VOSTOK
MANNED SPACE PROGRAM
FIRST DAY COVERS

FIRST DAY COVERS

VOSTOK 1 - First manned orbit of the Earth
Yuri Gagarin made history as the first man in space. Aboard Vostok 1 he orbited the Earth once on 12-April-1961. This day was later named a "Cosmonautics day" in honour of this event.

Here we have three postcards of Yuri Gagarin. The first features one of his stamps and is cancelled 12-April-1961 and the other two are unused.

This cover was cancelled on the day and features one of Gagarin's four stamps.
These 12-April-1961 covers are very hard to find, here is a second fine example.
Another interesting cover also cancelled 12-April-1961.
Two of the same cachets one cancelled for the launch (red cancellation) and the other (black cancellation) for two weeks later.
And finally another pair of first day covers on the same cachet issued for the launch and featuring different Gagarin stamps.
This cover features all four of Gagarin's stamps and was cancelled 17-June-1961.
This first day cover was released for the first anniversary of the flight of Vostok 1. cancelled on the first anniversary of Vostok 1, 12-April-1962.
This is another first anniversary cover featuring one of Gagarin's four stamps.
This is a third cover released for the anniversary 12-April-1962.
This is a pair of cards issued for cosmonautics day 1962 to commemorate Gagarin and Titov's flights. Gagarin's card features one of his stamps and is cancelled on the anniversary of his flight (date of cards issue) 12-April-1962.
VOSTOK 2 - First day long manned mission in space
First Day cover commemorating the flight of Vostok 2 on the 6th to the 7th August 1961 by Gherman Titov. Titov was the fourth man in space as Alan Shepard and Virgil Grissom had their Mercury 3 and 4 sub-orbital flights after Gagarin, but Titov was the second person to orbit the Earth, remaining in orbit for over a day (25 hours) and orbiting the Earth 17.5 times.

These three maxicard feature Cosmonaut Gherman Titov, each includes one of the Vostok 2 stamps and were cancelled on the 6-August-1961 (launch day) or on the 7-August-1961 (landing day). The third cover is autographed by Titov.

This First day cover features one of Titov's Vostok 2 two stamps and is cancelled in Moscow on the day.
This First day cover features the other of Titov's Vostok 2 stamps and is cancelled in Moscow on the day.
Here is the first of a pair of Vostok 2 first day cover cancelled for the launch 6-August-1961.
And this is the second of the aforementioned pair of covers. This one being cancelled for the landing 7-August-1961.
Another Vostok 2 first day cover cancelled on 7-August-1961.
This first day cover has both stamps but in imperforated form. It was cancelled 15-September-1961.
VOSTOK 3 and 4 - First Group Flight
This first day cover depicts the flights of Vostok 3 (Nikolayev) and 4 (Popovich) which were launched a day apart orbiting the Earth together. They came as close as 5 kilometers apart and made visual and radio contact. The was the first direct ship to ship radio contact in space.

These maxicards show Andriyan Nikolayev and Pavel Popovich each with their respective stamps.

The first day cover was cancelled in Moscow on 13-August-1962 and features all three mission stamps.
The Vostok 3 & 4 cover was cancelled for thew landing on 15-August-1962 and features the group flight stamp. The cachet also notes the launch and landing dates and crew members of these two flights.
Vostok 3's mission duration was 3 days and 22.5 hours (64 orbits) while for Vostok 4 it was 2 days and 23 hours (48 orbits).

This cover was also cancelled for the 15-August landing, again with the Vostok 3 & 4 group flight stamp.

Also featuring the joint mission stamp, this is another cachet cancelled 15-August-1962 to commemorate the Vostok 3 and 4 joint mission.
This is another cover with Nikolayev and Popovich on the cachet, this time with the Vostok 3 & 4 individual flight stamps.
Here is a Nikolayev Vostok 3 cover cancelled on 18-August-1962. With it is a second cover of the same cachet cancelled on 15-August that matches the Vostok 4 cover below.
To match the above cover is its partner, this Popovich Vostok 4 first day cover, also cancelled on 15-August-1962.
This is another Nikolayev Vostok 3 cover cancelled on 15-August-1962 matching the Vostok 4 cover below.
Here is another pair of Popovich Vostok 4 covers, both cancelled on 15-August-1962 and featuring the Vostok 4 stamp.
Yet another Nikolayev Vostok 3 cover cancelled on 15-August-1962 with its matching the Vostok 4 cover below.
Paired with the cover above, this is also cancelled on 15-August-1962 and featuring the Vostok 4 stamp.
This is a Pavel Popovich Vostok 4 cover featuring the Vostok 4 stamp.
And here is the matching Nikolayev Vostok 3 cover.
Pictured here is another Vostok 3 and 4 propaganda card featuring the joint mission stamp and cancelled for Cosmonautics day 1965.
Finally here is a Vostok 3 and 4 propaganda card.
VOSTOK 5 - Longest solo manned flight
VOSTOK 6 - First woman in space
These card commemorates Valery Bykovsky in Vostok 5 and Valentina Tereshkova the first woman in space in Vostok 6. They both feature their respective stamps. Vostok 5 and 6 was also a multi-ship mission with an increased duration than Vostok 3 and 4. Bykovsky's five day flight remains as the record for the longest solo manned flight in earth orbit.
Here we have a cover cancelled for the landing, 19-June-1963.
This cover of the same cache above in the Vostok 3 / 4 section features three of the Vostok 5 and 6 individual and group flight stamps. This excellent cover is cancelled 22-June-1963 three days after the landing.
To celebrate the first anniversary of Vostok 5 and 6, this cover features another pair of 1963 Vostok 5 / 6 stamps.
A further Vostok 5 and 6 cover cancelled 1964.
Another cover issued for the first anniversary of the landing of the Vostok 5 and 6 missions again featuring their 1963 stamps.
This Vostok 5 is the match to the Vostok 6 cachet below. Like the cachet below it is cancelled for the anniversary and features Bykovsky's Vostok 5 stamp.
Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman in space on 16th to the 19th June 1963. She later went on to marry Nikolayev from Vostok 3 and had Soviet Premier Khruschev as their toast master at the wedding.

This is the matching Vostok 6 cover to the Vostok 5 one above. It features the Vostok 6 stamp and was cancelled for the anniversary 1964. Also pictured here are two other covers featuring the same cachet, one with the same stamp cancelled for the group flight and the other cancelled for the first woman in space.

Here we have a second cover and stamp release celebrating Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space. This cover too is also cancelled for the 1964 anniversary of Vostok 6.


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