Deep in the depths of the Smithsonian Air & Space Fly Now! poster collection lie these advertising gems for the American Space Commerce Corporation. This company was acting as an agent selling launch space on a variety of Soviet launch vehicles, as well as room for whatever experiments you could dream up on the Mir station, in the late 1980s. While not a huge part of the poster collection, they are an interesting part of space history, especially in light of the current status of NASA’s mission capability. A harbinger of things to come perhaps?
Quite possibly the largest publicly-held collection of its kind in the United States, the National Air and Space Museum’s posters focus primarily on advertising for aviation-related products and activities. Among other areas, the collection includes 19th-century ballooning exhibition posters, early 20th-century airplane exhibition and meet posters, and twentieth-century airline advertisements.
The posters in the collection represent printing technologies that include original lithography, silkscreen, photolithography, and computer-generated imagery. The collection is significant both for its aesthetic value and because it is a unique representation of the cultural, commercial and military history of aviation. The collection represents an intense interest in flight, both public and private, during a significant period of its technological and social development.