SOVIET SPACE PROGRAM
Soviet/Russian space program is an enormous and a very complex subject in astrophilately considering variety of postmarks, covers, overprints, club issues, etc. In USSR and Russia postmarks issued for the same event could differ depending on a city, also different colors can be used. Officially issued covers was strengthened by local philatelic club issues and many private initiatives including stamped marks, overprints and even forged “official” cancellations. Almost every space project, manned or unmanned was reflected in astrophilately, sometimes officially, sometimes privately. Russia inherited soviet private initiatives, issuing huge amount of cachets and private cancellations for various events. Some of them are rarely seen and issued in only a couple of dozens pieces. Another page is “space mail” with flown covers – that can be considered a stream in itself. These unique items are hardly available, cost triple-digits and always in demand by serious collectors.
By now I have not even tried to collect everything, my chronology is very loose and I do not pretend to cover thoroughly any event in Soviet/Russian space history. As a rule of thumb, I put into collection the covers I like, not focusing on their philatelic value or purity. I am not in a rush to close the gaps – I do not have such a plan. Many covers are considered by me as “not worse to have”, on the other hand I put stuff considered by many as “philatelic garbage”. By the end of the day, this is my collection and that’s my approach. I am showing what I have while keep filling the gaps and building my own philatelic coverage of the events. Possibly it can be interesting to someone. .. .
I tried to structure my web-collection upon my vision of astrophilatelic chronology, though it does not pretend to be perfect. All real items rest in albums in the time-chronology order, from one hand – I do not bother myself to rearrange it, as I am familiar with my collection, from the other – internet gives an advantage in visualization.