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“Soon there will be no one who remembers when spaceflight was still a dream, the reverie of reclusive boys and the vision of a handful of men”
– Wyn Wachhorst, 1995.
Visit Your Friendly Space Travel Agency
Your appointment will be yesterday… Now wait for last year… Tomorrow as it used to be… It wasn’t that long ago that we had a future… All these quotes and a rocket-powered imagination will propel us on a tour of Solar planets and beyond, all as advertised in Space Travel brochures and scenic holograms.

(“Atomic Avenue #1″, art by Glen Orbik)
Retro-inspired Travel Posters: Visit Other Planets in Style!
You’ve seen these wonderful vintage posters from the 1920s and 1930s, with the distinct Art Nouveau, or Art Deco look, extolling the pleasures of luxury European destinations:

(images via, see a lot more there)
Well, it turns out that you can enjoy similar travel posters for the popular luxury interplanetary destinations – courtesy of Steven Thomas:


We asked him how he came up with the idea for these space travel posters:
“A few years ago I acquired a table in an art show at a role-playing gaming convention. I needed to come up with something that would catch the eye, was sci-fi/fantasy related and something I would want hanging on my wall at home. The following year, “Venus by Air” and “Explore the Crimson Canyons of Mars” were very well received and a fellow artist suggested I create posters for the entire solar system. So, the next year (2007) “Europa Air” and “Midnight Zephyr” were added to the collection. Since then I’ve been hard at work completing the series”.
Continuing on a futuristic tour of outer planets:


“…I really admire the art and design of advertising posters of the early 20th century. Combine that with my appreciation for retro science fiction magazine cover art and you get an ad for a futuristic destination. If you are fan of vintage travel ads you may notice that some of the posters are loosely based on existing travel or transportation posters. Whether that be color, layout or some other design element. I felt it would give them a sense of familiarity. Prints of various sizes are available at www.zazzle.com/stevethomas
Rack up your Space Miles!
Take advantage of travel deals and blast off from the Earth-bound worries into the… space-related ones:

Illustrations by W.A. Kocher and Richard Loew, 1956
Karl Gilzin’s book (from 1958) contained some pretty neat illustrations:

(image via)
But the illustrations got even better once this book was translated into Russian, and some nameless artist from DetGiz Publishing House in 1960 drew these inspiring scenes:




(art: DetGiz, Russia, 1960)
Get to the spaceport and meet your pretty flight attendants (note “shark fins” on the car, as well as on the rocket) -

(image credit: Plan 59)
Get to boarding, and perhaps even meet the pilot:

(Illustration by John Polgreen, image via)

(Illustration by James Heugh, image via)
There are some groovy hotels and busy spaceports out there:

(image credit: Michael Peters)

Art by Das, “Ruimtevaart” (image via)
I don’t think you’d need to bring your furniture with you, but in case you want to settle down:

Sofa by Edward Wormley for Dunbar, 1958 – via)
Start your tour from the orbit:
L5 Society made up of huge rotating cities, placed in orbit (at Lagrangian points), was a popular futurist idea in the 1960s and 1970s. Toroidal and cylindrical colonies were supposed to be mankind’s new pilgrimage and frontier for habitation; economical studies showed that the concept had merit, but political agendas and sheer cost of transport to space effectively killed this idea in the 1980s. Nothing prevents it from being revived some time in the future, so have a look at the concepts and – who knows – maybe your children will see something like this:

(art by Rick Guidice)
Interior views, featuring colossal windows, whole bays and inlets and even a suspension bridge:



(art by Don Davis)
See a lot more of 1970s “Space Colony” art on this NASA page.
Short Stopover on the Moon
NASA proposed vision of the Moon colony (drawn in 2001, compare to Arthur Clarke – Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 vision):

You can even have Lunar Rover unloaded from a cargo spacecraft, and hit the back country in good comfort:

(images: NASA, via)
Edd Cartier’s vision of concerned female pilot (from “Other Worlds” magazine, July 1952)

art by Edd Cartier, “Other Worlds” 1952
More postcards from other worlds… Some unnamed planet is getting explored by a spider-like vehicle:

(art from old Soviet “Znanie Sila” magazine)

(left – art from TM, Russia; right – image via)

art by McKenna, IF magazine, March 1967
You don’t need much… This ad from the 1960s proclaims:
“Have Slide Rule, Will Travel!”

TO THE STARS! – rake up Light Years, not Air Miles!
And then, send postcards home from distant worlds at other stars, propelled there by mighty ships, devouring space and time:


Rare & Beautiful Vintage Visions of the Future
This is the start of a new series: an extensive collection of the most inspiring and hard-to-find retro-futuristic images. We will try to stay away from the well-known American pulp and book cover illustrations and instead will focus on the artwork from some rather unlikely sources: Soviet and Eastern Bloc “popular tech & science” magazines, German, Italian, British fantastic illustrations and promotional literature – all from the Golden Age of Retro-Future (from 1930s to 1970s). Wait for images to load.

(source: TM-1970, Russia)

(“Galactic Manoeuvre”, by Nikolai Nedbailo)

(source: TM-1953, Russia)

(source: TM-1956, Russia)

(image credit: retro-futurismus.de)
Part 1. Space never looked better… and perhaps never will
Retro-futuristic art, in a way, can be called a double-fantasy: imaginary future wrapped in imaginary past. Which makes this style doubly interesting, if not doubly obsolete… In this part we will showcase rarely seen art, done in 1930s to 1970s, mostly from “Teknika Molodezhi” (TM), “Yuny Tekhnik”, “DetGiz” (Russia) and German retro-future sites.
Earth’s Orbit:

(TM cover, Russia, 1950)


(images credit: Klaus Burgle)

“Breaking a Space Traffic Jam” by Frank Tinsley, 1959 (image via Plan59)
To the Moon!

(art by Noel Sickles for the “Rocket to the Moon”, 1949)

“To Other Worlds!”, Detgiz, Russia, 1939

“Lunar Unicycle” by Frank Tinsley, 1959 (image via Plan59)

(image credit: Klaus Burgle)

(TM cover, Russia 1953)

(source: TM, Russia)

“Nuclear Rocketship” by Frank Tinsley, 1959 (image via Plan59)

“Destination Moon” rare art, 1950
(image credit: Erik Theodor Lässig, Germany)
Bigger Moon base:

(source: TM, Russia)

(original unknown)

(images credit: Kurt Röschl, right – art by Ed Emshwiller)
To Mars!

(TM cover, Russia 1966; right – art by Andrey Sokolov)

“Mars Snooper” by Frank Tinsley, 1959 (image via Plan59)
To Venus!
Battling off the Communist astronaut invasion!

(Perry Rhodan, Jan. 1962)
Interesting Planetary Vehicle: very strange flip-flop caterpillar style of moving -

(source: TM, Russia 1966)
To Saturn and Beyond:

(TM cover, Russia 1954)
Other Worlds
Screens from the Russian science fiction movie “Planeta Bur” (The Planet of Storms) – 1959:

(images via woodmal)
This is a collage made from various promotional art from this movie, created by Vladimir:

(image credit: o-vladimir)

(image credit: Klaus Burgle)

(art by Andrey Sokolov)



(art by Nikolai Nedbailo)

(“First Contact”, by Nikolai Nedbailo)
Space Lift Concept:

(source: TM, Russia 1970)
Detailed Chart of Starships:

(source: TM, Russia 1955)
Socialist Space Workers by Gennady Golobokov, 1973 -

(source: TM, Russia 1973)
Photon Starships in Deep Space:

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