Poster History, Poster of the Day

“The Eagle has Landed”: Posters of the Space Race

Fifty years ago today the race to the moon culminated with the landing of the Apollo spacecraft and man’s first walk on the moon the following day. Here are a few original  posters from our Space Race archives:

Apple Think Differently Moonwalk

Apple. Think different. 1997

This Apple poster was part of an advertising campaign that commemorated daring dreams that changed the world, from Einstein and Picasso to man’s first walk on the moon in 1969.

Anonymous, Let’s Conquer Space! , 1960

The Soviet Union set off the Space Race in 1957 with the successful launch into orbit of Sputnik, the first artificial earth satellite. The Soviet program took a major leap forward in April of 1961 when Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the earth. This poster, which shows a cosmonaut at the controls of his space capsule in front of a moon-filled window, was designed before his successful mission.

The Soviet’s success also spurred the United States, which had experienced a number of failures in its early space ventures, into action. A month after Gagarin’s success, President Kennedy gave a speech at Rice University that called for the United States to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

Sokolov and Leonov, Glory to the Explorers of Space! 1971

This stunningly beautiful poster celebrates the launch of the first space station, Salyut 1, to orbit the earth by the Russians in 1971. It was launched a full two years before the United States’ Skylab and marked a triumph for the Soviet Union after its inability to beat the US to the moon.

The effort continues to bear fruit as a foundation of the international space station program.  The Outer Space Treaty was signed by the US, Soviet Union and Great Britain in 1967 to ensure the peaceful use of space and has now been signed by 109 nations. In the 21st century, a new space race is underway, with several nations taking part, the most ambitious being China and the United States.

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