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Wall chart

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1971 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Polystyle Publications Ltd (publishers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printed paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Richard Blundel

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Large colour printed paper poster, with twenty paper stamps applied to it around its edge above their relevant descriptions. The stamps form a timeline of significant events in the Space Race between the USA and the USSR, each has a photographic print of a piece of technology or of important people. In the centre of the poster is a large geographic map of the near and far side of the moon, two star maps (Northern and Southern hemispheres) and other facts about the Solar System, space in general, and the history of humans in space.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1971 (made)


Polystyle Publications Ltd (publishers)

Materials and Techniques

Printed paper


Height: 59 cm, Width: 85.5 cm

Object history note

Given to the Museum in 2016 by Richard Blundel [2016/167].

Historical context note

After the Second World War there were two world superpowers: the United States of America (USA) in the west, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in the east. The clashing political ideologies of these two enormous polities resulted in the Cold War (1947-1991), the tensions between them manifesting through several regional ‘proxy’ wars, and in competition to outdo each other in industrial production and in technological advancement. The latter was most clearly shown in two main outputs: the race to develop bigger, more effective arsenals of nuclear weaponry; and in the Space Race. These were linked: the vehicles capable of leaving the Earth’s atmosphere were developed from ballistic missile technology. The race was effectively begun on 4th October 1957, when Sputnik 1 became the first artificial satellite to enter orbit. What followed Sputnik’s successful ascension was an escalating series of milestones, enormous technological leaps forward were made by both superpowers in the space of just twelve years, between Sputnik and the United States placing human beings on the Moon. The Space Race became one of the key characterisations of the 1960s, it was a time when space travel moved from the realm of science fiction into that of science fact. As such, it captured the imagination of people around the world.

Descriptive line

Space race poster with complete collection of stamps, from 'Countdown Space Age Comic', 1971

Production Note

The picture stamps which complete this poster were available in the first six issues of Countdown comic, first published in 1971.





Subjects depicted

Planets; Moon; Aircraft; Manned spacecraft; Rockets


Comics & Comic Strips; Posters; Children & Childhood; Science

Production Type

Mass produced


Museum of Childhood

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