MIR SPACE STATION

Soyuz T-15 was the first expedition to MIR station and the last to Salyut-7, closing Salyut era. Leonid Kizim and Vladimir Solovyev took around 100 various covers and postmarked them with both stations pentagon postmarks in blue and black inks. The covers were signed mostly back on Earth and some received additional inscriptions. These covers are quite common in the “space mail” inventory and there is an opinion that many of them were postmarked after the landing, thus making it impossible to distinguish between the really flown and not.

Soyuz TM-2 – the story of the first official space souvenir cover.

American stamp dealer Kurt Weishaupt agreed with USSR Space agency – GLAVKOSMOS, to produce souvenir covers and postmark them in space. 1038 covers were prepared, postmarked in Moscow and delivered on Progress-33 cargo ship to MIR station along with new MIR souvenir octagon shaped stamp (that became the philately logo of MIR). All the covers were stamped by blue-ink octagon, signed by the crew and returned to Earth on Soyuz TM-3. There the covers were postmarked in Araklyk, numbered and signed by Dunaev – head of GLAVKOSMOS. 1000 of the covers were sold by Mezhkniga to Kurt Weishaupt, who in his turn distributed them between well-known dealers. The covers were sold for quite high price (and still available for $500-$700 on ebay.com). Interestingly, the original batch of covers was to mention Laveykin as MIR crew member, but before they were dispatched to Baikonur, Laveykin was grounded due to health issues and replaced by Aleksandrov to return to Earth. Almost all printed covers were destroyed and the new ones, with Aleksandrov in place were delivered.

from Russian Astrophilately forum

Soyuz T-15
Soyuz T-15

MIR EO-1 Leonid Kizim Vladimir Solovyov

Soyuz TM-2
Soyuz TM-2

MIR EO-2 Yuri Romanenko Alexandr Laveykin

Soyuz TM-2
Soyuz TM-2

GLAVKOSMOS certificate

On February 1, 1990 Alexander Serebrov performed experimental testing of the Cosmonaut Transportation Device (rus – SPK) and reached the distance of 33 meters from the MIR station. The SPK was designed by Guy Severin’s Zvezda together with NPO Energia inspired by successful testing and application of NASA MMU in 1984. SPK was planned to be used supporting Buran program to transport cargos and assist in free maneuvering up to 100 meters distance from the spaceship.

During the first test Serebrov encountered several issues and generally was not able to fully estimate the capabilities of the device. Additional unplanned 5th EVA was granted to the cosmonauts on Feb 5 when Alexander Viktorenko used SPK to reach 45 meters distance from MIR and run a full circle around the station. SPK performance was proved to be unsatisfactory as it was cumbersome to operate and very hard to make any kind of movements while tightly buckled inside.

 

With the closure of Buran program all the SPK activities have been ceased. Having performed only two test runs and lacking a traditional for soviet space program nickname, SPK found its place in astrophilately like on this 1990 Cosmonautics day issue.

Note - Interesting issue with the Soyuz TM-14 Russia-Germany space flight covers. Several such serviced FDCs of the USSR-Austria joint space flight were provided to the Soyuz TM-14 crew. They were cancelled in Baikonur, along with other around 300 mail items, using postmark with the wrong date – 17.03.91 instead of 17.03.92. This was done in purpose to avoid fakes and forgeries. On the reverse of the presented cover there is a perfect stamp of the mission emblem. The signees on the cover are Viktorenko, Kaleri, Krikalev (Soyuz TM-12), Volkov (Soyuz TM-13) and Flade, note his full name signature. Flade landed on Soyuz TM-13 together with Volkov and Krikalev.

Here is a couple of interesting points regarding Soyuz TM-16 flight:

It was the first and only Soyuz equipped with APAS-89 docking system, improved analog of APAS-75 used during Apollo-Soyuz flight. The docking was performed to Kristall module instead of Kvant module. APAS-89 was developed in 1989 for Buran spaceship, but later used for Space Shuttle docking to MIR.

According to my observations, this was the first time (or one of the first) that cosmonauts used personal stamps on the flown covers. Two stamps are present – Soyuz TM-16 emblem and Manakov personal stamp with VULCAN call sign.

