There is something so simple, yet so fantastic about this illustration by artist Tom Voter — I love it! (I prefer Heinlein’s older works, I’ll have to try this one out.)
It’s rare that I upload a photo that’s AWESOMELY HUGE, but today is a day for such uploads, and this is a picture you want to see at 3307×4692 pixels! I first heard of these exquisite gold replicas of the Lunar Module while flipping through a large Cartier exhibit book. I was there to feast my eyes on fabulous jewelry, and finding a space object was literally the last thing in the world I expected.
From the book:
Three individual 18-karat gold LM models were made in 1969 by Cartier Paris on behalf of “Le Figaro” newspaper and presented to the three Apollo 11 astronauts during their postflight tour in Paris. This example was presented to Michael Collins.
15.0 x 10.0 x 25.0 cm. Yellow gold, white gold, lacquer, red, white and blue enamel.
I also found an article from the Ohio Historical Society with a more detailed description and history of the scale replicas, and a small image of Neil Armstrong’s replica, showing the custom box it came in. Very cool, check it out!
Last year I posted a selection of pictures from the abandoned Energiya-Buran assembly facilities and launch fields. I’ve long been fascinated by the Soviet space program — particularly Buran (“snow-storm” in Russian), which had such a vast scope, and yet had only one unmanned flight before cancellation. Now wild dogs live among the dead machinery, grasses slowly break up the concrete, and everything else is rusting in place. It makes me sad.
Sad enough to write a poem about it, in fact.
Lament for Buran
by Danielle Signor
A sleeping giant, left in place
Against the stark horizon stands,
Arms folded, longing to embrace
A rocketship with loving hands.
The future once was vast and near,
All gleaming steel and gantries high.
Such wondrous dreams that foundered here!
They wait, abandoned like the sky.
Now rust devours you — wild dogs pass,
Beneath your silent structures sleep.
The concrete causeway fades to grass,
Forsaken buildings, secrets keep.
Snow-storm, your energy was spent
Before you first drew breath — lament!
All photos © drugoi @ LiveJournal.
Found this fantastic pulp cover in a box of fantastically-AWFUL pulps over the Christmas holiday. As can be seen, the prerequisite hot-space-babe/crewmember is being revived from stasis/cryogenic freezing/whatever, and is already being hit upon by the first human she comes in contact with… the doctor. “Hey baby, can I buy you a drink?” I am, of course, kidding. Sortof. Anyway it’s a terrific cover.
This is admittedly my favorite of the bunch. There’s tons of beautiful detail in this dynamic illustration. The combination of lightning bolts and concentric (dizzying) circles overlaying the pilot’s face makes for a disturbing scene. We don’t know what’s going on, but clearly it’s dangerous. Not exactly happy-fun-time for Mr. Astronaut!
Submitted for your Tuesday approval, some fantastic illustrations by Virgil Finlay, from The Complete Book of Space Travel by Albro Gaul, published in 1956. (Images courtesy of Golden Age Comic Book Stories, via Webomator Blog.)
Since this Complete Book shows astronauts to be handsome, dashing male specimens, naturally they require alien womens. ↓
I know, I know, I have a thing for Soviet retro-futurist art… but you have to admit, these Soviet illustrations are nothing short of stunning! (Info and images via Dark Roasted Blend.)
Karl Gilzin’s book [“Travel to Distant Worlds”] (from 1958) contained some pretty neat illustrations … [b]ut 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…
I couldn’t decide what planet I liked best, so here’s Saturn:
And here’s Mars:
Yesterday’s APOD featured a painting and poem that documented a fireball event in 1860. The Meteor of 1860 by Frederic Church is a beautiful work of art, and dovetails nicely with this snippet of Walt Whitman’s Year of Meteors:
…the strange huge meteor procession, dazzling and clear, shooting over our heads,
(A moment, a moment long, it sail’d its balls of unearthly light over our heads,
Then departed, dropt in the night, and was gone;)
Here’s the story of how these two works were connected to the cosmic phenomenon, and eachother:
Frederic Church (1826-1900), American landscape painter of the Hudson River School, painted what he saw in nature. And on July 20th, 1860, he saw a spectacular string of fireball meteors cross the Catskill evening sky, an extremely rare Earth-grazing meteor procession. From New York City, poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892) also wrote of the “… strange huge meteor procession, dazzling and clear, shooting over our heads” in his poem Year of Meteors (1859-60). But the inspiration for Whitman’s words was forgotten. His astronomical reference became a mystery, the subject of scholarly debate until Texas State University physicists Donald Olson and Russell Doescher, English professor Marilynn Olson, and Honors Program student Ava Pope, located reports documenting the date and timing of the spectacular meteor procession. The breakthrough was spotting the connection with Church’s relatively little-known painting. Fittingly, the forensic astronomy team’s work was just published, on the 150th anniversary of the cosmic event that inspired both poet and painter.
I’ve seen and heard snippets of this poem, but never read it in entirety before this week. It is a beautiful thing. (Hat tip to John C. Wright for posting it!) It seems to fit well with this lovely launch photo — the rocket in question delivered three individuals into orbit on Wednesday, and to the ISS yesterday.
by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds…and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of…wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.