Traveling through space has been a fascination for not only astronauts and cosmonauts, but regular folks around the world as well. Those of us not lucky enough to have the experience of space travel have often watched in eager anticipation as the various space crafts have lifted off to reach destinations that we can only dream about. There have been many successful missions and sadly some tragic endings to these amazing adventures.
Back the 1960’s there was a race between the United States and Russia to see who would be the first to send a team of astronauts to the moon. As history would dictate, the United States was the lucky winner. On July 16, 1969, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and Michael Collins set out on the space mission “ Apollo 11 – Moon Landing”. Neil Armstrong was the first human to step onto the Moon’s surface and upon doing so he stated the words that are known throughout the world… “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the only two astronauts that walked the earth’s surface that day, while Michael Collins orbited overhead. Armstrong and Aldrin collected lunar samples, performed experiments and photographed the moon’s surface before returning to the spacecraft for their journey home. Their important work paved the way for six more Apollo missions to the moon.
Because landing on the Moon was such an historic event, there have been many postage stamps issued to commemorate the occasion. On September 9, 1969, the United States Postal Service issued a 10 cent postage stamp showing an astronaut walking on the surface of the moon. It was called the “First Man on the Moon” postage stamp. This postage stamp shows Neil Armstrong stepping out of the Apollo 11 lunar module “Eagle”. Armstrong himself is not actually honored because of the rules set in place in the United States that living people cannot be depicted on postage stamps that are issued by the United States Postal Service.
Here’s another bit of interesting stamp trivia regarding this stamp…
Some people wonder why there were two different dates used for the postmark on the First Day Covers for the First Man on the Moon postage stamp. It happened for a couple of reasons. The master printing die for the stamp actually made the trip to the moon and back in July of 1969. Upon its return to earth, it was used to make the printing plates for the postage stamps and used on the First Day Covers. The stamps were not ready for release to the public until September 9, 1969 so this is the date that was stamped as the day of issue on the First Day Covers. Because the July 20, 1969 moon landing was such a significant occurrence as well, there was also a cancellation created for the First Day Cover to commemorate the occasion. So each cover had two dates (September 9, 1969 and July 20, 1969), with two locations (Washington, DC and Moon Landing) showcased. If you are lucky enough to own one, it makes for a nice collectors item!
Stamp Center has many different space themed postage stamps in their stock that are available. You will also find many postage stamps commemorating many of the different Apollo missions from countries all around the world. Whatever your interest is, we are sure to have something that will dazzle and delight at Stamp Center! Stop by today!