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Space Race tabletop game

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: 6187

Scope and Contents

This collection includes the game's two original plastic rockets for launching, a set of score-keeping beads, and the revolving spring-loaded wooden launcher, all housed in the original hinged wooden box. Color illustrations of Soviet and U.S. rockets and satellites in space are affixed to both the interior and exterior of the box's lid. The game's eight different target cups bearing the names of various planets and rockets are also affixed to the box's interior lid.


  • circa 1960s

Conditions Governing Access

Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.


1 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



The Space Race tabletop game is a midcentury educational game based on the Space Race of the 1950s and 1960s between the Soviet Union and the United States, housed inside of a hinged wooden box illustrated with planets and Soviet and U.S. rockets. Players are intended to use the game's revolving spring-loaded wooden launcher to launch small plastic rockets into target cups representing various planets and rockets. The Space Race officially began on August 2, 1955, when the Soviet Union responded to the announcement made by the United States four days earlier of their intent to launch artificial satellites, by declaring that they would also launch a satellite in the near future. This game features major figures from the Space Race, with the red launch rocket (and corresponding red target cup and accompanying illustration) referring to Yuri Gagarin, the first human to orbit Earth, and the yellow launch rocket (and corresponding yellow target cup and accompanying illustration) referring to Leroy Gordon Cooper, the U.S. astronaut who piloted the longest and final Mercury spaceflight in 1963. The other target cups have labels (in French) for the moon, Mars, Venus, Saturn, Neptune, and Pluto. The game was created in France (no publisher specified), circa 1960s (undated).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from F.A. Bernett Books, April 10, 2019.

Finding aid for the Space Race tabletop game
Bo Doub
2019 May
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the USC Libraries Special Collections Repository

Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-0189 United States