A History of Russian Philately Supplement
Space Themed Stamps
If you can add any more dates and details to this history, please let me know. I need to know the date (Julian or Gregorian if relevant and known), the event, and also - most important - a reference source to confirm the accuracy of the event if at all possible.
The Russian space program received its first public airing on 4 October 1957 with the launch of Sputnik 1 (the first of three such sputniks to be successfully launched and publically acknowledged).
Their successes became increasingly closely mirrored in stamps, with the epochal event of Yuri Gagarin becoming the first man in space being reflected in a stamp issued the very next day!
It is interesting to track space stamp issuances, but surprisingly difficult to do so. Some stamps have a space theme to them, but are not primarily associated with their space program (for example the stamps issued in the late 1950s commemmorating primarily the International Geophysical Year - should one include them or not in such a count?
Then of course is the always present problem of when does one count a stamp as a second issue and when does one not count it because it is merely a simple variation of an already counted prime issue?
It is also, alas, entirely possible that I've overlooked some, particularly if they are obscure stamps commemorating the birth or death of some historic figure with a tie-in to the space program.
To enable you to follow my logic, I'm accordingly showing Michel numbers for all the stamps I'm counting. Please feel free to discuss and dispute my logic!
This page last modified on May 15, 2010