East Germany  1959
Luna 2
1959EGermanyE454.jpg
Luna 2 became the first man-made object to hit the Moon in September 1959. Its impact point was in the Palus Putredinis region of eastern Mare Imbrium, at about 0° longitude, 30° N latitude. The impact point indicated by the flag on this stamp is somewhat misplaced, being to the south of Mare Serenitatis; note that here the Moon is shown with south at the top, as seen through an astronomical telescope.

The figures at upper left of the stamp are the exact date and time of impact. The time is stated in Central European Time (Mitteleuropäische Zeit, or MEZ, in German). Luna 2 was followed on to the Moon about half an hour later by the upper stage of its launch rocket. Both carried pennants with the Soviet coat of arms, as depicted at upper right of the stamp.


Stanley Gibbons catalogue number:
E454