Wednesday, November 28, 2007

One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind

Glory to the explorers of space!
A. Leonov, A. Sokolov, 1971

This is a remarkable poster, a result of collaboration between an artist Andrey Sokolov and a Soviet cosmonaut Alexey Leonov, who did the painting for this poster.

In 1965 he and Pavel Belyaev were launched on board of Voskhod-2 spaceship. During the flight Leonov became the first person to walk in space. The whole event took 12 minutes of being in open space, and was followed by an accident as due to spacesuit inflation Leonov couldn’t get into the airlock. He managed to keep cool and opened a valve, which drained some of the pressure, allowing him to get inside. Another accident happened at the landing – an automatic space orientation system failed, so they had to get back on manual controls. The landing was safe enough, although the touchdown happened in a far and uninhabited place in taiga - 180 km north of Perm. Due to severe weather conditions the cosmonauts had to spend two days there before being rescued. After this flight Leonov and Belyaev received the highest Soviet award – Hero of the Soviet Union for their personal courage.

Later in 1975 Leonov became the commander of the first joint flight of the US and Soviet Space Programs – the Apollo-Soyuz test project.

The space ship on the painting looks like a Soyuz 7K-OK spaceship. It is flying towards the space station, orbiting the Earth. The painting depicts the romantic intention popular among the soviet people – that all the promising results and space records combined with the very advanced socialist system would very soon pave wave to space for everybody. Why wouldn’t there be apple trees on Mars by 2015?

The Anniversary post!

This is the hundredth soviet poster covered in the blog so far. A kind of a small anniversary, it is. Four and a half month ago on July 12 I published the first poster “We strike the false shockworkers”. Since then many things happened: A Soviet Poster a Day was featured in “Beyond the Beyond” blog by Bruce Sterling on Wired, “The Daily Dish” by Andrew Sullivan, BoingBoing, “Blogs of Note” here on Blogger. I gave interviews to Yahoo.picks and Le Monde – one of the biggest newspapers in France. The blog turned out to be the second most popular English-speaking blog in Top-100 blogs about Russia with a Technorati rating of 534 (so far). Hurray!

I would like to say thanks for coming to everybody, I really appreciate your interest in Soviet art, your valuable comments and support. Thanks again! And there are hundreds of beautiful Soviet posters yet to cover. So it’s going to be fun! ;)

Check the astonishingly beautiful space images at allposters!