SCIENTISTS & PIONEERS

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky – Russian and Soviet scientist, visionary and pioneer of cosmonautics theory. Tsiolkovsky ideas laid in the foundation of Soviet space program and inspired many famous Soviet scientists like Sergey Korolev and Valentin Glushko. Interestingly Sergey Korolev had a chance to meet Tsiolkovsky in 1929 when a 23 year old young man who was interested in airplane modelling and design visited Tsiolkovsky in Kaluga. Tsiolkovsky was admired in Russian Empire and Soviet Union; he even received personal greetings from Stalin and was awarded an Order of Red Banner of Labor in 1932 (quite rare and highly honored award those times). Tsiolkovsky consulted first Soviet science fiction movie – Space Flight, released in 1936 after his death. In the astrophilately he is noted not only by commemoration on covers and stamps but also by special cancellations issued and applied by Tsiolkovsky museum.

Book fair Chelyabinsk cancellation on the cover with Collector Day Moscow postmarks

Chelyabinsk book fair

Naming of a Crater on the Mood after Tsiolkovsky.

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky Memorial Day 1960 Kaluga probably the most famous cover printed in only 300 pieces, though many fakes exist

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky Memorial Day 1960 Kaluga

25th anniversary of Tsiolkovsky museum

25th anniversary of Tsiolkovsky museum Note 2 types of cancellations - black official postmark and red souvenir stamp

105th anniversary of Konstanin Tsiolkovsky official cover with overprint

105th anniversary of Konstanin Tsiolkovsky club cover printed in 200 pcs

105th anniversary

105th anniversary of Konstanin Tsiolkovsky Vinnitsa club cover

60th anniversary of Tsiolkovsky research issue official cover with overprint

60th anniversary of Tsiolkovsky research issue club cover - blue

young tourists rally official cover with overprint

Kaluga cover with 1964 Cosmonautics Day special postmark

30th anniversary of Tsiolkovsky speech on radio

30th anniversary of Tsiolkovsky speech on radio

Tsiolkovsky State museum of Cosmonautics opening in 1967

Kaluga cover with 1970 Cosmonautics Day special postmark

Kaluga cover with 1971 Cosmonautics Day special postmark

120th anniversary Kaluga, 1977 club cover

125th anniversary Moscow, 1982

To Stars exhibition - 1987 Tsiolkovsky stamp and official cover

Tsiolkovsky Day To Stars exhibition special cancellation, Moscow 1991

GMIK - Kaluga 25th anniversary

135th anniversary Kirov, 1992

5th anniversary of Tsiolkovsky museum in Kirov. He lived in Kirov in 1873-78.

5th anniversary of Tsiolkovsky museum in Kirov. He lived in Kirov in 1873-78.

100th anniversary of Tsiolkovsky research issue Sergey Chizhov cachet

Note various cinderellas on the Tsiolkovsky State Museum of History of Cosmonautics postcards. The cards are mostly  joint issues of Kaluga postal authorities and Tsiolkovsky museum. These cinderellas were designed by Valentin Afonin from Kaluga for the museum issues and officially distributed at Kaluga post office. Anyone who bought a postcard and requested special cancellation could get a self-sticking Cinderella free of charge (see below)

150th anniversary Kaluga

150th anniversary Baikonur

Kaluga region special cancellation on the Tsiolkovsky museum postcard 2011

1st stone in the foundation of Tsiolkovsky Museum of Cosmonautics History 50th anniversary

Tsiolkovsky readings 2012

Tsiolkovsky Museum of Cosmonautics History 45th anniversary

Tsiolkovsky readings 2012

1st stone in the foundation of the second stage of the museum

1st stone in the foundation of the second stage of the museum

1st stone in the foundation of the second stage of the museum

1st stone in the foundation of the second stage of the museum

Tsiolkovsky readings 2014

Tsiolkovsky readings 2015

80th anniversary of Tsiolkovsky house museum

Tsiolkovsky readings 2016

1st stone in the foundation of Tsiolkovsky Museum of Cosmonautics History 55th anniversary

