homepage
      >What happened to mankind's fascination with space?

      Because in space, there are no runaway ex-CIA generals to capture, and no oil.

      It's revisionist to suggest that the space race had anything to do with science or education or exploration. Sure, 99% of the people WORKING on the project felt so... but it was a military project in civilian clothing. It took a LOT of pressure by NASA workers to get one token scientist on the moon mission... and in one document, he lightheartedly referred to outsider treatment because he was an egghead and not a combat pilot.

      For the price or the Iraq war, we could afford solid missions to the moon and Mars. The damage done to the present and future economy by the neo-cons like Cheney will not be understood until someone else has to pay for it. It is a sad chapter in US history that we elected these neo-cons, who had vested interests in bankrupting the USA and many of which carry "dual passports".

      There will be a space race again all right... led by China. The USA will react, but will be so poor that they have to outsource the shipbuilding.
    • "It's only been half a century since we developed powered flight, and we're on our way to the Moon" is inspiring.

      "It's been half a century since we went to the Moon, and we're having trouble just putting a little space station in Low Earth Orbit" is depressing.

      Or as someone else summed it up: "The Cold War is over." Nobody who could afford to build orbital spaceships ever really wanted to, not when making really big ICBMs was all it took to embarrass the Soviets, and certainly not after our first spaceship
    • What happened to mankind's fascination with space? These pictures are awesome to me not because of their scientific validity, but because they are a reflection of the way that mankind used to dream of the stars.

      The Internet happened.
    • by sootman ( 158191 )
      I agree--I've always loved this stuff. I'll have to dig out my copy of Yesterday's Tomorrows [amazon.com] when I get home.
  • Why the hell has no one made even the most rudimentary moon base yet? Damnit I want to see people living on another celestial body before I die.
    • Why the hell has no one made even the most rudimentary moon base yet? Damnit I want to see people living on another celestial body before I die.
      Me too. I'll start a list of people I'd like to see living in the sun.
  • View of Earth (Score:2, Interesting)

    Did anyone else notice that the only image with a view of Earth still featured the Americas, instead of Mother Russia?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MrNiCeGUi ( 302919 )
      Are you looking at the same images? Besides that image of the Americas, which does not appear to be from the same set as the rest of the scans, I counted at least two views of Eurasia and one of Australia.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by earthpig ( 227603 )
      there are four earth views that are easily identified.
      "Lunar Unicycle" by Frank Tinsley, 1959 - pacific ocean
      (TM cover, Russia 1953) - Africa Europe
      "Nuclear Rocketship" by Frank Tinsley, 1959 - Africa Europe
      (image credit: retro-futurismus) - Americas
  • In http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1128/1058108337_46491e437c_o.jpg [flickr.com], they show North and South America. I would have guessed them showing Eurasia.
  • Nostalgia (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pecisk ( 688001 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @06:06AM (#21490073)
    I have to admit, although U.S.S.R. and so called "Bolshevism" has written lot of dark pages in history while building "Communism", those dreams about future when humanity together working to defeat universe at least in subjective scale, expressed in these pictures and stories from Stanisaw Lem and other soviet sci-fi writers are which I am more found of. Yes, western sci-fi usually spells more doom and gloom, power of coorporations, profit over science and discovery, etc. Both "schools" have beatiful exceptions, like Lem sci-fi fairy tales or "I, Robot" series by Isaac Asimov. When I think of sci-fi, I usually think of "The Magellanic Cloud". This novel from then-young Lem is something I still fill very exceptional. In Soviet times it was published in so called "Winning Communism edition", but after collapse of Eastern Block it was published in non-tweaked edition, as Lem said first edition was too rosy about communism. What I like about it is that even in old version Lem touches (but only touches) issues of conflict as aims of society vs. aims of personality, as it challenges people who try to reach only closest star system. In some way, it is similar to western sci-fi - it doesn't say anything nice about way the Western lives and how it ends. But as socialist Lem of course tries to provide alternative. Of course, big question is - is this possible.

    Anyway, what I wanted to underline that so called "Socialism in space" was more than propaganda, it had different mind set, and sometimes it was for me as small boy easier to connect to those stories with all scientific stuff and challenges of scientists against their egos and needs. Also they definitely tried to imagine how life of people would be in future, how social and moral elements change - for good, of course. While Western sci-fi (as it holds roots more in Scepticism) bashes human nature and don't find escape from it, however there are lot of funny and hopeful authors. I still wait for sci-fi who would embrace both of these - western and "socialist" styles. That would definitely exciting to read.

    In resume, I really miss sci-fi which could inspire and lift up, not just show future from very pessimistic point of view. Yes, we as humanity has huge issues, starting with problem to lacking people who value humanity over their egos, who work together with others to achieve something. It is not said that everyone should work and live together as brothers, but at least we should not try to kill each other because of small petty differences.

