Luna 24, Lunokhod 2
Two stamps from a set of six issued in 1978 on Cosmonautics Day (April 12), the anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s first manned flight into orbit, which perennially inspires space stamp issues from Russia and its political allies.
The one at left (horizontal) shows Luna 24, the final lunar sample-return mission, with its drill arm in the foreground extracting a core of soil. The comet in the background is probably only symbolic, as there was no bright comet in the sky at the time of Luna 24’s mission in August 1976.
At right is Russia’s second lunar rover, Lunokhod 2, delivered to the surface by Luna 21 in January 1973. This stamp was the highest-value member of the set and was of slightly larger size than the others.
The other stamps in this set showed two Earth satellites and two Venus probes.
Stanley Gibbons catalogue numbers: