THE SPACE RACE WAS PRETTY INTENSE

The Space Race Was Pretty Intense
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THE SPACE RACE WAS PRETTY INTENSE



Written by Patrick Grimmer
10 Wednesday 10th July 2013

The resurfacing of Cold War-esque politics along with a sustained fascination of space led me to reconsider recently the diplomatic difficulties between the US and USSR during the ‘Space Race’ of the mid-twentieth century. Both superpowers vied for technological superiority over the other in order to assert themselves as the ideologically dominant and politically secure force. Naturally, therefore, the ways in which both nations disseminated and propagated their space programs were inextricably tied to a certain politics. A selection of bold and deliberately provocative posters, photographs and magazine covers below give some indication to the "charged" atmosphere within which space exploration and research was conducted...

Above: Kokomo Jr., cousin of  U.S. space chimpanzee 'Ham', quickly learns to adopt the typically American stance on Communism

Translation: "We were born to make the fairy tale come true!"

Translation: "Conquer the Space!"

Translation: "Navigation in space is open!"

Translation: "Through the worlds and ages"

Tensions between superpowers concerned with space exploitation and discovery today continues at a simmer, as China continue to develop their program and global companies such as Red Bull inevitably get involved as sponsors and advertisers. Add to this mix the reality that there are now facilities that can take people to space. These possibilities, once envisaged, now real and (hopefully) increasingly accessible, represent quite the step from the contesting power politics of the mid-twentieth century through which space programs were initially propagandised. 

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