I was not part of the generation which watched the first manned space rockets soar into space. Those gigantic missiles aimed into the inky blackness beyond our blue skies. How starry eyed dreamers must have followed their ascent as they thundered upwards and pushed past the forces that keep our feet firmly on the ground. I was not part of the generation that witnessed man's first walk on the moon. I came afterwards, into a world already changed by incredible acts of courage. I'm not American so I guess I don't have any sense of patriotism when I think of these spacemen. I don't think of them as American or Soviet. I think of them as human, like me. That's how I saw them as a child, they represented what I too could achieve. They ignited my belief in myself. The thing is, even though the astronauts achieved far greater things than their Soviet counterparts it was the Soviets who got the whole thing going back in 1957. Visually the cosmonauts somehow standout more vividly in my memories. Why is it that? Is it the strange design of their space crafts, spacesuits and satellites that captures the imagination more? There's something different and special in some Soviet designs that stand out as unique, original.
The British Science Museum in London is currently hosting an exhibition called the 'Cosmonauts'. It's a cool visit if you have the chance. We went there a few weeks back and it is one of the best Museum type places I've been to. http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/visitmuseum/Plan_your_visit/exhibitions/cosmonauts.aspx
Here's a sketch from my moleskin inspired by the cosmonauts.