ESO Moon.jpg
Exploring the Moon

A history of lunar discovery from the first
space probes to recent times
The first robot explorers

Landers and orbiters 1

Landers and orbiters 2

Sample returns and lunar rovers

Map of lunar landings

Table of Moon probes

Apollo to the Moon!

Meeting the challenge

Repeating the feat

Driving on the Moon

Heading for the hills

Apollo lunar mission chronology

Russia’s secret manned Moon programme

What did we learn from Apollo?

Lunar exploration since Apollo

The international Moon fleet

Exploring the Apollo landing sites 1

Exploring the Apollo landing sites 2

Exploring the Moon on stamps
Go to the stamps  
Background image:
The waning crescent Moon.
(European Southern Observatory)

Text © Ian Ridpath

These pages support Ian’s talk on Exploring the Moon
Exploring the Moon on stamps

Both the former Soviet Union (USSR) and the United States have issued numerous postage stamps to commemorate their achievements in space. The Soviet stamps were produced in vast quantities and most of them can still be obtained cheaply, particularly if they are used (postmarked). Collecting these stamps is an interesting way of charting the progress of lunar exploration over the past half century. Many other countries have also produced stamps depicting lunar exploration, although most of these countries had no involvement in the missions at all. I have chosen a selection of interesting stamps from countries other than the US and Russia, mostly from the Communist (or formerly Communist) bloc. I have added descriptions of each item. The reference numbers come from the Stanley Gibbons catalogue, which is the most widely used in the UK, and are included to help identify the stamps; other catalogues give different identifying numbers.

The stamps are listed chronologically with thumbnail illustrations on the following pages. Alternatively, you can find them alphabetically by country in the table below; click on the date in the table for an image and a fuller description.

Note: The copyright in the postage stamps shown here may be owned by the issuing authority. The scans included here are for the purpose of identification and education.

For more about astronomy and space on stamps, see my astro-stamp pages.

Ian Ridpath

Nation and year
Face value

2 m

30th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing

1 l

25th anniversary of Luna 3

100 f
150 f

Luna 16 taking off from the Moon
Lunokhod 1 on the surface

8 f
10 f
1.20 y

Commemoration of the Soviet Luna 2
Commemoration of the Soviet Luna 3
Chinese lunar orbiter Chang’e 1

2 c
30 c
1 p

Luna 24 extracting surface samples
Lunokhod 2 exploring the Moon
Luna 1 passing the Moon

60 h
1.60 k

Luna 1, intended Moon impact
Luna 3 and the far side of the Moon

20 pf
20 pf
20 pf

Luna 2 impacts the Moon
Luna 9 landing on the Moon
Lunokhod 1 rolling onto the Moon

10, 17, 42p, £2

Apollo 11 Moon landing

26 p

Apollo 11 Moon landing

60 f
60 f
30 f
2 ft
3 ft
20 ft

Luna 1 heading for the Moon
Luna 2 heading for the Moon
Luna 3 photographing the far side
Luna 9 descending to the surface
Luna 9 transmitting data to Earth
Apollo 11 20th anniversary

50 t

Luna 3 looping around the Moon

75 f
100 f

Luna 16 ascent stage taking off
Lunokhod 1 leaving the Luna 17 lander

30 m
50 m

Luna 3 being launched to the Moon
Luna 3 photographing the far side

90 c

25th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing


25th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing

2.50 z
2.50 z
100 z

Luna 16 returning to Earth
Lunokhod 1 exploring the Moon
Apollo 11 20th anniversary

1.60 L
1.75 L
1 L
5 L on 1 L
3.30 L + 3.30 L
3.00 L

Luna 3 view of the lunar farside
Diagram of Luna 3’s trajectory
Ranger 7
Ranger 9 (Ranger 7 overprint)
Luna 16 + Lunokhod 1
Apollo 11 40th anniversary

40 k
40 k
40 k
40 k
40 k
40 k
60 k
6 k
6 k
10 k x 3
10 k
10 k x 3
10, 12, 12, 16k
6 k
Sheet x 2
10 k
5 k
15 k

Luna 1 trajectory past the Moon
Ground tracks of Luna 1
Trajectory of Luna 3
Trajectory of Luna 2
Trajectory of Luna 2
Luna 3 photographs the far side
Map of the far side of the Moon
Trajectory of Luna 10
Luna 11’s arrival in orbit
Luna 9 strip of three
Zond 5 looping behind the Moon
Zond 6 and Zond 7
Luna 16 landing, takeoff, return
Luna 17 and Lunokhod 1
Lunokhod 2 roving over the surface
Luna 21 and Lunokhod 2
Luna 24 sample return
25th anniversary of Luna 3
30th anniversary of Luna 1

6 c
10 c
8 c + 8 c
29 c
29 c (12)
33 c

Earth rising over the Moon
Apollo 11 landing
Apollo 15 and lunar rover
20th anniversary of Apollo 11
Lunar Orbiter surveying the Moon
25th anniversary of Apollo 11
25th anniversary of Apollo 11 sheet
Buzz Aldrin’s boot print on the Moon
Lunar Module and Apollo 16

12 x
50 x

Luna 9 on its way to the Moon
Luna 9 on the Moon