Sunday, February 24, 2013


As I am preparing this post for stamps on space, I am watching a repeat of The Space Age: NASA's Story. This episode is unfortunately about the disasters of the Columbia and Challenger missions.

Having been born at the beginning of the Space Age, my memories of the first missions are vague and scant, though the names are all familiar.

I have an extensive collection of space related stamps from this simple design (before 1964) from Poland of Vostok 1.

This was the first human spaceflight with Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961. It was a single (and the shortest ever) orbit of earth. Many of the details weren't known for years because of the secrecy of the Soviet space program, but Gagarin apparently landed safely by parachute separately from the spacecraft.

Also in this series is Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite, which went into orbit in 1957 and is considered to have been the start of the space race between the USSR and USA.

A different series (1966) shows a better illustration of Vostok

This one shows the 'interplanetary exploration'

I am rather fond of this stamp celebrating the first man on the moon that comes from Guinea and shows a view taken from the moon's surface towards earth, with Africa in prominent position.

and while we are on the topic of views of earth from space, may I take this opportunity to remind you of the excellent daily photos from the ISS by Chris Hadfield.


  1. These stamps are them. They are unique and really span the space exploration history.

  2. A series of stamps that I had never seen - superb. Special thanks for giving us the Chris Hadfield link.

  3. I used Sputnik 1 too, those early stamps are so interesting to compare to ones today.

  4. Columbia and Challenger....such terrible disasters. Young, beautiful lives gone in an instant. A terrible price to pay for space exploration.

  5. Love the interplanetary exploration stamp. And thanks for the link to Chris Hadfield's twitter site - great photos.

  6. Gosh, was it as long ago as that! I wish I could say I don't remember...

  7. the names of 'Sputnik' and 'Vostok' always seemed more appealing to me than 'Apollo'...there is something charming about the Russian language :)

  8. I've never seen these stamps before - my favourite is also the one from the Guinea. I agree with Ana's comment. The Russian name sounds more appealing.

    Postcards Crossing

  9. When I think of the literal leap of faith it took to be one of the first astronauts (don't get me wrong, I think it's hugely courageous in any era), it blows my mind. Can you even imagine agreeing to take your chances like that?


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