1st stone in the foundation of Tsiolkovsky Museum of Cosmonautics History 55th anniversary

Tsiolkovsky readings 2017

160th anniversary of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

50th anniversary of GMIK

50th anniversary of GMIK

160th anniversary of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

160th anniversary of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

Sergey Korolev – the most notable, vivid and famous Soviet space scientist, “The Father” of Soviet space program. He pioneered the first Satellite, first living creature – Laika, first Man in space and first ballistic missile launch from a submarine.

 

From 1933 Korolev was working in the Jet Propulsion Research Institute and was responsible for development of rocket planes. He was arrested in 1938 and sentenced to 10 years in prison (his superior – Ivan Kleimenov, the designer of famous BM-13 “Katyusha” was executed). In 1939 while being transferred from the Kolyma to Moscow he had to board the steamer Indigirka but missed due to the lack of space. Indigirka had sunk with the loss of 700 men. Korolev spent 2 years developing dive bombers under Tupolev and then was transferred to OKB-16 where he was dealing with jet rocketry applications. He was released in 1944.

 

Korolev took very active part in post war assessment of German rocket technology. He was under the cover of Soviet artillery officer, but due to a small glitch in the uniform he personally was “noted” by British intelligence. His most notable creation was R-7 intercontinental ballistic missile that was accepted by the military in 1957. It served all Korolev Firsts in space plus a first ever military application – it took a high alert duty during Cuban missile crisis in 1962. Korolev was highly classified scientist making absolutely no public appearances, except one occasion – “space wedding” of Nikolaev and Tereshkova, that was widely publicized.

Korolev was born in the town of Zhitomir (now Ukraine) therefore there are some Ukrainian covers devoted to the Father of the Soviet Space Program.

70th anniversary Baikonur

70th anniversary Star City

70th anniversary Zhitomir

70th anniversary philatelic exhibition in Zhitomir - souvenir sheet Zitomir - Korolev hometown (Ukraine).

70th anniversary Magadan "club" cover

Odessa - 1980
Odessa - 1980

"fantasy" postmark 40th anniversary of the Korolev designed RP-38 rocket plane first flight no such official cancellation ever existed

20th anniversary of 1st manned flight. Kaluga special cancellation + M/V Dolinsk round stamp

75th anniversary Baikonur

1100th anniversary of Zhitomir - Korolev hometown

1100th anniversary of Zhitomir - Korolev hometown

R/V Academic Sergey Korolev

R/V Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov stamp on the cover with Korolev commemoration cachet

80th anniversary Zhiromir special cancellation + Korolev museum postmark

85th anniversary Leninsk

NPO Energia 50th anniversary

50th anniversary of NPO Energia (now - RKK Energia - Rocket and Space Corporation). Sergey Korolev was the first chief designer of OKB-1 that became later "Energia" this cover flown on Soyuz TM-30 - last expedition to MIR

90th anniversary Zhitomir

40th anniversary of R-7 ballistic missile first flight

Korolev town 60th anniversary

eclectic cover .... I found it most suitable to be here

50th anniversary of R-7 ballistic missile first flight

100th anniversary of Sergey Korolev Pskov club cover

100th anniversary of Sergey Korolev Pskov club cover

official FDC commemorating 3 events: 50 years of space era 100th anniversary of Sergey Korolev 150th anniversary of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

100th anniversary of Sergey Korolev Zhitomir (Ukraine) club cover

100th anniversary of Sergey Korolev Zhitomir (Ukraine) club cover

100th anniversary of Sergey Korolev Koktebel - Crimea (Ukraine) club cover Korolev took very active part in gliding activities in 1920s and participated in the competitions in Koktebel. He also designed several gliders.

