Russia  1959
Luna 2
These two stamps were issued together in 1959 to commemorate the success of Luna 2, which became the first man-made object to hit the Moon. Luna 2 was launched on 1959 September 12 and hit the Moon the following day at 21.02.24 UT. The second stamp of the pair gives the date and time of the impact as 14 September 1959 at 00h 02m 24s, but this is Moscow Time.

The design on the first stamp is a symbolic representation of the flight of Luna 2 from the Earth (lower right) to its impact on the Moon. The upper wording reads “In honour of achieving the Moon”. The lower line says “Soviet cosmic rocket”.

The second stamp, in pink, red and black, includes a labelled diagram showing the rocket’s trajectory and the positions of the Moon at launch (the empty circle) and impact.

Stanley Gibbons catalogue numbers:
2393, 2394

Credit: Thanks to Bob Christy of the Zarya site for help with translations.