Znamya experiment souvenir card devoted to the 500th anniversary of Columbus discovery of America. The batch of 200 cards was delivered to MIR in Oct 29, 1992 on Progress M-15 cargo ship that served as experiment platform. It was accepted by Solovyev and Avdeyed who were EO-12 and also put their signatures. The experiment was conducted on Feb 4, 1993 by Manakov and Poleshchuk as EO-13, who put MIR postmark and their signatures as well.

Soyuz TM-3
Soyuz TM-3

MIR EP-1

Soyuz TM-3
Soyuz TM-3

MIR EP-1 + EO-2

Soyuz TM-3
Soyuz TM-3

Baikonur Kniga postmark

Soyuz TM-3
Soyuz TM-3

Syrian cover

HEXE experiment
HEXE experiment
HEXE experiment
HEXE experiment
Soyuz TM-5
Soyuz TM-5

MIR EP-2 Anatoly Solovyev Viktor Savinykh Aleksandr Aleksandrov (Bulgaria)

Soyuz TM-5
Soyuz TM-5

Baikonur

Soyuz TM-5
Soyuz TM-5

MIR EP-1

Soyuz TM-5
Soyuz TM-5

Bulgarian cover

Soyuz TM-6
Soyuz TM-6

MIR EP-3 Valeri Polyakov Vladimir Lyakhov Abdul Ahad Mohmand (Afghanistan)

Soyuz TM-6
Soyuz TM-6
Soyuz TM-7
Soyuz TM-7

Moscow FDC

Soyuz TM-7
Soyuz TM-7

Star City

Soyuz TM-7
Soyuz TM-7

Baikonur

Soyuz TM-7
Soyuz TM-7
Soyuz TM-7
Soyuz TM-7

MIR EO-4 Aleksandr Volkov Sergei Krikalev Jean-Loup Chrétien (France)

Soyuz TM-7
Soyuz TM-7

MIR EO-4

Soyuz TM-8
Soyuz TM-8

SPK test by A. Serebrov

Soyuz TM-9
Soyuz TM-9

EO-6 Anatoly Solovyev Aleksandr Balandin

Soyuz TM-10
Soyuz TM-10

EO-6 + EO-7

Soyuz TM-11
Soyuz TM-11
Soyuz TM-11
Soyuz TM-11

MIR EO-8 Viktor Afanasyev Musa Manarov Toyohiro Akiyama (Japan)

Soyuz TM-12
Soyuz TM-12

Moscow FDOI

Soyuz TM-12
Soyuz TM-12

Star City Anatoly Artsebarsky Sergei Krikalev Helen Sharman (United Kingdom)

Soyuz TM-12
Soyuz TM-12

Baikonur

Soyuz TM-11
Soyuz TM-11

landing crew This cover is quite symbolic - pure USSR 1982 FDC postmarked on MIR in 1991 just before the dismissal of the Soviet Union in Dec 91.

Soyuz TM-13
Soyuz TM-13

MIR EO-10 Aleksandr Volkov Toktar Aubakirov Franz Viehböck (Austria)

