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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:

M. Vasiljev "Travel to Space", Russia 1958



Also Read: Our popular DRB Futurism Section!
Future of the Urban Transport, Mind-Boggling Transportation

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Anonymous Stewart Larkin said...

Space the final frontier,well maybe,I really love this type os SF art,very cool. Thanks!

Blogger Musback said...

Thanks so much for this post... Brilliant!

And I hope i get to live to see the day space travel is as common as taking the bus...

Change we can believe in!

Anonymous c08a said...

> Some unnamed planet is getting explored by a spider-like vehicle

The planet is Mars, and the concept came from Arkadiy & Boris Strugatzkie's book "The land of crimson clouds" (Strana bagrovyh tuch).

Anonymous Anonymous said...

>> I hope i get to live to see the
>> day space travel is as common as
>> taking the bus...

There is a number of problems with that scenario.

[1] Energy. Going to space is uphill all the way. It takes a significant amount of energy just to put you there. Energy is getting more costly all the time.

[2] Space. As the name suggests, it's empty. So why go there?

[3] Planets are a credible destination because they have resources. What they don't have, is habitability. You could mine them, but why live there?

When you take the bus it costs only a small amount of energy, and wherever you get out you will find air rather than vacuum and cosmic rays. Space travel will *never* resemble this.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

party booper.

Anonymous Andyman said...

Some people have a hard time separating space fantasy from space reality. I love retro sci-fi art but I know most of it is impractical if not impossible. That breaks the child heart inside me. Space is a really big place and things are a lot farther than they look.

Anonymous allaboutdatiki said...

Load up the Vista Cruiser, kids ... we're headed for Uranus!

-from digg

Anonymous Yalana, a Child of the Universe said...

What is it about the comment by Anonymous, at 1:04 AM, that sounds so familiar? Oh, right, hot air balloons (toxic gasses, to little oxygen up there in the sky) before the first maned flight was ever attempted. The same amount of healthy skepticism has preceded almost everything else human kind has ever accomplished... well, eventually. I too wish that it could happen in my lifetime. But then, who knows... ? The only thing that is for certain, is that nothing is for certain, and that many "surprises", are always about to be received. There, right around that next bend...


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