Space philately is really beautiful, interesting and inexhaustible topic. We guess it's almost impossible to create the site nowadays where all space relative philatelic materials (postage stamps, stationary, postal marks etc.) would be registered and presented. Too many of them were issued during the past five decades.
But, as residents of the third space state say, "The Journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step". We tried to make such a step in April 2005, placing at the site first images of postage stamps with portraits of astronauts (cosmonauts, spacionauts, taikonauts…).
Now let's tell some words about the structure of this encyclopedia part.
All illustrative material (or simply speaking, all scans of stamps) are grouped in four sections: Countries, Years, Astronauts and Flights.
The postage stamps with portraits of astronauts in Countries section are listed in alphabetical order of issuer country name. Stamps of each country are arranged in issue date order.
The postage stamps in Years section are grouped by the year of issue.
The postage stamps in Astronauts section are grouped by the names of astronauts depicted on them. To make search more comfortable all astronaut names are divided by countries. Postage stamps dedicated to each astronaut are arranged in issue date order.
The postage stamps in Flights section are grouped by chronological order of launch dates of space ships they are dedicated to. For convenience they are also grouped by space exploration programs.
To look at the postage stamps related to the chosen astronaut, one should find his or her name in the list and click a mouse at the appropriate "Марки/Stamps" word. The list of postage stamps with portrait of chosen astronaut and their images will appear. Click on any desired image to magnify it. Be careful: if you click at a astronaut name you'll get in another encyclopedia section where you'll be able to read the biography of the astronaut. In this part only biographies of the astronauts depicted on postage stamps are placed. Sections Countries and Flights are organized in the same way. In "Ивер, Михель, Скотт" column there are shown Yvert, Michel and Scott catalog numbers for postage stamps.
There are only those postage stamps presented at the site which can be found in at least one of the three catalogues mentioned above. Neither fantastic nor Trucial states issues of 1964-1972 are presented. The site was designed for people who are interested in space exploration info at first, so no philatelic details (imperforated variants, different surcharges and overprints, de luxe proofs, etc.) are provided.
After the images of ALL postage stamps had been placed at the site, the work was continued. Now in the Countries section ALL postmarks and stamped stationary with portraits of astronauts are presented. New section Supplements appeared, where one can see the stamps dedicated to animals in space, international space flies and also some cinderellas and personalized stamps. Here one also can see the stamps with portraits of Gennady Padalka and Alexander Kalery and learn why they are not in the main section.
There is also Articles section in this part of the encyclopedia, where some author's articles concerning space philately are presented.
The author thanks his colleagues for invaluable assistance in creating of this part of the encyclopedia with their advises and information. These are Ivan Ivanov (Moscow), Alexander Petrov (Moscow), Anatoly Kosozhikhin (Perm), Robert Keller (Germany), Oleg Zaburdaev (Moscow).
Send us your opinions, remarks and wishes concerning Astronauts in Philately by email to the address provided.