Art & Photography

For All Mankind: Vintage NASA Photographs

Relive the dawn of human space travel at London’s Breese Little gallery

The landscape – if such a word is even appropriate in this instance – of space exploration has changed significantly since the height of the Cold War and the Space Race, when the US and USSR battled for supremacy of the heavens. The former, arguably the winners of that particular game of celestial ‘who can shout the loudest’, is now fully reliant on Russia to transport its astronauts to and from the International Space Station following the abandonment of its human space program. Potential superpowers such as India and in particular China are now firmly part of the equation and as the prospect of everyday space tourism for the super-rich slowly nears, the debate is now clearly closer to the top of the private, as opposed to the austere public, agenda.Thus a new exhibition at Breese Little gallery in London, consisting of over 100 rare and vintage photographs from the NASA archive, spanning the Gemini, Apollo, Mars Viking and Jupiter Voyager missions of 1964-1983, can be seen as something of a nostalgia-fest. These are the images that inspired a generation of young Americans and many millions more across the globe to dream big. That’s not to say the idea of reaching into the great nothingness doesn’t still beguile the general public, despite only being a realistic possibility for a lucky few, as the popularity of movies such as Gravity and Commander Chris Hadfield’s Twitter account attest to.

For All Mankind: Vintage NASA Photographs 1964 – 1983 is at First Floor Gallery, Breese Little, 30b Great Sutton Street, London, EC1V 0DU until February 22