A new exhibition examining the space age has gone on show at the V&A’s Museum of Childhood with the help of Kingston University expert Dr Chris Welch.
The lecturer in astronautics and space systems was appointed Scientist in Residence for the Museum of Childhood’s Space Age: Exploration, Design and Popular Culture exhibition which opened in London in November and will tour the country from March.
The exhibition let Dr Welch assemble space influences from far and wide and produce educational materials.
Visitors can view more than 300 intriguing items from the museum’s own collection as well as loans from around the world.
“I’m exceptionally pleased with how it’s turned out,” Dr Welch said.
“It reflects the impact on space throughout our culture – on design, toys, fashion, even architecture.
Space has influenced our lives in ways we’re not usually aware of.”
Welch said writers and even toy-makers do not always just follow what is happening in space exploration, but can sometimes anticipate it.
When Arthur C. Clarke’s science fiction novel A Fall of Moondust came out in 1961, it depicted a lunar surface of fine powder.
That meant a landing craft with pointy legs would sink.
Soon moon-landing toys began to appear with wide saucers on the bottom of their legs, a development later reflected in NASA’s own lunar modules.