Soyuz TM-13
Soyuz TM-13

Baikonur cachet

Soyuz TM-13
Soyuz TM-13

MIR EO-10

Soyuz TM-13
Soyuz TM-13

MIR EO-10

Soyuz TM-13
Soyuz TM-13
Toktar Aubakirov
Toktar Aubakirov

1994

Toktar Aubakirov
Toktar Aubakirov

1994

Toktar Aubakirov
Toktar Aubakirov

5th anniversary of flight

Soyuz TM-13
Soyuz TM-13

10th anniversary

Soyuz TM-13
Soyuz TM-13

10th anniversary

Toktar Aubakirov
Toktar Aubakirov

10th anniversary of flight

Aleksandr Volkov
Aleksandr Volkov

15th anniversary of flight Gorlovka city - Alexander Volkov hometown

Aleksandr Volkov
Aleksandr Volkov

Star City

Soyuz TM-13
Soyuz TM-13

15th anniversary

Soyuz TM-14
Soyuz TM-14

Moscow FDC

Soyuz TM-14
Soyuz TM-14

flown cover

Soyuz TM-14
Soyuz TM-14

flight emblem cancellation

Soyuz TM-14
Soyuz TM-14

Russia-German philex

Soyuz TM-14
Soyuz TM-14

Munich pictorial postmark

Soyuz TM-14
Soyuz TM-14

MIR-92 Bonn postmark

Soyuz TM-14
Soyuz TM-14

Stuttgart postmark

Soyuz TM-15
Soyuz TM-15

Energia flown souvenir cover

Soyuz TM-15
Soyuz TM-15

Kazakhstan surcharge stamps

Soyuz TM-15
Soyuz TM-15
Soyuz TM-15
Soyuz TM-15
Soyuz TM-16
Soyuz TM-16

Novoskibirsk club cover

Soyuz TM-16
Soyuz TM-16

MIR EO-13 Gennadi Manakov Aleksandr Poleshchuk

Soyuz TM-15 / 16
Soyuz TM-15 / 16

MIR EO-12 / 13 signed by Solovyev, Avdeyev, Manakov and Poleshchuk

Znamya experiment
Znamya experiment

Progress M-15

Soyuz TM-17
Soyuz TM-17

Kazakhstan postmark with error "Ранция" instead of "Франция" all the covers were cancelled in Alma-Ata and received Baikonur calendar postmark later

Soyuz TM-17
Soyuz TM-17

MIR EO-13 / 14 /15

Soyuz TM-17
Soyuz TM-17

Serebrov record - 10th EVA

Soyuz TM-17
Soyuz TM-17

MIR EO-14 Vasili Tsibliyev Aleksandr Serebrov Jean-Pierre Haigneré (France)

Soyuz TM-18
Soyuz TM-18

Kazakhstan special postmark

Soyuz TM-18
Soyuz TM-18

overprinted stamp

Soyuz TM-18
Soyuz TM-18

MIR EO-15 Viktor Afanasiyev Yuri Usachyov Valeri Polyakov

Soyuz TM-19
Soyuz TM-19

MIR EO-16 Yuri Malenchenko Talgat Musabayev

Soyuz TM-19
Soyuz TM-19

Kazakhstan

Soyuz TM-19
Soyuz TM-19

T. Musabaev EVA Kazakhstan special postmark

Soyuz TM-20
Soyuz TM-20

MIR EO-17 Aleksandr Viktorenko Yelena Kondakova Ulf Merbold (Germany)

Soyuz TM-20
Soyuz TM-20

Star City anniversary FDC Viktorenko and Merbold signatures

EUROMIR 94
EUROMIR 94

Soyuz TM-19 landing Kazakhstan special postmark

EUROMIR 94
EUROMIR 94

Soyuz TM-19 landing Kazakhstan special postmark

EUROMIR 94
EUROMIR 94

Soyuz TM-19 landing Kazakhstan special postmark

EUROMIR 94
EUROMIR 94

Soyuz TM-19 landing Kazakhstan special postmark

STS-60 was the first operational mission of Shuttle-MIR program that included a cosmonaut in the Space Shuttle crew and live communications with MIR space station. Sergei Krikalev became the first Russian cosmonaut to fly on the U.S. Space Shuttle when he launched with his five NASA crewmates onboard Discovery. Krikalev and his backup, Vladimir Titov, joined the STS-60 mission after the U.S. crew had already been assigned; however, Krikalev was able to take full part in the mission. His roles included manipulating the Shuttle’s payload bay "arm" and operating the Space Acceleration Measurement System experiment, as well as participating in the joint science experiments. Krikalev’s backup Titov would go on to fly on the STS-63 "near Mir" mission. Besides gaining practical experience on an American Space Shuttle, Krikalev helped further diplomatic and public relations in ways that hearkened back to the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project of 1975 and pointed forward to the Shuttle-Mir flights.

The presented Apollo-11 25th anniversary cover issued in the same 1994 is quite interesting giving the direction of the “Next Step” towards the space station. Though not directly connected to the Shuttle-MIR program.

