3 Captivating Illustrations From the Soviet Space Exploration Era

At the beginning of the Russian Revolution, Soviet leaders decided to lean on science magazines to publicize the nation’s many accomplishments, educate the masses, and excite people about the future of the Soviet Union as a pioneer in technology, science, and pretty much everything else. Their plan was working, as there were magazines specifically published for men, women, and children.

The Soviet Union in the Space Age

Things continued long after the 1920s, and in October 1957, the Soviet Union set the start of the Space Age by successfully launching Sputnik 1 — the first artificial satellite. This was the first of many space exploration missions that science publications would cover in detail time and again. The following illustrations beautifully capture a time of wonder and optimism when space was left more to the imagination than to scientific discovery.

1. Technology for the Youth, Issue 8, 1958

An illustration of the launch of Sputnik 3
3 Captivating Illustrations From the Soviet Space Exploration Era

The illustration is called ‘Machines-Astronauts,’ and it was created by N. Kolchitsky. In it, he recreates an imaginary scene from the launch of Sputnik 3 with its individual components and cartoonish characters.

2. Technology for the Youth, Issue 2, 1959

An illustration showing an imaginary scene from a space station on the Moon
3 Captivating Illustrations From the Soviet Space Exploration Era

Created by B. Dashkov, this illustration was published in the second issue of the Soviet Technology for the Youth magazine in 1959. The illustration was part of an article describing how a space station on the Moon might look.

3. Outlook, Issue 4, 1976

An illustration of Yuri Gagarin waving from space
3 Captivating Illustrations From the Soviet Space Exploration Era

The name of this illustration is ‘Yuri Gagarin: Let’s Go!’ Its author is S. Alimov, and it accompanied the magazine in one of its most memorable issues. It came with a flexi disc record that contained a song made by Gagarin himself. It was the first one on the list, called “Planet Earth Is Beautiful.” Gagarin was not only the first man from the Soviet Union to orbit Earth, but he was also the first man in the whole world to do it on April 12th, 1961.