Saturday, February 19, 2011

Nice postcard from Russia.

Postcard "Dog Laika". Artist E. Gundobin 1958. On November 3d, 1957 the first space traveler dog Laika made flight on the onboard of the second artificial Earth satellite. The posctard came with nice stamps too.

The Russian Post has issued a stamp commemorating the 50th anniversary of the space trip of famous Soviet dogs Belka and Strelka.

From Wikipedia:Belka (Белка, literally, "squirrel") and Strelka (Стрелка, "Arrow") spent a day in space aboard Korabl-Sputnik-2 (Sputnik 5) on August 19, 1960 before safely returning to Earth.

They were accompanied by a grey rabbit, 42 mice, 2 rats, flies and a number of plants and fungi. All passengers survived. They were the first Earth-born creatures to go into orbit and return alive.

Strelka went on to have six puppies with a male dog named Pushok who participated in many ground-based space experiments, but never made it into space. One of the pups was named Pushinka (Пушинка, "Fluffy") and was presented to President John F. Kennedy's daughter Caroline by Nikita Khrushchev in 1961.

On the 25 of January the Russian Post issued a stamp to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Mstislav Keldysh.

The stamp features a portrait of the scientist, the first artificial Earth satellite and Keldysh's formula (on the completeness of the eigenfunction).

Mstislav Keldysh was a Soviet scientist in the field of mathematics and mechanics. He was one of the key figures behind Soviet space program. Among scientific circles of USSR Keldysh was known with epithet "the Chief Theoretician".

The crater Keldysh on the Moon, and a research vessel Akademik Mstislav Keldysh are named after him. A minor planet, 2186 Keldysh discovered in 1973 by Soviet astronomer Lyudmila Chernykh, is also named in his honor.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Nice cover from Holland. Thank you NIico!

From Wikipedia:

The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 18 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000 with an annual budget of about €3.6 billion in 2009.

ESA's space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. The main European launch vehicle Ariane 5 is operated through Arianespace with ESA sharing in the costs of launching and further developing this launch vehicle.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sigmund Jähn. Thank you Lily !!

From Wikipedia:

Sigmund Werner Paul Jähn (born 13 February 1937) is a German pilot who became the first German to fly in space as part of the Soviet Union's Intercosmos program

In 1976, Jähn was selected with his backup Eberhard Köllner for the Intercosmos program. He trained in Star City near Moscow for the next two years, and flew on board Soyuz 31 (launched 26 August 1978) to the Soviet space station Salyut 6, and returned on Soyuz 29, landing on 3 September 1978. He spent 7 days, 20 hours, and 49 minutes in space.

During and after the flight, he and the socialist authorities of the GDR pronounced him "the first German cosmonaut", which was remarkable, as in those days the East German state normally stressed that their people were "GDR citizens", to distinguish themselves from West Germany.

Nice cover from Switzerland. Thank you Verena !

From Wikipedia:
113390 Helvetia
is an asteroid. It was discovered by Markus Griesser on September 29, 2002. Its provisional name was 2002 SU19. It bears the Latin name for Switzerland, where the asteroid was discovered; Helvetia is also an allegorical figure, symbol for the nation. It has an absolute magnitude of 15.4 and an orbital period of 1276.48 days.