Crescent Moon European Southern Observatory
Astronaut saluting the flag

Exploring the Moon 

on stamps

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. 

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

Ian Ridpath 


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.

Nation and year 

Face value 

Subject

BOSNIA AND
HERZEGOVINA

1999

2 m 


30th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing 

BULGARIA 

1984

1 l 

25th anniversary of Luna 3 

CHAD

1972

1972

100 f 

150 f 

Luna 16 taking off from the Moon 

Lunokhod 1 on the surface 

CHINA

1960

1960

2007

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 

CUBA

1978

1978

1984

2 c 

30 c 

1 p 

Luna 24 extracting surface samples 

Lunokhod 2 exploring the Moon 

Luna 1 passing the Moon 

CZECHOSLOVAKIA

1961

1961

60 h 

1.60 k 

Luna 1, intended Moon impact 

Luna 3 and the far side of the Moon 

EAST GERMANY

1959

1966

1971

20 pf 

20 pf 

20 pf 

Luna 2 impacts the Moon 

Luna 9 landing on the Moon 

Lunokhod 1 rolling onto the Moon 

GIBRALTAR

2008

10p, 17p, 42p, £2 

Apollo 11 Moon landing 

GUERNSEY

1991

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 

KAZAKHSTAN

2004

50 t 

Luna 3 looping around the Moon 

MAURITANIA

1972

1972

75 f 

100 f 

Luna 16 ascent stage taking off 

Lunokhod 1 leaving the Luna 17 lander 

MONGOLIA

1959

1959

30 m 

50 m 

Luna 3 being launched to the Moon 

Luna 3 photographing the far side 

NETHERLANDS

1994

90 c 

25th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing 

NEW ZEALAND

1994

$1.50 

25th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing 

POLAND

1970

1971

1989

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 x3 

10 k 

Sheet 

10 k x 3 

10k, 12k, 12k, 16k 

6 k 

Sheet x2 

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 

$2.40 

29 c 

$9.95 

29 c (x12) 

33 c 

$11.75 

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 

VIETNAM (NORTH)

1966

1966

12 x 

50 x 

Luna 9 on its way to the Moon 

Luna 9 on the Moon 

Background image:

The waning crescent Moon. 

(European Southern Observatory


Exploring the Moon on stamps

Text © Ian Ridpath


These pages support Ian’s talk on Exploring the Moon