Space Suit of the Week

The illustrations above are from the book Travel to Distant Worlds by Karl Gilzen.  The book was originally published in 1960, and you may notice that the caption of the upper image is in the book’s native tongue, Russian.  There is no shortage of vintage space images available on the internet, but these are remarkable for the moody and atmospheric quality that is usually absent in the more saturated and hard-edged images favored by many illustrators at the time.  The effect is an apparently vast and immersive environment in both images.  Not to mention how cool it would be to walk on a bridge made of clouds.

The space suits featured in these illustrations are relatively subdued, except for the large antenna that makes the astronauts look slightly like unicorns or swordfish.  If you look closely at the astronaut in the lower image, you may notice that the astronaut looks like a woman.  It was, after all, the Soviet Space Program put the first woman in space in 1963.  Nasa didn’t launch a lady until 1983, that’s twenty later, and her name was Sally Ride.


June 18, 2010