Russia  1960
Luna 3
A pair of stamps issued in 1960 to commemorate the success of Luna 3.

Left: Luna 3 photographing the far side of the Moon. The date on the stamp (7 October 1959) is the date on which the photographs were taken.

Right: An annotated map of the far side of the Moon, based on Luna 3’s pictures. Part of the nearside was included to assist orientation; this lies to the left of the dotted line. As seen from the spacecraft the Moon was fully illuminated so few details were visible, but the pictures did suffice to show that the far side was mostly highlands with relatively few dark mare areas.

Stanley Gibbons catalogue numbers:
40k  –  2431
60k  –  2432