Quite unusual Houston STS-60 special postmark can be found on the dedicated wide format covers. It looks like a "fantasy" of one of the German dealers. Note missing word STATION. It is not listed in 1994 Postal Bulletins

STS-60
STS-60

cosmonauts training

STS-60
STS-60

rollover

STS-60
STS-60

rollout

STS-60
STS-60

1st Shuttle-MIR mission

STS-60
STS-60

SRB recovery

STS-60
STS-60

launch

STS-60
STS-60

Sergey Krikalev

STS-60
STS-60
STS-60
STS-60
STS-60
STS-60

mission summary cove

STS-60
STS-60

GSFC tracking

STS-60
STS-60

Pasadena

STS-60
STS-60

WSMR tracking

Next Step
Next Step
STS-60
STS-60

special Houston postmark

STS-60
STS-60

communications with MIR

STS-60
STS-60

Wake Shield Facility -1

STS-60
STS-60

landing

STS-60
STS-60

mission summary cover

STS-63
STS-63

launch - KSC

STS-63
STS-63

launch - KSC

STS-63
STS-63

launch - KSC

STS-63
STS-63
STS-63
STS-63
STS-63
STS-63

launch - tracking GSFC

STS-63
STS-63

Naval Space Command

STS-63
STS-63

WSMR tracking

STS-63
STS-63

Downey CA

STS-63
STS-63

NASA - JPL

Soyuz TM-21 flight was “the first” in several aspects. It was the first space flight upon Shuttle-MIR program that delivered EO-18. It was the first to have an American astronaut abroad for the longest up to date US space flight (115 days). During EO-18 there was a first ever Shuttle docking to MIR space station. The whole crew returned to Earth aboard STS-71 Atlantis.

 

Besides the achievements this flight was amid philatelic scandal that involved the German dealers and Russian collectors. Awaiting such significant event as US astronaut aboard Soyuz-MIR and first Shuttle docking, German dealers prepared to deliver “space mail” souvenirs to the market, hoping for a good value. In a couple of weeks after the launch such covers start to appear with six spacemen signatures. Those covers were checked by Russian philatelists along with western experts and proved to be forged. In a couple of months appeared another batch of “flown” covers from Soyuz TM-20/21 that was once again proven to be forged. Then came the covers from the STS-71 landing with Soyuz crew signatures and finally Soyuz TM-22 covers with original signatures but faked Baikonur postmarks. Following the allegations from Russian collectors, German dealers consolidated the position and blamed Russians on the deliberate sabotage and distrust….

The story was taken from Sergey Chizhov open letter to Cosmonautics News magazine in Feb, 1997

STS-63
STS-63

Kaliningrad

STS-63
STS-63

German Komlev cachet

STS-63
STS-63

Sergey Chizhov cachet

STS-63
STS-63
MIR EO-18
MIR EO-18

Ty-154 MLK training

Soyuz TM-21
Soyuz TM-21
STS-71
STS-71
Soyuz TM-21
Soyuz TM-21

launch

Soyuz TM-21
Soyuz TM-21

special flight Star City - Baikonur

Soyuz TM-21
Soyuz TM-21

MIR EO-18

Soyuz TM-21
Soyuz TM-21

Kaliningrad mission control center

Soyuz TM-21
Soyuz TM-21

MIR EO-18

Soyuz TM-21
Soyuz TM-21

MIR EO-18

Sergey Chizhov cachet reverse inspired by Shuttle-MIR

Soyuz TM-21
Soyuz TM-21
STS-71
STS-71

KSC serviced cover

STS-71
STS-71

MIR EO-19 / Atlantis Anatoly Solovyev and Nikolai Budarin were delivered to MIR on Atlantis Space Shuttle

STS-71
STS-71

1st Shuttle-MIR docking FDC

STS-71
STS-71

serviced FDC

STS-71
STS-71

tracking - launch

STS-71 - MIR - Soyuz
STS-71 - MIR - Soyuz

KSC - Baikonur dual cancellation

STS-71
STS-71

tracking - docking

STS-71
STS-71

Kazakhstan club cover

STS-71
STS-71

Kazakhstan club cover

STS-71
STS-71

Korolev - undocking

STS-71
STS-71

GSFC tracking - undocking

STS-71
STS-71

tracking - landing

STS-71
STS-71

WSMR tracking

STS-71
STS-71

Guam tracking

STS-71
STS-71

Naval Space Command

Progress M-28
Progress M-28
Soyuz TM-21
Soyuz TM-21

MIR EO-19 Solovyev and Budarin landed on Soyuz TM-21

Soyuz TM-22
Soyuz TM-22

Star City training

Soyuz TM-22
Soyuz TM-22

MIR EO-20 Yuri Gidzenko Sergei Avdeyev Thomas Reiter (Germany)

