Space Exploration and Philately: Apollo 11 on Stamps

Space Exploration and Philately: Apollo 11 on Stamps

On July 20, 1969, more than half a billion people around the world were transfixed by grainy black and white television footage of astronaut Neil Armstrong taking humankind’s first steps on the moon.

Apollo 11 from Canada

The mission was a giant leap for human space exploration and featured significant Canadian ingenuity and innovation. Canadian engineers working at NASA, and a company based in Longueuil, Quebec, that built part of the lunar lander, were instrumental in making the mission a success:

Moon Landing - Apollo 11

Canada – 2019/06/27 – 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 mission that landed humans on the moon for the first time

Héroux-Devtek – The first legs to stand on the moon didn’t belong to Neil Armstrong – they were from Héroux Machine Parts Limited of Longueuil, Quebec. Now known as Héroux-Devtek, the company manufactured the spider-like landing gear legs on the lunar module to NASA’s specifications. The legs were also part of the launch platform that let Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin lift off from the moon and reconnect with the main command module. Those legs remain on the moon at the Apollo 11 landing site, in an area known as the Sea of Tranquility.

The stamp issue, designed by Matthew Clark of Subplot Design Inc. and illustrated by Mack Sztaba, was printed by Lowe-Martin and is available in a booklet of 10 stamps and a pane of six. The Official First Day Cover is cancelled in Longueuil, home of Héroux-Devtek.

Moon Landing - Apollo 11

Canada – 2019/06/27 – 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 mission that landed humans on the moon for the first time

James (Jim) Chamberlin – Jim Chamberlin was a leading figure in aircraft design in Canada before moving to the U.S. in 1959 to work for NASA. He became head of engineering for Project Mercury, the first human spaceflight program for the United States, and project manager and chief designer for the Gemini spacecraft that preceded Apollo. He helped determine the type of spacecraft that would transport the Apollo 11 astronauts and was one of the first at NASA to recognize that flying directly to the moon wasn’t the best option. Instead, Chamberlin favoured having a smaller landing module travel to lunar orbit attached to the main spacecraft, then descend to the moon’s surface and later reconnect with the main spacecraft. This approach, known as lunar orbit rendezvous, became fundamental to the Apollo program.

Owen Maynard – One of Canada’s top aircraft engineers before being hired by NASA in 1959, Owen Maynard went on to head the Systems Engineering Division for the Apollo spacecraft program – effectively making him the chief engineer. He sketched early designs of the main Apollo command module and is credited as the person at NASA most responsible for the design of the lunar lander. He also served as Chief of the Mission Operations Division and was responsible for planning the sequence of missions that led to Apollo 11. Like Chamberlin, Maynard also played an important role in determining the safest way to reach and land on the moon.

Apollo 11 from Europe

Moon Landing - Apollo 11

Bosnia and Herzegovina – 2019/07/03 –  50th anniversary of the first manned Moon landing

Moon Landing - Apollo 11

Bosnia and Herzegovina – 2019/07/03 – FDC – 50th anniversary of the first manned Moon landing

Moon Landing - Apollo 11

Macedonia – 2019/07/06 – 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission

Apollo 11 from the USA

On July 16, 1969, the United States sent three brave men into the void of space to realize President John F. Kennedy’s dream of Americans walking on the surface of the moon.

On July 19, 2019, two U.S. stamps will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the successful completion of the most famous space achievement of all time.

Moon Landing - Apollo 11

USA – 2019/07/19 – First Moon Landing

The two nondenominated (55¢) Moon Landing Anniversary forever stamps will be issued in a pane of 24 with a first-day ceremony in Florida near the site where Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins began their historic journey half a century ago.

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