Tag La Lune

Apollo Saturn

The interior of a Saturn F-1 engine

Detail of stage wiring -- possibly from test stage S-II-F/D

Detail of what may be test stage S-II-F/D

Below the launch stack, there was no sign, no marker. Our faces turned up into the glare of the sun, eyes straining to discern every rough but elegant line, every component describing the soul of a machine built to create an arc to the moon.

I knew the name Saturn before I could read.

( Is it not natural to wonder if she only sleeps? In sleep, does she dream of the sky? )

1966 Luna 9, 10, 11 Stamps

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Between 1959 and 1976, the Soviet Union launched 24 robotic spacecraft toward the moon. These were the Luna missions. On February 3, 1966, Luna 9 became the first spacecraft to land successfully on the lunar surface and transmit photographs back to Earth. On March 13, 1966, Luna 10 became the first artificial satellite of the moon. On August 27, 1966, Luna 11 — essentially a backup of the Luna 10 spacecraft — became the second artificial satellite of the moon. The two latter missions included scientific instruments designed to study lunar chemical composition, gravitational anomalies, and radiation.

1963 CCCP Antarctica, Moon Stamps

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Canceled stamps which appear to depict the 9th Soviet Antarctic Expedition — led by Dr. Mikhail Somov — and a moon mission (possibly the Soviet Luna program; I wish I could read Russian).

Something to note in these stamps — and the others posted throughout this week — are the similarities in graphic design. Generally, the negative space is employed to graphically depict a macroscopic aspect of the subject (ie, what the person or program was about) while the foreground is dedicated to microscopic visual aspects of the subject (ie, specific portraiture, wildlife, technology, etc).

Update 2009-02-09: I’ve uploaded an enlargement of the Antarctic Expedition stamps.

Update 2009-02-10: Many thanks to Saintneko and the artists of the Li’l Nyet web comic for furnishing a translation of these stamps in the comments below!