Soyuz TM-22
Soyuz TM-22

MIR EO-20

Soyuz TM-22
Soyuz TM-22

Baikonur - Wessling

Soyuz TM-22
Soyuz TM-22

MIR EO-20

Soyuz TM-22
Soyuz TM-22

MIR EO-20 signed by Soyuz TM-22 crew and EO-19 members - Solovyev and Budarin

Soyuz TM-22
Soyuz TM-22

MIR EO-20 Yuri Gidzenko Sergei Avdeyev Thomas Reiter (Germany)

Soyuz TM-22
Soyuz TM-22

EUROMIR-95

STS-74
STS-74

training in Star City

STS-74
STS-74

KSC - launch

STS-74
STS-74

GSFC tracking - launch

STS-74
STS-74

KSC special postmark

STS-74
STS-74

GSFC tracking - docking

STS-74
STS-74

Alex Gorshkov cachet

STS-74
STS-74

Alex Gorshkov cachet

STS-74
STS-74

Baikonur - docking

STS-74
STS-74

GSFC tracking - undocking

STS-74
STS-74

KSC landing

STS-74
STS-74

GSFC tracking - landing

STS-74
STS-74

NASA - JPL

STS-74
STS-74

Downey, CA

A couple of interesting moments re STS-76 mission:

Michael Clifford participated in this mission a year after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. During the flight, he worked for 6 hours in the open space. Everything went well, but he told that it was not given to him so easy.

Another notable achievement was made by Atlantis crew member Shannon Lucid who joined EO-21 and EO-22 and stayed abroad MIR for 179 days, returning home abroad STS-79. She spent a total of 188 days in space that was an absolute record for the woman and non-Russian spaceman in general. The woman-space-stay record was beaten 11 years later by ISS crew member.

The main controversy of Soyuz TM-24 flight was the “last minute” change of the Russian part of the crew, that occurred only one week before the launch. Gennady Manakov suffered from heart problems and the medical decision was to replace him and Pavel Vinogradov with the back-up crew members – Valery Korzun and Alexandr Kaleri. This switch caused a mess in space collector society and astrophilately in particular as many items bearing the original crew names (like covers and patches) were already prepared and dispatched for the launch. This also caused some increase in prices, as the developed story underlined the rarity of the event.

Soyuz TM-23
Soyuz TM-23

MIR EO-21 Yuri Onufrienko Yury Usachev

STS-76
STS-76

launch - KSC

STS-76
STS-76

launch - official cover

STS-76
STS-76

KSC special postmark

STS-76
STS-76

launch - GSFC tracking

Soyuz TM-23 / STS-76
Soyuz TM-23 / STS-76

docking - Korolev tracking

STS-76
STS-76

docking - GSFC tracking

STS-76
STS-76

GSFC

STS-76
STS-76

KSC special postmark

Soyuz TM-23 / STS-76
Soyuz TM-23 / STS-76

MIR EO-21 signed by the both crews

Soyuz TM-23 / STS-76
Soyuz TM-23 / STS-76

Korolev tracking

STS-76
STS-76

undocking - GSFC tracking

STS-76
STS-76

landing - GSFC tracking

STS-76
STS-76

landing site - Edwards AFB

STS-76
STS-76

nice mission summary cover

MIR Priroda module
MIR Priroda module

launched Apr 23, 1996 primary purpose was to conduct Earth resource experiments through remote sensing

MIR Priroda module
MIR Priroda module
MIR Priroda module
MIR Priroda module
MIR Priroda module
MIR Priroda module
Progress M-32
Progress M-32
Soyuz TM-24
Soyuz TM-24

MIR EO-22 Valery Korzun Aleksandr Kaleri Claudie Haigneré (France)

Soyuz TM-24
Soyuz TM-24

serviced to Paris

Soyuz TM-24
Soyuz TM-24

MIR EO-22 Valery Korzun Aleksandr Kaleri Claudie Haigneré (France)

Soyuz TM-24
Soyuz TM-24
Soyuz TM-24
Soyuz TM-24

Korolev - docking

Soyuz TM-24
Soyuz TM-24

RKK Energia flown cover signed by Soyuz and EO-21 crews

Soyuz TM-24
Soyuz TM-24

unusual flown cover It bears the names of the original crew on the emblem - Manakov, Vinogradov and Haigneré. Signed by Soyuz and EO-21 crews, missing Shannon Lucid signature

Soyuz TM-24
Soyuz TM-24

Pseudo NASA VIP cards.

