Alexandra V. Simonova

European University at Saint Petersburg

Articles. Research

The space mythology has passed through different phases during theXXth century. My research focuses on the three main types of myth creation in the USSR and modern Russia, which are folklore, wordview and communication. This analysis of attitudes toward outer space provides an opportunity to follow the juxtaposition of myth, politics, science and society. In the early XXth century myths about outer space were similar to folklore, but later outer space become the central part of the Soviet worldview. Dreams about outer space defined the world of Soviet people. The political crisis in the USSR was tied to the dead-end of technology development for outer space exploration. The collapse of the USSR and the loss of political vector in Russia in the 1990s aggravated the stagnation of space program that followed by losing of mythology based on Soviet science fiction. Pragmatic goals without utopian imagination, scientific passion and political will included outer space in world market where myth emerged as a communication strategy for promotion of big corporations’ interests. Common knowledge separated from scientific basics and strong political values was not able to create new outer space mythology that ended up with loss of public interest as well as the goals for scientific exploration of outer space in Russia.

Keywords: outer space, utopia, mythology, communication, space program, cosmism, imagination, soviet science, soviet technology, cyberpunk, science fiction,STS.