Feast Your Eyes On These Early Soviet Spacecraft

Feast Your Eyes On These Early Soviet Spacecraft

Rob Ketcherside, a hardware and software program manager in Seattle, has a truly amazing photo series hiding on his Flickr page. The photographs I am talking about were taken by his grandfather, David C. Cook, in Pavilion No. 32 — called “Kosmos” — at the All-Russia Exhibition Center in Moscow. And I am very glad that I found them and got permission to share them, because those shiny Soviet spacecraft are simply lovely.

It is also interesting how and when the photographs below were taken: David C. Cook was a former MIT Radiation Lab (Rad Lab) engineer who went to work for the US Navy Research Lab (NRL) after WW2. By the 1960s, he was also part of the International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC) Technical Committee 45, setting standards for nuclear reactor test equipment. TC45 held yearly conferences, rotating around mostly European cities. In 1969 it was held in Moscow, providing a rare opportunity to visit the USSR and gain VIP access (and forgiveness) for photography.

So we can see the Soviet results of the first decade of the space race: the Vostok spacecraft, various satellites, and space probes on great Kodachrome slides, scanned by Rob Ketcherside, Cook’s grandson. By the way, the whole set deserves your attention; you’ll find rare Moscow scenes from the Sixties in it.

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