Soviet space propaganda posters

RussiaTrek's DeIntegro has assembled a marvelous gallery of mid-century Soviet space-program propaganda posters, showing brave and noble Russians ascending to the heavens on the back of sound socialist rockets.

Propaganda posters of Soviet space program 1958-1963 (via How to Be a Retronaut)


  1. Could we get a translation of the headline text?

    I want it to say ‘SPACE!’.

    [EDIT] Looking through the posters on the site, I noticed it has the translations, I got quite excited when I thought it might be ‘SCIENCE!’ but I’m pretty sure it’s ‘GLORY!’, which is fun, but an anticlimax.




      1. Yep, but still it’s more like “Glory to the soviet people”, not just a separated “Glory!” shouting. And I suppose it wouldn’t be really propagandistic with the “science” word:)

        1.  Yes.  Most online translators don’t handle the cases too well.  The dative of the top phrases is the clue, with СЛАВА in the nominative.  Ура!

  2. I have quite a few Soviet space propaganda posters.  I even have a Cuban poster (in that classic 1970s Cuban style) commemorating the guest cosmonaut flight of the one and only Cuban cosmonaut.

    (And I think the big word is “Glory”)

  3. CлABA!

    None of the globes contain the slightest bit of american continent. Bering Strait is cut-off line, putting the CCCP slightly off center.

    1. None of the globes contain the slightest bit of american continent.

      Hmmmm… Well, NASA didn’t exactly go out of its way to include bits of the Soviet Union in its own mission images.  (And why should either country?)

      1.  Not saying they should.  Just pointing out how for these posters people troubled themselves to avoid putting even the Aleutan Islands on the globe.  An observation of Zeitgeist. 

        That poster still makes me want to buy some CлABA!. 
        That stuff looks awesome. 

    1. Thanks for the mention. We looked at a lot of posters like these for inspiration for the show’s art design.

  4. When I was in Russia back in 1991 (it was the Soviet Union when I booked the trip and Russia when I got there) the hotel I stayed at was the Hotel Kosmos. Right across the street was a small but amazingly cool space museum.

    Is anyone else familiar with it? I’ve often wondered if it’s still there, or, for that matter, if the hotel is still there.

    Either way these propaganda posters are a nice blast from the past–for me personally a pretty recent past. 

    1.  I went to Moscow in September 1998, researching a project about Gagarin. Among other things I got to do, I met Gherman Titov in his house. I saw a museum under the Space Obelisk, the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics, where I got a T-shirt I was wearing only last week. But there was also a pavilion in the exhibition grounds; was this the one you saw? It was a shadow of its past self by 1998, as I put in a comprehensive letter-cum-journal I wrote (sorry if it is a bit long):

      “Then I went back to VDNKh, the Exhibition of Economic Achievements, which was intended to celebrate current engineering and the Future. It was worth it, if surreal. The entrance way is a huge Gate like Berlin’s Brandenburg, only with workers lifting up a sheaf of wheat on top. Inside there are large pavilions, most of them in a kind of lumpy Stalinist Greco-Roman wedding-cake style. A colossal fountain (Fountain of the Friendship of Peoples) made of corn and cheery sunkissed workers had recently been re-gilded (or painted) but wasn’t working. All the pavilions I went into were full of little shops and kiosks selling electrical goods and shoes and knicknacks – I watched one TV as it looked as though Schumacher was getting pole position in whatever Grand Prix is going on this weekend.

      “The Space Pavilion was the saddest, to my mind. It is a big open area, again like a Victorian railway station, in which various space stations and capsules and rockets once hung from the ceiling. Now the roof is cracking open in places and leaking, and even the new shops inside look rundown, and it is dark and gloomy. There’s one strip of wall where you can see a surviving optimistic mural of spacecraft assaulting the skies. Finally, at the far end, the huge picture of Yuri Gagarin that looked down benevolently on the people has mostly been covered-up… whether to obscure him or protect him, I’m not sure, but you can still make out his face, a ghostly presence smiling behind the sheeting from 1961.

      “Outside the Space Pavilion there is an actual Korolev R-7 rocket with a Vostok on top – Gagarin’s (and Titov’s) launch vehicle. It is displayed as if being prepared for launch; Russian rockets, even the very biggest and including their Shuttle, Buran, are taken to the pad horizontally on a train and then raised to the vertical. This display has the rocket, complete with the train carriage and hydraulic ram, lifted high above the ground on a massive stand. The rocket looks in good shape; but the train carriage needs painting and the stand is rusting badly. I wonder if Titov ever comes by? it is less than half an hour’s walk from his house. I would doubt it, though.

      “The R-7 is not all that huge – nothing like an American Saturn moon-rocket, or even a Jumbo, more like a small airliner; probably narrower than a 737 and a bit longer. You can tell, because there are a couple of old Aeroflot jet airliners standing in front of the rocket. One is a three-engined Tupolev-154, which looks like a Boeing 727 or a BAC Trident and which you can get into; 2 rubles to visit the book and model shop in the cabin, 3 rubles to visit the flight deck.”

      Here’s a pic of the R-7 and Tupolev

  5. Who needs an oxygen supply when you’ve got a giant space-hammer and space-sickle that is colour coordinated with your jumpsuit?

  6. Some of the easiest mementos of the Soviet Space Program to acquire are the little pins that were mass-produced for the support personnel and crews, and sold to everyone as patriotic tchachkes.  There are some really good quality relics out there.

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