zondag 25 mei 2014

Sunday stamps: Men in space

This Sunday Stamps' theme is "stamp commemorating a person or event worth remembering".

There's one event which goes back to one of my very first memories. I was four-and-half years old, and as usual I had gone to bed to sleep in time. However, that night my mother took me out of bed. What would happen?
The whole family (that is, the four of us) was gathered around our old, then brand new, black-and-white t.v.
I don't remember the programm exactly, but the memory gaps have been filled by the images I've seen later in life.

It was 1969, and it was Neil Armstrong who said (while doing it) "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind".

Twenty-five years later this stamp was issued in the Netherlands, to commemorate this amazing event. The text you see is the Dutch translation of Neil Armstrong's words.

There have been many more in space. For instance the famous dog Laika, who was the first animal who went in orbit around the Earth. There is a stamp commemorating this unfortunate pioneer, which has been issued in 1959 in Romania. You can see that stamp here.

More lucky space journeys than the one Laika was submitted to, have been made by 'our' (read: Dutch) astronauts. In the Netherlands there only have been two of them, so far. They never stepped on the moon, but they did interesting research in space, and showed magnicifent pictures of our world to all of us. A world which, viewed from space, looks very small...

The first Dutch astronaut was Wubbo Ockels. Sadly he passed away, exactly one week ago.
As far as I know there haven't been issued stamps about him. But I was happy to see him connected to a stamp: I found this picture, of Wubbo Ockels presenting the stamp you see above, in 1994.

The other Dutch Astronaut is André Kuipers. He has been travelling in space twice. The most recent journey has been between December 2011 and July 2012, for which the Dutch Post issued this stamp sheet:

Also André Kuipers is a very sympathetic person, and I think he is both fond of laughing and fond of sharing knowledge.
In his online photoalbum he shares amazing pictures with all of us. You can find his photostream here.
My favourite picture, which has been in many newspapers, too, is the one in which he plays with weightlessness: you can see a bubble of air in a drop of water. I think this beautiful photo worth a stamp, too :-)

9 opmerkingen:

  1. the first human step on the surface of the moon is truly an iconic image

  2. Journeys into space have now become so commonplace that we rarely hear of who the astronauts are. I had no idea that the Netherlands had been involved. Thanks for showing these.

  3. space stamps are always a delight to see! thanks for sharing!
    And I do agree with Bob...it has become so common for astronauts to go to space, that they are not being given the attention as they used to be.

  4. I hadn't heard about the Dutch astronauts. It is amazing to me how we have come to find travel in space almost ordinary and yet that first, small, step seemed so incredible not so very long ago.

  5. I also didn't know that there were Dutch astronauts. the first moon landing still seems more interesting than the later space missions.

  6. I like any space related stamp. Very important History. It's a shame we don't pay more attention to space exploration these days.

  7. I like the use of the clear footstep contrasting to the grainy 60s television footage of the first landing on the moon. The space station missions do tend to get overlooked nowadays but it is great that many nationalities have got the chance to take the trip, and even better if they get their own stamp! Love that sheet. The space station is in the right orbit for me to look up and see it at the moment but I have no idea who is on board, you've made me think I'll have to find out.

  8. The first stamp is really great. I had this picture on my room's wall for some years, with a quotation from a favourite book: "There's no wind on the Moon, so the footsteps remain forever".

    I like your choice!

  9. Thanks for sharing great stamps, and making us aware of the Dutch astronauts.