There has always been a fascination with outer space amongst humans. However, it wasn’t until 1926 that the first steps were taken to usher in the Space Age. Robert Goddard’s historic launch of the first liquid fueled rocket in Auburn, Massachusetts on March 16, 1926 marked the beginning of a new era of technology. With this advancement came the spaceflight aesthetic as well. Although the general public was initial distrustful of such ideas, eventually they came around to advocating in favor of spaceflight.
Spaceflight is unique in that its aesthetic is one that arose out of feasibility rather than design. When designing spacecraft, rockets, shuttles, satellites, and stations companies were more concerned with how things worked rather than how they looked.
The International Space Station showcases many of the features associated with spaceflight and spacecraft aesthetics. There is a distinct lack of color with the exception of the solar panels and a few other components. All of the components need to be meticulously cleaned so the entire station appears to be in pristine condition despite being operational for years. The rockets and shuttles also tend to keep the same white, black, and reddish color palette. Rockets and shuttles over the last few decades have evolved to have much greater capabilities, but have overall maintained their same general shape and appearance with a few minor adjustments.
Spaceflight doesn’t just apply to the actual spacecraft though. There have to be people on the ground controlling the situation and that takes place in a mission control room. Whether is was during the 1960’s or present day, the aesthetic of the mission control room has essentially remained the same. A large room with giant monitors at the front surrounded by dozens of people each with their own collection of monitors. The room itself creates an air of tension which is to be expected when dealing with such a high stakes and high pressure situation.
Image 1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_H._Goddard
Image 2: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Space_Station
Image 3: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Challenger
Image 4: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn_V
Image 5: https://spacecenter.org/exhibits-and-experiences/nasa-tram-tour/apollo-mission-control/
Image 6: https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/engineers-at-spacex-launch-control-center