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USSR: Homeland of the First Cosmonaut

5th October 2015

The Space Race between the Soviet Union and the United States of America during the Cold War was a period of symbolic superiority that led to many pioneering technological advances. In 1957, the USSR was the first country to launch an artificial satellite – Sputnik – into outer space and the first dog into space – Laika – on board Sputnik 2.


Four years later, on 12 April 1961, a Russian pilot and cosmonaut – Yuri Gagarin – became the first man in space, completing an orbit of the earth on board the Vostok 1 spacecraft. Gagarin was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union and became an international celebrity. A new commemorative day was also established – Cosmonautics Day – celebrated every year in Russia on 12 April (now recognised as the International Day of Human Space Flight by the United Nations). In 1963, Russia launched the first woman into space – Valentina Tereshkova – on board Vostok 6.


The Science Museum in London is currently hosting a unique exhibition – Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age – featuring a collection of spacecraft, memorabilia, stories and posters showing “the dramatic story of how Russia turned the dream of space travel into a reality” (18/9/2015-13/3/2016).

Below are a few of our original vintage Soviet space propaganda and other related posters (click on the images for more information):

PP0402_1_m  Way to the Planets is Open!

PP0401_1_m  Great is the Soviet Human!

PP0364_1_m  Soviet Space Missions to Venus

PP0049_1_m  Glory!

Soviet Circus: space themed rocket trapeze act

The Very First: space exploration movie

Battle Beyond the Sun: movie about a race to land on Mars

Storm Planet: science fiction (sci-fi) movie

PC0316_1_m  PC0353_1_m
War of the Planets      /      Invaders from Mars

2001: A Space Odyssey (French release)

Moonraker (Australian release)


We also have the following original Russian newspapers from 1961 that feature headline news about the first man in space, along with a few more Soviet travel posters that will soon be added to our website (please contact us for more information):

Space_ComPrav_15April1961  Space_SovCult

Space_LitGazPage1_13April1961  Space_LitGazPage2_13April1961

Space_MosComsPage1_13April1961  Space_MosComsPage2_13April1961

Space_SovLitPage1_13April1961  Space_SovLitPage2_13April1961

Space_Intourist_German   Space_Intourist_VisitTheUSSR

Space_Intourist_Moon  PP0412_1_m



Visit our website at www.antikbar.co.uk to browse all our original vintage posters from around the world. For more updates, follow us on:

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AntikBar is a Member of the International Vintage Poster Dealers’ Association (IVPDA), the London Art Deco Society (LADS) and The Association of Art and Antiques Dealers (LAPADA).


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