    Just my two euro cents,
  • Tintin inspiration? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ruben3d ( 859906 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @06:16AM (#21490113) Homepage
    This image [flickr.com] from the article reminds me of Tintin: Explorers on the Moon [wikipedia.org] published in 1954, a year later.
  • by dgun ( 1056422 )
    The x-ray glasses advertised in the back of those science mags don't work.
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )
      The x-ray glasses advertised in the back of those science mags don't work.

      Strangely, those made in Chernobyl *do* work.
  • I wish I could remember who did them. Lovely "space scenes". I also wish I still had some of the catalogues, but not half as much as how much I wish Maplin still stocked the goodies they did then.
    • Indeed, not to mention Cirkit, who stocked Toko coils and other such useful goodies. In fact, ISTR Cirkit's catalogues were more than a bit spacey. Of course, all this nostalgia is a bit like the feeling of being on the cutting edge when pulling down Telesoftware from Ceefax...
  • The pieces identified as:
    image credit: Klaus Burgle
    TM cover, Russia 1953
    and "Nuclear Rocketship" by Frank Tinsley, 1959

    really remind me of some of the artwork from 2001: A Space Odyssey. At least the artwork I remember being on the album for the movie. I suppose there just aren't many ways of seeing people standing around on the moon!
  • Looks a bit.. funny [flickr.com] Or maybe it's just my dirty fantasy.
    • That's ok, the second picture [flickr.com] in is highly phallic and suggest the penetration/piercing of a vagina shaped nebula.
      I probably wouldn't have noticed but it didn't take much imagination at all.
  • by Wiseleo ( 15092 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @08:59AM (#21490889) Homepage
    I recognize quite a few of those illustrations.

    That's what partially inspired me to go into tech in the first place. I wanted to make those images a reality.

    An interesting piece of trivia - pictures credited with TM were published by the official magazine of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. This magazine was targeted at teens. Among other things, we had ZX80 source listings, MK61 programmable calculator listings, and so forth. Those were simple games that I would have to painstakingly type in on my MK61 calculator in RPN notation. Yet they taught me the principles of directly addressing a microprocessor. I had a subscription to many of these magazines since I was 5. Yet now in US we are experiencing a rapid decline in science education. It sounds unthinkable that Whitehouse would sponsor something like this, even though the expense would be trivial and would promote agencies like NASA. Something needs to happen before we wind up a 3rd world country due to lack of science, lack of big dreams, and apathy. That's precisely what USSR did. Even though the scientists were paid miserly wages, the children were inspired to get involved in building the future. I don't ever see big dreams promoted in the US. Everything is compartmentalized, processed, antisocial, and really not inspiring.

    I will own several of the technological marvels such as flying cars within a few years. I will do it because I still have dreams and still remember what inspired me. But will others? Or will they be toiling away in overwhelming debt unable to see through the haze of daily stress? The only thing I can think of that is good for science and inspiration lately is Mythbusters. That's my opinion, but it probably made more than a few kids curious about chemistry at the very least.

    This is so sad that it brought tears to my eyes.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      Comrade Knyshov, so this is where you ended up. We 've been looking for you.

    • Among other things, we had ZX80 source listings, MK61 programmable calculator listings

      Yeah, I remember the Yuniy Tehnic, Tehnika Molodyoji and Modelist Konstruktor. I had a cheap Soviet replica of ZX Specturm called BYTE. It came with a crappy rubber keyboard, so I canibalized the keys from an old Soviet fax machine and sodered them onto the PCB contacts of my BYTE. It looked ugly as hell, but it worked for years and years.

      Then I remember I had a C, Pascal, Forth and LaserBasic(?) compiler on it. Tons of g

  • the two odd (interesting?) things about these pictures?

    1. Almost without exception, the ships depicted in space, on the moon, etc, are shown with pointy or round noses. If you're in space, you don't have to worry about aerodynamics and certainly not on places which have no atmosphere (the moon).

    2. The first picture below To Saturn and beyond: shows people on a moon of Saturn wearing full spacesuits EXCEPT for the camera man.
  • Notice (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hey! ( 33014 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @09:42AM (#21491233) Homepage Journal
    Notice how few of these images center on a single individual. Mostly they are space-scapes or pictures of massive engineering projects in which people are tiny figures like in an architect's model, if they appear at all.

    There's only one image that would be typical of a US sci fi magazine cover, with the handsome space pioneer man in the foreground and his female counterpart in the background. Even so, there is little suggestion that the pioneer man plays a key role as an individual in whatever action is being depicted.

    This might be an artifact of selection, but it's tempting to speculate that this reflects a collectivist view of the future. Still, I have a certain kitschy fondness for Socialist Realism school of art, and many such works do use an heroic individual as a focal point -- albeit either an anonymous one or a historical hero like Lenin. Arguably in either case, Socialist Realism uses the individual functioning as a representative of the working class.

    These images are quite austere and free of any hint of individuality as a focal point in the imagined future.
  • One thing you can say about the Soviets, they had among their ideals equality between the sexes.

