Hungary  1959
Luna 1, Luna 2
Luna 1 heading for the Moon (although it actually missed). The date on the right of the stamp – 1959 January 2 – is the launch date.

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Lunas 1 and 2 were virtually identical in design, so the Luna 1 stamp at top needed to be modified only slightly to commemorate the success of Luna 2. The term ürrakéta (meaning space rocket) was changed to holdrakéta (Moon rocket) along with the date on the right, which in this case was the date of impact. The stamp was overprinted with the supposed exact time of lunar impact, in Central European Time. However, the figure differs by ten seconds from that on a Russian stamp and an East German one commemorating the same event; the time on the Russian and East German stamps is evidently the correct one.

Stanley Gibbons catalogue number: