B. Mikhailov, Bear in Space: How he flew [Б. Михаилов, Медведь в космос: Как летал], (1970)

Image: The book’s cover

Moscow, 1970.

The Soviet Union, having all but dominated space exploration for over a decade — launching the first earth satellite in October 1957, putting the first man (Iurii Gagarin, April 1961) and woman (Valentina Tereshkova, June 1963) in space — now seems to have been eclipsed by the United States in the race to the moon.  Though not an insignificant logistical and engineering feat, this can’t help but feel somewhat lackluster when compared against the more coveted “firsts” the USSR already accomplished.  Moscow all but shrugs its shoulders.

So what is the Soviet response to the USA’s belated boast of rocketry?

1970BearInSpace03

B. Mikhailov, Bear in Space: How to fly [Б. Михаилов, Медведь в космос: Как летал], 1970

Simple: Медведь в космос.

For those who don’t read Russian, it’s Bear in Space, a picture book by Boris Mikhailov for children.  Clearly, Moscow is unimpressed.

Bear with bird, hedgehog, and helpful mice prepare for liftoff

Bear with bird, hedgehog, and helpful mice prepare for liftoff

Besides being bizarre and incredibly cute, this book is semi-instructional.

Thanks to the excellent Dreams of Space blog for posting these images.  Add/follow this blog, immediately.

Self-explanatory

Self-explanatory

Also, a headless mouse.  Enjoy!

Images

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