15 February 2022

The Soyuz MS-21 Crew Patch

The Soyuz MS-21 will launch on March 18. 2022. The all Russian crew comprised of Oleg Artemyev, Commander, Denis Matveyev, Flight 1 Engineer and Sergey Korsakov, Flight 2 Engineer. The spacecraft was called `Kololyov` and the mission was called `Launch by Baumansky Start`. This is in reflection that all of the crew members are graduates from the Bauman Moscow State Technical University, the `Московский государственный технический университет им. Н. Э. Баумана`. Their crew patch was also based on the arms of the Bauman Moscow State Technical University.

On July 1. 2005, Russia issued a postage stamp to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the University. The stamp features a painting of the university by A. Kernosov and also featured the coat of arms of the University for which the Soyuz 21 crew patch was based on. Many of the graduates of the Bauman University are world renowned including such notable people as Sergei Korolov, Andrey Tupolov, nikolay Zhukovsky and Pavel Sukhoi.

1. The Soyuz MS-21 prime crew.

2. The Soyuz MS-21 crew patch.

3. The arms of the Bauman Moscow State Technical University.

4. The stamp commemorating the 175th anniversary of the Bauman Moscow State university.

5. Stamp sheet for the Bauman University.

6. The Soyuz MS-21 reserve crew patch.

13 February 2022


SpaceX launched the National Reconnaissance Office, `NRO`, national security NROL-87 mission on February 2 . 2022. It was launched by a brand new Falcon 9 Booster, B1071, from the Vandenberg Space Force Base, Space Launch Complex 4E, in California. The booster made a boost back manoeuvre and landed back at Landing Zone 4 to be used again.

There were three mission patches for this launch. The NRO mission patch showing a wild mountain goat standing proud atop a mountain peak remaining watchfully alert. The goat is also said the represent the constellation Aries which may be the name of the constellation of satellites in this series of reconnaissance satellites.

The SpaceX NROL-87 launch patch showing the colours of the United States flag, representing the nationalism of this launch. The white star shows the launch site in California, with the brand new Falcon 9 booster central to the patch. To the right, over Greenland is the lucky SpaceX four leaf clover.

The 30th Space wing at Vandenberg also had a `Don`t Fly Angry` mission launch patch. This patch features a Groundhog wearing a hat and carrying a briefcase denoting the SpaceX NROL-87 launch. The groundhog is shown as the launch was on February 2, Groundhog Day in the United States. If a Groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day and sees its shadow due to clear weather, it will retreat to its den, and winter will go on for six more weeks. 

If it does not see its shadow because of cloudiness, spring will arrive early. The Groundhog Day ceremony is held at Punxsutawney in western Pennsylvania , centering on a semi-mythical groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil . Both the Woodchuck and the Groundhog are the same Marmot, Marmota Monax, which was shown on a stamp issued by the United States in 1987. Interestingly Punxsutawney Phil and the 30th Space Wing`s Groundhog predicted 6 more weeks of winter.

1. NROL 87 launch on a Falcon 9 rocket.

2. NROL-87 mission patch.

3. NROL-87 SpaceX mission patch

4. NROL-87 30th Space Wing launch mission patch.

5. United States Groundhog stamp.

6. Groundhog first day cover, dated June 13. 1987.

28 December 2021


 Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington

By Gene Major

Today, December 28 marks the birth of English astronomer/mathematician Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington (1882). Sir Eddington worked on understanding the structure of stars and especially for his work on interpreting Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity. Eddington's expedition (on the island of Principe to observe the total solar eclipse of 29 May 1919 and his photographs confirmed that a massive object like the sun can bend starlight due to gravitation, just as Einstein predicted. Eddington went on to discover the mass-luminosity relationship of stars in 1924 through his study of Cepheid variable stars. Eddington died unmarried in 1944. In 2019, Portugal issued a set of stamps honouring the 1919 eclipse expedition that confirmed Einstein's theories of general relativity, as did Sao Tome E Principe.

19 December 2021

PGM-17 Thor Postcard

 PGM-17 Thor Postcard

The PGM-17A Thor was the first operational ballistic missile of the U. S. Air Force (USAF). Named after the Norse god of thunder, it was deployed in the United Kingdom between 1959 and September 1963 as an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) with thermonuclear warheads. Thor was 65 feet (20 m) in height and 8 feet (2.4 m) in diameter. The Thor and later Delta families of space launch vehicles used boosters derived from the initial Thor missile.

This postcard shows the Thor rocket on a launch pad at Cape Canaveral and is franked with the date November 2. 1959. 

The picture shows a Thor test launch was on May 12 1959 with missile number 187.


 JUNO • NASA’s Juno Spacecraft ‘Hears’ Jupiter’s Moon

Dec. 17, 2021

IMAGE:  This JunoCam image shows two of Jupiter's large rotating storms, captured on Juno’s 38th perijove pass, on Nov. 29, 2021. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS 

• An audio track (Audio in post comments) collected during Jupiter mission’s Ganymede flyby offers a dramatic ride-along. It is one of the highlights mission scientists shared in a briefing at American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.

Sounds from a Ganymede flyby, magnetic fields, and remarkable comparisons between Jupiter and Earth’s oceans and atmospheres were discussed during a briefing today on NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in New Orleans.

Juno Principal Investigator Scott Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio has debuted a 50-second audio track generated from data collected during the mission’s close flyby of the Jovian moon Ganymede on June 7, 2021. Juno’s Waves instrument, which tunes in to electric and magnetic radio waves produced in Jupiter’s magnetosphere, collected the data on those emissions. Their frequency was then shifted into the audio range to make the audio track.

“This soundtrack is just wild enough to make you feel as if you were riding along as Juno sails past Ganymede for the first time in more than two decades,” said Bolton. “If you listen closely, you can hear the abrupt change to higher frequencies around the midpoint of the recording, which represents entry into a different region in Ganymede's magnetosphere.”

• Continue Reading: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/.../nasas-juno-spacecraft-hears...

• Juno online at: https://www.nasa.gov/juno

• Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS Image processing: Kevin M. Gill CC BY

11 December 2021

Viktor Vasiliyevich

 On December 3, 1934, birth of Viktor Vasiliyevich Gorbatko in Ventsy-Zarya in Russia, Soviet cosmonaut selected on March 7, 1960 in the TsPK-1 group.

He participated in three space missions:

-Soyuz 7, from 12 to 17 October 1969.

-Soyuz 24, from February 7 to 25 1977.

-Soyuz 37, from July 23 to July 31, 1980.

He was assigned to the reserve crew for the flights of Soyuz 5, Soyuz 21, Soyuz 23 and Soyuz 31.

He leaves the group of cosmonauts on August 28, 1982 after 30 days 12 hours 47 minutes spent in space.

He died on May 17, 2017 in Moscow.

By Astrophilatelie Martin

10 December 2021

Covers and stamps

 Covers and stamps Space meeting on July 17, 1975 Apollo/ Soyuz mission USA/ USSR. Kingdom of Laos.

By Astrophilatelie Martin

09 December 2021

post office issued

 The French post office issued a stamp on July 22, 2019 for the 50th anniversary of man's first steps on the moon. Stamp valued at 1.30 Euros depicting Buzz Aldrin next  to the US flag on the moon.

First day cover and postcards with philatelic stamp city of Toulouse and insert with philatelic stamp city of Paris.

By Astrophilatelie Martin

08 December 2021

Japanese NASDA cover

59th Japanese NASDA cover commemorating this time the International Microgravity Laboratory 2 (IML-2) mission flown on the Space Shuttle mission STS-65 in 1994.