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Visitors to Jupiter view the Jovian auroras from balloons. Image: NASA/JPL.

Retro Travel Posters Show Us The Future

12 Feb , 2016

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One of the greatest things about being a space enthusiast is all of the discoveries that come out on an almost daily basis. One of the saddest things about being a space enthusiast is all of the discoveries and destinations that are so close, just beyond the horizon of our lifespan.

Will we colonize other planets? Sure, but most of us living will be gone by then. Will we spend time in glorious, gleaming space habitats? Obviously, but we’ll just be epitaphs by then. Sentient, alien species that gift us faster-than-light travel and other wonders? Maybe, but not before my bucket list has its final item checked off.

Citizen space travel? Hmmmm, tantalizingly within reach.

But now, new retro style posters from NASA, designed by the team at Invisible Creature, are making us feel nostalgic about things that haven’t even happened yet, and are helping us leave behind gloomy thoughts of being born at the wrong time.

The Grand Tour. Image: NASA/JPL

The Grand Tour. Image: NASA/JPL

The Grand Tour celebrates a time when our probes toured the planets, using gravity assist to propel them on their missions.

“Grandpa, do you remember the Grand Tour, when spacecraft used gravity assist to visit other worlds?”

“I sure do. Gravity assist. Those were the days. Swooping so close to Jupiter, you could feel the radiation killing your hair follicles. Only to be sling-shotted on to the next planet.”

“But why didn’t you just use a quantum drive to bend space time and appear at your destination?”

“Quantum drives! Those things ain’t natural. And neither is bending space-time. Give me a good old-fashioned chemical rocket any time.”

“Oh Grandpa.”

Visit Historic Mars. Image: NASA/JPL

Visit Historic Mars. Image: NASA/JPL

Visit the Historic Sites of Mars recalls a time when space pioneers colonized and terraformed Mars.

“Grandpa, what was Mars like in the Early Days?”

“You mean before it was terraformed? Very tough times.”

“Because conditions were so difficult? And food was hard to grow?”

“No. Because of the protesters.”

“Protesters? On Mars?”

“Yup. Every time we found a good spot for a Bacterial Production Facility (BPF), it seemed like there was an expired old rover in the way. The protesters didn’t think we should move ’em. Part of our heritage.”

“So what did you do Grandpa?”

“We created a network of computers that everybody would stare at all day. After that, nobody noticed what we did anymore.”

“Oh Grandpa.”

Visit Beautiful Southern Enceladus. Image: NASA/JPL

Visit Beautiful Southern Enceladus. Image: NASA/JPL

Visit Beautiful Southern Enceladus invites vacationers to visit Saturn’s sixth largest moon to view the ice geysers there.

“Grandpa, did you ever visit Enceladus?”

“I sure did. A beautiful, haunting place.”

“Was it scary? With all of the ice geysers erupting unpredictably?”

“On no. I always knew when one was going to erupt.”

“What? How did you know?”

“My arthritis would flare up.”

“Oh Grandpa.”

Other Posters

NASA has a growing collection of other posters. You can see them here.

SpaceX has their own posters, which you can see here. They also have cool t-shirts with the same designs.

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