NASA VIP cards were the series of postcards designed and printed by NASA to be given to the guests invited to attend Apollo mission launches. The last VIP card was actually for SL-2 the first manned Skylab flight. There was a special VIP card for STS-95 the return to orbit of John Glenn. Just about all so-called VIP cards produced after NASA's last VIP card issue for SL-2 in May 1973 were privately printed by space cover dealer Carsten Fuchs of Germany. His cards, which include all Shuttle flights from STS-1, are in no way of any "official" status and can be identified by light-blue ink markings and usually on a heavier-card stock. I have a couple of such “pseudo” NASA VIP cards for STS-79 and STS-86 bearing special Shuttle-MIR docking pictorial postmarks.

more on NASA VIP cards here

STS-79 training
STS-79 training

Sergey Chizhov cachet

STS-79
STS-79

"pseudo" NASA VIP card

STS-79
STS-79

Sep 18, 1996

STS-79
STS-79

Downey, CA station

STS-79
STS-79

Colorano Silk cachet

STS-79
STS-79

Colorano Silk cachet

STS-79
STS-79

Colorano Silk cachet

STS-79
STS-79

Colorano Silk cachet

STS-79
STS-79

Colorano Silk cachet

STS-79
STS-79

Colorano Silk cachet

STS-79
STS-79

Colorano Silk cachet

STS-79
STS-79

Colorano Silk cachet

STS-79
STS-79

Colorano Silk cachet

STS-79
STS-79

Colorano Silk cachet

STS-79
STS-79

WSMR

STS-79
STS-79

KSC - Merritt Island

A very interesting cover signed by 5! MIR visiting crews with relevant postmarks from MIR "post office":

19.08.96 - Soyuz TM-24 docking to MIR

19.09.96 - STS-79 docking to MIR

15.01.97 - STS-81 docking to MIR

12.02.97 - Soyuz TM-25 docking to MIR

02.03.97 - Soyuz TM-24 undocking from MIR

Note, this cover lists the original crew of Soyuz TM-24 (EO-22) that was replaced, but the signatures are of the flown spacemen aboard MIR

STS-81
STS-81

roll-out Dec 11, 1996

STS-81
STS-81

KSC postmark - Jan 12, 1997

STS-81
STS-81

launch - Downey, CA

STS-81
STS-81

tracking - launch

STS-81
STS-81

launch - Houston, TX

STS-81
STS-81

launch - Satellite Beach, FL

STS-81
STS-81

Vandenberg AFB

STS-81
STS-81

launch - KSC

STS-81
STS-81

docking

STS-81
STS-81

KSC postmark - Jan 14, 1997

STS-81
STS-81

NASA - Roskosmos cover

STS-81
STS-81

tracking - docking

STS-81
STS-81

Colorano Silk cachet

STS-81
STS-81

Colorano Silk cachet

STS-81
STS-81

Colorano Silk cachet

STS-81 Colorano
STS-81 Colorano

Colorano Silk cachet

STS-81
STS-81

Colorano Silk cachet

STS-81
STS-81

Colorano Silk cachet

STS-81
STS-81

Colorano Silk cachet

STS-81
STS-81

Colorano Silk cachet

STS-81
STS-81

tracking - undocking

STS-81
STS-81

tracking - landing

STS-81
STS-81

landing site - KSC

STS-81
STS-81

Vandenberg AFB

STS-81
STS-81

Patrick AFB

STS-81
STS-81

Canberra, Australia

Soyuz TM-25
Soyuz TM-25

MIR EO-23 Vasili Tsibliyev Aleksandr Lazutkin Reinhold Ewald (Germany)

Soyuz TM-25
Soyuz TM-25

MIR EO-23 Vasili Tsibliyev Aleksandr Lazutkin Reinhold Ewald (Germany)

