GREATEST HITS: The Art & Death of the Astronaut

Note: This continues to be one of my favorite posts. I’ve easily found another dozen pieces of work depicting astronauts, mostly in some form of death or decay. It’s hard to track down dates of creation for most of these works. I cannot tell you whether or not the official death of the space program brought about the surge in illustration or if it came from this generations want/need for a “this is one small step for man” moment in history.

You might have thought that our species would be on Mars before the century was over. Instead, we’ve pulled inward, robots aside, we’ve backed off from the planets and the stars. I keep asking myself, is it a failure of nerve or a sign of maturity.

Maybe it’s the most we could have reasonably expected. In a way it’s amazing it was even possible at all. We sent a dozen humans on week long excursions to the moon. Missions that returned a wealth of data. But nothing of short term, everyday, bread on the table, practical value. They lifted the human spirit though.

After seeing Space Shuttle Atlantis rise out of the atmosphere for one last time, I can’t help from feeling sad that my descendants won’t have space flights to inspire them. Those missions spoke to something deep inside of us, to many of us, if not all.

Scientists studied stone-age culture in the New Guinea highlands, hardly contacted by Western civilization, ignorant of wrist watches, soft drinks and frozen foods. But they knew about Apollo 11.

They knew that humans had walked on the moon. They knew the names of Armstrong, of Aldrin, of Collins. They wanted to know who was visiting the moon these days.

Listen and Carry On

Ashes to Ashes by David Bowie

Cover of Brand New’s Deja Entendu

Aleksandra Orlova


Kevin Davis

Jeremy Geddes

Senor Salme

Heroes Die

The Cosmos is a magnet… Once you’ve been there, all you can think of is how to get back.


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Categories: Greatest Hits

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