Historic Spacecraft Historic Spacecraft Logo


About Historic Spacecraft

I started Historic Spacecraft in 2006. The initial goal was to host several hundred photos of space hardware from my collection. I later started to create illustrations for many spacecraft and rockets. Hopefully, this website will provide a valuable resource to space modelers and space exploration historians.

Historic Spacecraft currently has around 7,500 visitors per month. As of January 2014, the website includes over 1500 photographs and over 500 original illustrations.

I have an online store at CafePress. Sales from the products help support this website. If you think this website is worthwhile, consider making a small contribution via Paypal. All help is greatly appreciated!

Richard Kruse
Webmaster, HistoricSpacecraft.com

Richard Kruse

About Me

Michigan Space and Science Center

I was a volunteer at the Michigan Space and Science Center from 1996 until the museum closed in 2003. The museum was then home to the Apollo 9 spacecraft, a Gemini spacecraft trainer, and a collection of spacesuits among other things.

For its size, the museum included an impressive collection of rocket engines, including an F-1, J-2, Redstone, Atlas sustainer, Lunar Module Ascent Engine, and even parts of a NERVA nuclear thermal engine.

My first major volunteer project involved creating a 3-D virtual model of the museum. The model was created using a program called Turbo-Cad and represented one of my first attempts at modeling something this complex. The museum staff used the digital model for facilities use planning and for planning new exhibits.

Michigan Space and Science Center Michigan Space and Science Center Michigan Space and Science Center

My responsibilities grew to include several information technology tasks, including designing and implementing a membership database and an artifact database. I also cataloged the centers extensive film, video tape, and publication archives.

As a volunteer, I assisted in the creation of several hands-on science demonstration kits. Developed in a partnership between the museum and the local school district, the kits were designed to assist elementary school educators in teaching concepts of magnetism and electricity. My role was creating illustrations showing each step of the experiments.

When the museum closed in 2003, many of the artifacts were moved to the newly created Michigan Space Science Museum at the Kalamazoo aviation history museum. The Apollo 9 capsule would become part of the collection at the San Diego Air and Space Museum.

Ad Astra cover with my artwork.

Space Art

Starting in late 1990's, I was occasionally commissioned to create illustrations for magazines. My artwork appeared on the pages of Aviation History, Ad Astra, Final Frontier, and Military Technical Journal.

In 2001, I was asked to provide cover art for an upcoming issue of Ad Astra magazine. The artwork depicted all rockets that had launched humans into space. I still have a framed copy of that cover hanging near my desk.

Over the last few years, as Historic Spacecraft has grown, I have supplied artwork for a large number of museums, print publications, and websites.

Future updates to Historic Spacecraft will include more detailed artwork and cut-a-way views. I've also started developing interactive graphics for some of the spacecraft and rockets.

Want to Support HistoricSpacecraft.com?

Consider purchasing products from the Historic Spacecraft Store, or make a contribution via PayPal. Contributions to help cover web site costs are always appreciated!

Instructions for Making PayPal Contributions

Visit PayPal.com.

Select Send Money.

Send the contribution to my email address - richard@richardkruse.com

(The name of my company, Specialty Graphics, may appear on your bill.)

Thank You!

Image and Illustration Use Policy

Images and illustrations found on HistoricSpacecraft.com, credited to Richard Kruse, may be used by third parties for educational or other non-commercial purposes as long as a link is provided back to HistoricSpacecraft.com, or to the sub-page of historicspacecraft.com where the image or illustration was found.

Reproduction for commercial purposes requires prior approval (Almost always granted!). Email Richard for commercial usage requests.

NOTE: To conserve bandwidth, I down-sample almost all images uploaded to Historic Spacecraft. Higher resolution images will be available for publication purposes.