100th anniversary of Sergey Korolev Odessa

Zhitomir, Ukraine 2014

75th anniversary of Korolev space-research-town Space mission control center

75th anniversary of Korolev space-research-town RKK Energia

75th anniversary of Korolev space-research-town TSNIIMASH - Central Research Institute of Machine Building

75th anniversary of Korolev space-research-town NII Space Systems

75th anniversary of Korolev space-research-town Isayev Chemical Engineering Design Bureau

70th anniversary of RKK Engergia (OKB-1)

70th anniversary of RKK Engergia (OKB-1)

Chief Designers series Star City 2016

110th anniversary BaikonurSvyazInform

110th anniversary BaikonurSvyazInform

70th anniversary of RKK Energia
70th anniversary of RKK Energia

Roscosmos cover with ISS special postmark

110th anniversary
110th anniversary

Roscosmos cover with ISS special postmark

110th anniversary
110th anniversary
110th anniversary
110th anniversary
110th anniversary
110th anniversary

signed by Natalia Koroleva

GIRD and its legacy.

GIRD in Russian – Group of Study of Reactive Motion was a non-profit organization created in 1931 by enthusiastic scientists headed by Tikhonravov and Zander (Russian – Tsander). Friedrich Zander was born in Riga (Latvia) and became one of the pioneers of Russian and Soviet rocketry. He was a close follower of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and inspired Korolev by his energy and dedication – almost all of his time he was working even sleeping at his workplace. His motto was – “Let’s get to Mars!” Zander designed the first soviet liquid-propellant rocket – GIRD-X that successfully lifted off on Nov 25, 1933.  Unfortunately Zander did not live to watch his creation – he died in March 1933.

In 1933 GIRD was united with Gas Dynamics Laboratory (GDL) and RNII – Reactive Research Institute, was formed under the supervision of Military Commissariat. The head of RNII became Kleimenov and Korolev – his Deputy. While Sergey Korolev designed and developed long-range rockets, Kleimenov took part in the research of rocket projectiles together with Georgy Langemak, their work came to light in the form of BM-13 rocket launcher, more famous under the nick-name “Katyusha”. Korolevs design of cruise missile “212” heavily relied on the first soviet liquid-propellant engine - ORD-65 developed by Valentin Glushko in 1936, who headed the liquid-propellant engine development of the RNII. Sadly in 1938 many of the RNII chief scientists were arrested and some were executed including Kleimenov, Langemak, Korolev and Glushko.

In 1944 the RNII (later known as NII-3) became a part of NII-1 that reported to the Ministry of Aviation.

Alexandr Mozhaisky
Alexandr Mozhaisky

Russian aviation pioneer and designer of the first Russian (and one of the firsts in the world) airplane. Mozhaisky officially patented his "air-flying projectile" in 1881 and in 1882 the airplane was ready for tests. It took off the runway and crashed. This Vinnitsa club cover commemorates 80 years from the "air-flying projectile" to Vostok space flight.

Friederich Zander
Friederich Zander

75th anniversary Riga club cover

Friederich Zander
Friederich Zander

75th anniversary Taganrog club cover

GIRD-X
GIRD-X

30th anniversary of Zander design launch Tartu club cover

09
09

GIRD 09 rocket engine

GIRD
GIRD

50 years of first Soviet rockets launch - GIRD-9 and GIRD-X official cover with Nakhabino special postmark

Nikolai Kibalchich
Nikolai Kibalchich

Russian revolutionary and rocketry pioneer, took part in the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881. Sitting in prison and awaiting for the execution, Kibalchich designed an aeronautic device based on the powder engine with changing angles control.

Nikolai Kibalchich
Nikolai Kibalchich

official card and stamp issued at 105th anniversary.

