Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Journey into the Cosmos (1955)

The mid-1950s was a "golden" time for both English language and Russian children's books. With many prediction about how soon people would land on the moon in popular magazines, space flight had reached popular culture. (Journey into the Cosmos 1955)

Illustration from these books look very similar to those from 10 years later. Astronauts in launch couches and weightless explorers in earth orbit filled these books.

A landing on the Moon was a foregone conclusion. I particular like this book which predicted robot explorers getting there first.

But almost all of these books show this image. Men standing on the Moon next to their spaceship. The rockets were all traditonal V-2 shaped but the illustrations often gave the sense that this was not the first visit but rather one of many.

The Russian books almost always included an illustration of a landing on one of the moons of Saturn. I think that was the perfect image to many (copied from Chesley Bonestell perhaps?) of man's conquest of space.

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