Go back to article: Cosmonauts: Birth of an Exhibition

Towards the culture of space exploration

That this exhibition’s aspirations were largely achieved would appear to be confirmed by the reaction of commentators and visitors alike: 'Colossal' – The Telegraph; ‘Must see’ – Londonist; 'An outstanding collection’ – New Scientist; 'Gripping' – The Observer; 'See this show and be uplifted, transported, taken out of this world’ – Nature; 'You will leave Cosmonauts with a different view of humanity's place in the cosmos' – Professor Brian Cox. The public reaction was equally enthusiastic and with a month still to run the exhibition had already welcomed over 100, 000 visitors. Typical comment on social media included: ‘Superb exhibition. You should all go. Now. Today’. @little_frear; ‘The Cosmonauts exhibition at the Science Museum is completely fascinating. I learnt so much.’ @jenimrose; ‘Holy Poop, it is so good.’ @coollike.

There is a question now of whether the success of Cosmonauts signals the need for an equivalent approach in other, future displays on the origins and history of space exploration. That the Russian experience is a singular one, emerging from a rich mix of the social, the artistic and the cultural is true but might surely also be the case, in respective ways, for narratives of other national and, indeed, international relationships with the cosmos.

Component DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15180/160508/006