Yuri Kondratyuk
Yuri Kondratyuk

80th anniversary of publishing his book - Conquest of interplanetary space

Yuri Kondratyuk
Yuri Kondratyuk

100th anniversary Kiev special postmark on Sergey Chizhov cover

Valentin Glushko
Valentin Glushko

95th anniversary Odessa

Valentin Glushko
Valentin Glushko

Chief Designers series

Valentin Glushko
Valentin Glushko

100th anniversary Moscow

Valentin Glushko
Valentin Glushko

100th anniversary Pskov

Valentin Glushko
Valentin Glushko

100th anniversary Kazan

Valentin Glushko
Valentin Glushko

100th anniversary Moscow - official ITC Marka postcard

Valentin Glushko
Valentin Glushko

100th anniversary Odessa

ERD
ERD

1st engine proposed by V. Glushko and team in GLD - Gas-Dynamic laboratory

ORM-65
ORM-65

Valentin Glushko designed this engine for Korolev "212" cruise missile

ORM 50-52
ORM 50-52

V. Glushko engines

RD 107
RD 107

V. Glushko engine

RD 108
RD 108

V. Glushko engine

Gleb Lozino-Lozinsky
Gleb Lozino-Lozinsky

the "father" of Buran - Space Shuttle analog BaikonurSvyazInform special cancellation on the 25th anniversary of Buran flight

Georgy Langemak
Georgy Langemak

one of the designers of BM-13 rocket launcher platform, famous "Katyusha" Odessa (Ukraine) club cover

Alexey Bogomolov
Alexey Bogomolov

designer of space communications and telemetry systems

Mikhail Ryazansky
Mikhail Ryazansky

was the chief “radioman” of the Soviet Union. After the WW2 he was involved in testing of German V-2 rocket systems then working closely with Pilyugin in NII-885. For more than 30 years he was a Chief Designer of the NII 885 – responsible for the development of spaceship and rocket control and radio systems. Ryazansky was a member of a Chief Designers Council “incredible six” led by Sergey Korolev. He took an active part in supporting R-5 and R-7 missiles, 1st Sputnik and Gagarin flights.

Mikhail Ryazansky
Mikhail Ryazansky

Chief designers series

Konstantin Bushuev
Konstantin Bushuev

designer of manned spaceships Vostok, Voskhod, Soyuz as well as interplanetary probes - Luna, Mars, Venera. Soviet ASTP technical director. this privately designed card bears Bushuev 100th anniversary postmark

Konstantin Bushuev
Konstantin Bushuev

70th anniversary of RKK Energia (OKB-1)

Konstantin Bushuev
Konstantin Bushuev

Kaluga

Konstantin Bushuev
Konstantin Bushuev

Mosalsk

Vladimir Chelomey
Vladimir Chelomey

90th anniversary Baikonur

Vladimir Chelomey
Vladimir Chelomey

designer of the first underwater launched anti-ship cruise missile P-70 Amethyst ( SS-N-7 Starbright). Chelomey created a family of the ICBMs of which UR-100 and UR-500 were approved for mass usage. UR-500 became widely known as PROTON space launch vehicle. This BaikonurSvyazInform cover commemorates 100th anniversary of Vladimir Chelomey.

Vladimir Chelomey
Vladimir Chelomey

100th anniversary Baikonur

Vladimir Chelomey
Vladimir Chelomey

100th anniversary Moscow

Vladimir Chelomey
Vladimir Chelomey

100th anniversary Kaluga GMIK grey emblem

Vladimir Chelomey
Vladimir Chelomey

100th anniversary Kaluga GMIK blue emblem

Georgy Babakin
Georgy Babakin

From 1965 was a chief designer of Lavochkin bureau responsible for the success of interplanetary missions - Luna-9, Luna-10, Lunokhod, etc. Private design with Babakin dedicated cachet and Luna-9 50th anniversary official postmark

Georgy Babakin
Georgy Babakin

Private design with Babakin dedicated cachet and Luna-10 50th anniversary official postmark

Georgy Babakin
Georgy Babakin

100th anniversary Baikonur

Georgy Babakin
Georgy Babakin

100th anniversary Baikonur

Georgy Babakin
Georgy Babakin

100th anniversary Kaluga GMIK grey emblem

Georgy Babakin
Georgy Babakin

100th anniversary Kaluga GMIK blue emblem

Boris Rauschenbach
Boris Rauschenbach

Designer of interplanetary navigation and flight control systems. 100th anniversary official card and private cachet with Venera-3 50th anniversary postmark. Note special vignette for Venera-3 anniversary.