    In one of the paintings there's a woman standing next to a man, and they're both wearing the same outfit and appear to be equals in the space endeavor, which is a far cry from how space exploration was portrayed in the USA, with only white men permitted to go anywhere near a spaceship.
  • Check out that image of the determined manly man in a space suit working away while the young lady in a skirt and holding a Raggedy Anne doll looks on in wonder.

    It reminds me of one early Star Trek episode where Kirk turns to a very short skirted Yeoman Rand and says something like "get me some coffee honey".

  • There's more Soviet space art here [globalsecurity.org] and here [colostate.edu].

    Which makes me wonder, what other coolness have the Russians been hiding behind their backs?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      what other coolness have the Russians been hiding behind their backs?
      I have very reliable sources that have revealed that the Soviets built an underground moon base in the 70s. The entrance is in a crater and not visible from above. They lost radio contact sometime in the late 80s, and the cosmonauts living there don't know the Cold War is over. Vladimir Putin knows about this base and wants to utilize it in his master plan to resurrect the Soviet Union.
  • by mqduck ( 232646 )
    What exactly are the two men on the right trying to do in this one [flickr.com]?
  • by $criptah ( 467422 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @02:35PM (#21494977) Homepage

    I have been living in the States for many years and one thing still puzzles me: Americans know so little about their former enemy. Why is this space art is such a surprise? Do you really believe that all Soviets did was related to drinking vodka and breaking backs in Gulag? Soviet Union had art, music and science. Are you aware of the fact that most Soviet high schools taught organic chemistry in the 10th and 11th grades? Please spare me "but what about the food lines" statements. The system screwed the people beyond belief and there was little that even smart people could do about the political aspect of the country.

    Years ago I recall a question from one of American high school students, "Do bears run on streets in Russia?" I thought that the person was kidding. No, this was a serious question. Apparently the student thought that Soviet/Russian cities (the terms that he used as synonyms) were full of bears and vodka drinking hunters with bad manners. The insulting part was that this question came from somebody who knew nothing about chemistry, physics or calculus in his junior year of high school. We did not have bears, but we had Z80s, programmable calculators, home grown vector processors (Elbrus) and enough nukes to destroy the world. You know, the usual items found in half-way houses :)

    Those who are interested in the subject of art and space may want to read up on Alexey Leonov. He summarized his experiences in space in a book and many drawings. Check out the wiki [wikipedia.org]. I am not sure if any copies of Technical Molodezhi (Technology of the Youth) were translated into English, but it was a really neat magazine. I started reading it as soon as I could read and understand some of the basic concepts. Think of Popular Science + Popular Mechanics + various news articles related to physical sciences combined in one package.

    • by turgid ( 580780 )

      Years ago I recall a question from one of American high school students, "Do bears run on streets in Russia?" I thought that the person was kidding. No, this was a serious question.

      Americans have always been pretty ignorant about the world outside the USA. Just look at their Foreign Policy.

      Back in the early eighties, here in the UK, we used to have political satire TV programmes with such sketch titles as, "The President's Brain is Missing." Of course, now Ronald Reagan looks like Einstein compared to GW

    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
      You have to understand that we Americans were inundated with ridiculous anti-Soviet propaganda during the Cold War. When I was a kid, I was scared to death of Russians and full of ludicrous misinformation. Years later I came to deeply resent the callous way so many in my generation were manipulated in this way. It particularly irks me the way the Soviet space program was ignored. When I was a kid, I knew the names of every American astronaut, but was only vaguely aware that the Soviets even had a space pro
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by $criptah ( 467422 )

        Do not be hard on yourself. Soviet propaganda managed to taint the image of Americans quite well :) However, I did have higher expectations for the United States because this was the leader of the free world.

        You did not have to go far enough to realize that Soviet Union had issues. Food shortages, poor housing management and never ending agricultural dilemmas were hidden behind clever marketing of the Communist Party. Despite all of that, the Soviets still managed to put a man in space and run a successf

  • If you compare the American and Soviet science fiction, you will see that American sci-fi novels very often (if not always) carry some military theme or references (invasions, interstellar wars, presence of military personnel and advanced warfare on space ships, etc.), while Soviet and Eastern-bloc writers focus mostly on difficulties of space exploration, daily routines of colonization of other planets, and always promote peaceful resolution of interplanetary conflicts. IMHO.
  • ...but what all of the images depict is a stunning display of hope for the human race as a whole.

    As someone who grew up surrounded by photographs of nebulae and NASA mission patches, it grieves me that space exploration has become such a low priority. Most people in the US not only see it as unimportant, they can't even understand why it was important in the first place. Yes, the Cold War was a mighty spur in the direction of outer space, but NASA's budget was being whittled away long before the Berlin
  • There's something fishy here. The one titled "destination moon" is strikingly similar to a famous piece of Chesley Bonestell's art [cafes.net]. The hills and the "scope" are almost verbatim.

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