Soyuz TM-25
Soyuz TM-25

G&G cachet

Soyuz TM-25
Soyuz TM-25

Kazakhstan club cover

Soyuz TM-25
Soyuz TM-25

Baikonur Field Post 08814

Soyuz TM-25
Soyuz TM-25

DARA cover

MIR 97
MIR 97

Wessling - Korolev

MIR 97
MIR 97

German Space Operations

MIR 97
MIR 97

German Space Agency

MIR 97
MIR 97

Munich pictorial postmark

MIR 97
MIR 97

Wessling pictorial postmark

MIR 97
MIR 97

Wessling pictorial postmark

Soyuz TM-25
Soyuz TM-25

MIR EO-23 Vasili Tsibliyev Aleksandr Lazutkin Reinhold Ewald (Germany)

Soyuz TM-25
Soyuz TM-25

Baikonur Field Post 08814

Chizhov cachet color reverse

MIR EO-22 and EO-23
MIR EO-22 and EO-23

Sergey Chizhov cachet

MIR-97
MIR-97

Energia flown cover

Soyuz TM-25
Soyuz TM-25

MIR EO-23 Vasili Tsibliyev Aleksandr Lazutkin Reinhold Ewald (Germany)

Soyuz TM-24
Soyuz TM-24

landing crew - Korzun, Kaleri and Ewald

Soyuz TM-25
Soyuz TM-25

20th anniversary - Star City

Soyuz TM-25
Soyuz TM-25

20th anniversary - Star City

Progress M-34
Progress M-34
Progress M-34
Progress M-34

Baikonur Field Post 08814

Progress M-34
Progress M-34

Sergey Chizhov cachet

Progress M-34
Progress M-34

Apr 8, 1997 - docking

Shuttle-MIR 1997
Shuttle-MIR 1997

Kazakhstan club cover

1997 Kazakhstan
1997 Kazakhstan

Cosmonautics Day issue

Progress M-35
Progress M-35

Jul 5, 1997

On June 25, 1997, the Russian crew including Vasiliy Tsibliev and Alexander Lazutkin, which just several months ago was battling flames on Mir, plus NASA astronaut Michael Foale, found themselves in the middle of the worst collision in space history. During a docking test with the use of remote control onboard the station, Tsibliev lost control of a tumbling cargo ship Progress M-34. The vehicle collides with the station’s Spektr module and seconds later, the crew onboard Mir hears a hissing sound of air escaping their vessel. Miraculously, almost instantly, the crewmembers were able to locate the air leak to Spektr module. After short struggle to find cutting tools, they severed the cables leading into the Spektr and safely sealed the hatches. The collision damaged one of Spektr’s solar arrays, caused a fracture that depressurized the module. Power restoration required two internal spacewalk in August and October 1997, which restored about 70% of the power capability previously available. The module was left isolated from the Mir complex until the end of the space station’s life.

Soyuz TM-25
Soyuz TM-25

landing

STS-84
STS-84

roll-out Apr 24, 1997

STS-84
STS-84
STS-84
STS-84

KSC postmark - May 16, 1997

STS-84 / Soyuz TM-25
STS-84 / Soyuz TM-25
Soyuz TM-26
Soyuz TM-26

crew training Anatoly Solovyev Pavel Vinogradov

Soyuz TM-26
Soyuz TM-26

MIR EO-24 Anatoly Solovyev Pavel Vinogradov

Soyuz TM-26
Soyuz TM-26
Soyuz TM-26
Soyuz TM-26

launch

Soyuz TM-26
Soyuz TM-26
Soyuz TM-26
Soyuz TM-26
Soyuz TM-26
Soyuz TM-26
Soyuz TM-26
Soyuz TM-26