Boris Rauschenbach
Boris Rauschenbach

100th anniversary private card and cachet with Space Glory official postmark.

Boris Rauschenbach
Boris Rauschenbach

70th anniversary of RKK Energia (OKB-1)

Hermann Oberth
Hermann Oberth

Sergey Chizhov cachet

Mstislav Keldysh
Mstislav Keldysh

Sarov - Russian center for nuclear research. Besides great involvement in Soviet space Program, Keldysh was one of the key scientists in the nuclear research. The special postmark commemorates 50th anniversary of the 1st soviet nuclear research center in Sarov.

Mikhail Yangel
Mikhail Yangel

He worked with Korolev on the field of ballistic missiles, where he first was in charge of guidance systems. As Sergei Korolev’s associate, he set up a rocket propulsion center in Dnipropetrovsk in Ukraine which later formed the basis of his own OKB-586 design bureau in 1954. His bureau designed the R-12, R-16 and R-36, whose launch vehicle adaptations are known as Cosmos, Tsyklon, Dnepr respectively are still in use today.

Mikhail Yangel
Mikhail Yangel

80th anniversary - Baikonur special cancellation

Nikolai Pilyugin
Nikolai Pilyugin

soviet scientist and designer of the automatic control and management systems for missiles and space rockets. He led the design of control systems for R-7, various interplanetary probes, Proton launch vehicle and Buran spacecraft.

Nikolai Pilyugin
Nikolai Pilyugin

Ulyanovsk club cover, 1998

Vladimir Barmin
Vladimir Barmin

was a Soviet scientist, designer of jet launchers, rocket-space and combat launch systems. He was one of the founders of Russian cosmonautics. Barmin designed and developed the launch complexes for the first ICBMs including R-7, silo launched missiles R-14, R-12 and UR-100 as well as conventional Proton and Energia-Buran systems. Barmin developed equipment to take Moon and Venus sampling. At some point his bureau was tasked with a project of a first Moon base “Zvezda” (christened Barmin-city).

Vladimir Barmin
Vladimir Barmin

100th anniversary

Viktor Kuznetsov
Viktor Kuznetsov

was a Soviet scientist and designer in the field of applied mechanics and automatic control. He designed gyroscopic instruments and control systems for various missile and space systems including R-7, R-14, R-16, R-36, UR-100 and their numerous modifications, as well as a large number of space launch vehicles and spacecraft.

Boris Chertok
Boris Chertok

was one of the closest people to Sergey Korolev. He was a Soviet and Russian rocket designer, responsible for control systems of almost all early developed ballistic missiles and spacecraft. He was the author of a four-volume book “Rockets and People”, the definitive source of information about the history of the Soviet space program.

Boris Chertok
Boris Chertok

105th anniversary

Mitrofan Nedelin
Mitrofan Nedelin

was a Chief Marshal of the Artillery, the founder and first Commander in Chief of the Strategic Missile Corps. He advocated the usage of heavy ICBMs to deliver nuclear warheads instead of long-range bombers and supported Sergey Korolev in his development of famous R-7 that actually led to many space firsts. On October 24, 1960, Nedelin was killed in an R-16 missile explosion at Baikonur Cosmodrome – an event known as “Nedelin catastrophe”.

Mitrofan Nedelin
Mitrofan Nedelin

100th anniversary Baikonur

Georgy Tyulin
Georgy Tyulin

Took active part in support of early manned space flights from the military side. He was a head of State Commission for Voskhod, Luna, Mars and Venera launches, as well as Zond (soviet lunar program).

