> posted by   on December 30th 2015

Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age

Last September, during the London Design Festival I visited a very interesting exhibition entitled “Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age” in the Science Museum.

The exhibition starts in the early 20th century during the so-called Cold War period. What I learned about Russia’s success in space was pretty new to me. The real source of the Soviets’ success was an atom bomb mission. The Russians constructed such a big bomb that they needed a very powerful racket engine to lift it. This powerful engine was the beginning of the technology that led to USSR’s international acclaim and space glamour. In 1957, Russia launched the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik, into space and just four years later sent the first human ever – Yuri Gagarin. “Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age” tells the story of how Russia turned the dream of space travel into reality and became the first nation to explore space in this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition. The exhibition is open until 13 March 2016. It’s worth visiting it.

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Speaking about astronauts, what suddenly comes to my mind is the astronaut in the cathedral of Salamanca. During the restoration of the Palm Port New Cathedral of Salamanca in 1992, several contemporary and modern motifs were added, including the carved figure of an astronaut. The reason for this insertion is due to a tradition among cathedral builders and restorers to include a contemporary symbol on the building as a means of “signing” their work. The head of the restoration, Jeronimo Garcia, chose an astronaut as a symbol of the twentieth century. It looks like Mr. Garcia saw the astronaut as a human that was closest to God.


Nevertheless, the Russians went there first and came to a different conclusion. Legend has it that when Gagarin was on the orbit, he sighed with relief: “Boga niet” (No God).

Cosmonaut_boga niet


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