China launched its first crewed space mission in 2003, but its dreams of people in space stretch back much farther. A recurring image of that interplanetary future: chubby-cheeked toddlers cruising through space with puppies and bunnies.

Chinese Posters explains that space imagery was especially popular in the 1980s and 1990s as it represented China's desire to modernize. Among the images this fascination with space birthed were images of young children freely traveling the cosmos, accompanied by pets and toys.

So be forewarned: space is full of babies riding the Big Wheels equivalent of space shuttles. Be careful where you drive.

Chinese Space Program [Chinese Posters via Metafilter]

Taikonaut babies of China's space age

Taikonaut babies of China's space age

Taikonaut babies of China's space age

Taikonaut babies of China's space age

Taikonaut babies of China's space age