Georgy Tyulin
Georgy Tyulin
Vladimir Kotelnikov
Vladimir Kotelnikov

was a Soviet and Russian scientist in the area of radio communications and radiolocation. His theory of potential noise immunity gave scientists and engineers a tool for the synthesis of optimal signal processing in radio-communication, radiolocation, radio navigation and other system and had significant effect of the development of planetary radio-astronomy.

Yuri Levitan
Yuri Levitan

was the primary Soviet radio announcer during and after World War II. He announced on Radio Moscow all major international events in the 1940s–60s including the German attack on the Soviet Union in 1941, the surrender of Germany on 9 May 1945, the death of Joseph Stalin, and the all the space firsts.

Evgeny Stepanov
Evgeny Stepanov

Deputy CEO of FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale) On April 12, 1961 signed an official FAI certificate of the first manned spaceflight

Viktor Makeev
Viktor Makeev

The founder of the Soviet school of sea launched ballistic missiles. The cover is devoted to 80th anniversary and "probably" was launched on the submarine based R-29 Volna ICBM

This small section is devoted to Soviet stratospheric research flights using giant high altitude balloons named stratostats. Although there is more to write than to show, but anyway …

Inspired by Auguste Piccard's experiments of 1930–1932 Soviet military aviation and engineering enthusiasts have pushed towards record breaking glory. The first of the balloons – USSR-1 (CCCP-1) has been launched on September 30, 1933 with the crew of three and reached an altitude of 19 km landing safely. Several months later on January 30, 1934 an ill-fated record breaking flight of Osoaviakhim-1 took place. After being cancelled several times and finally lifted off in the most unfavorable conditions the balloon reached unthinkable 22km (2000 meters above planned maximum altitude). During the descent the stratostat lost its buoyancy and plunged into an uncontrolled fall, disintegrating in the lower atmosphere and killing the crew. Officially the cause was overheating while remaining on the peak altitude for a long time that resulted in losing a significant volume of lifting gas required for the safe descent.

In the same 1934, on September 5 newly designed USSR-2 was destroyed on the ground by the fire when balloon cover static electricity ignited the incoming gas pumped into the lifting body. On June 26, 1935 USSR-1bis was launched with the crew of three. This balloon was actually a renovated USSS-1 and reached an altitude of 16km. During the descend it appeared that gas was leaking from the body increasing the speed. All crew members jumped from the gondola and landed safely using their parachutes. The enlightened stratostat landed softly as well and was actually considered as a successful flight.

 

On September 18, 1935 another record breaking attempt has been made using enormous USSR-3 designed to reach unthinkable altitude of 25-27km. unfortunately, after reaching 800 meters the statostat started to loose gas, rapidly descending and finally crash-landed severely injuring all three crew members. On October 12, 1939 USSR VR-60 “Komsomol” reached an altitude of 16km and performed all planned scientific program activities. During its descent the balloon caught fire forcing all crew members to abandon it using parachutes. The burning gondola crash-landed but the commander of the crew with the help of local workers managed to extract the documentation.

The last attempt to bring the giant balloon to the record breaking altitude has been made on June 22, 1940 in totally redesigned Osoaviakhim-2. Despite being the most advanced high altitude balloon at the time, stratostat failed to excel. Reaching 10 meters its gondola unexpectedly separated from the balloon and crashed slightly injuring the crew. The balloon body hovered for some time and landed several kilometers away. In 1941 the war stopped all the research programs connected with high altitude balloons paving the way to the “rocket age”.

USSR-1
USSR-1
Osoaviakhim-1 disaster
Osoaviakhim-1 disaster
Osoaviakhim-1 disaster
Osoaviakhim-1 disaster

10th anniversary

USSR-1
USSR-1

50th anniversary FDC

USSR-1
USSR-1

50th anniversary mini-sheet

Stratonauts monument
Stratonauts monument

1964

Osoaviakhim-1
Osoaviakhim-1

50th anniversary