docking

Soyuz TM-25
Soyuz TM-25

EVA

Progress M-34 collision
Progress M-34 collision
STS-86
STS-86

"pseudo" NASA VIP card

STS-86
STS-86

KSC serviced cover

STS-86
STS-86

launch - KSC and CNES

STS-86
STS-86

launch - GSFC tracking

STS-86
STS-86

launch - Cape Canaveral

STS-86
STS-86

approach to MIR

STS-86
STS-86

docking - GSFC tracking

STS-86
STS-86

KSC postmark - Sep 27, 1997

STS-86
STS-86

docking - Korolev

STS-86
STS-86

undocking - GSFC tracking

STS-86
STS-86

landing - Cape Canaveral

STS-86
STS-86

landing - KSC and CNES

STS-86
STS-86

landing - GSFC tracking

STS-86
STS-86

landing - official cover

STS-86
STS-86

landing - Cape Canaveral

STS-86
STS-86

landing - Houston, TX

STS-86
STS-86

KSC - landing site

Progress M-36
Progress M-36

Oct 5, 1997

Progress M-36
Progress M-36

Oleg Urusov cachet

Progress M-36
Progress M-36
Progress M-36
Progress M-36

Baikonur Field Post 08814

STS-89
STS-89

roll-out Dec 22,1997

STS-89
STS-89

launch - KSC

STS-89
STS-89

launch - GSFC tracking

STS-89
STS-89

8th MIR docking postmark

STS-89
STS-89

JSC club cover

STS-89
STS-89

docking - GSFC tracking

STS-89
STS-89

docking - Korolev this cover was designed for onboard cancellations, but received only Korolev postmarks

STS-89
STS-89

undocking - GSFC tracking

STS-89
STS-89

landing - KSC

STS-89
STS-89

landing - GSFC tracking

Soyuz TM-27
Soyuz TM-27
Soyuz TM-27
Soyuz TM-27

Kazakhstan club cover

Soyuz TM-27
Soyuz TM-27
Soyuz TM-27
Soyuz TM-27

Kazakhstan special postmark

Soyuz TM-27
Soyuz TM-27

MIR EO-25 Talgat Musabayev Nikolai Budarin Léopold Eyharts

Soyuz TM-27
Soyuz TM-27

MIR EO-25 Talgat Musabayev Nikolai Budarin Léopold Eyharts

Soyuz TM-27
Soyuz TM-27
STS-91
STS-91

launch KSC hand cancellation Titusville club cachet

STS-91
STS-91

launch Kennedy Space Center USPS cancellation

STS-91
STS-91

launch Kennedy Space Center machine cancellation

STS-91
STS-91

launch Johnson Space Center club cachet green Shuttle-Mir Houston postmark

STS-91
STS-91

GSFC tracking

STS-91
STS-91

docking blue Shuttle-MIR Houston postmark

STS-91
STS-91

docking - Downey, CA Shuttle-MIR Downey, CA postmark

STS-91
STS-91

9th MIR docking postmark 9th Shuttle-MIR docking KSC special postmark

STS-91
STS-91

serviced cover

STS-91
STS-91

docking black Shuttle-MIR Houston postmark - note the different date format KSC special postmark is used as a cachet - no date

STS-91
STS-91

experiments SPACEHUB module cachet Nassau Bay special postmark

STS-91
STS-91

landing Johnson Space Center club cachet red Shuttle-Mir Houston postmark

STS-91
STS-91

landing KSC hand cancellation Titusville club cachet

STS-91
STS-91

mission summary cover launch and landing KSC hand cancellations

MIR reentry occurred Mar 23, 2001 over Fiji as a spectacular firework-like scene watched by hundreds of tourists from all over the world gathering in Suva (Fiji capital). Although the station has met its end in unpopulated  Pacific area some fragments were found on Fiji islands and then appeared on ebay.com.

Soyuz TM-28
Soyuz TM-28

MIR EO-26

Soyuz TM-28
Soyuz TM-28

Korolev tracking

Soyuz TM-28
Soyuz TM-28

Baikonur - launch

Soyuz TM-29
Soyuz TM-29

MIR EO-27 Viktor Afanasyev Jean-Pierre Haigneré Ivan Bella

Soyuz TM-29
Soyuz TM-29
Soyuz TM-29
Soyuz TM-29
Soyuz TM-29
Soyuz TM-29

MIR EO-27 Viktor Afanasyev Jean-Pierre Haigneré Ivan Bella

Soyuz TM-29
Soyuz TM-29
5000 days in orbit
5000 days in orbit
Soyuz TM-30
Soyuz TM-30

MIR EO-28 Sergei Zalyotin Aleksandr Kaleri

Soyuz TM-30
Soyuz TM-30

MIR EO-28 Sergei Zalyotin Aleksandr Kaleri

Progress M1-5
Progress M1-5

Mir deorbiting

MIR re-entry
MIR re-entry

Korolev

MIR re-entry
MIR re-entry

Goddard Space Flight Center

MIR re-entry
MIR re-entry

Fiji

MIR re-entry
MIR re-entry

Kaluga

MIR re-entry
MIR re-entry

Houston

MIR 30th anniversary
MIR 30th anniversary

nice computer designed cachet