Archive for the ‘PHILATELY’ Category

Large Gold and “Best in the Class” – Alec Bartos “Soviet International Manned Spaceflights” Astrophilatelic exhibit – Milanofil 2013


The Jury composed by: Mario Mentaschi (president), Giacomo Bottacchi, Enrico Carsetti, Umberto Cavallaro, Graham Winters has met on 4, 5 and 6 of April 2013, and has evaluated the exhibits at the National and Qualifying Exhibition “Milano 2013” according to the Special Regulations FIP (SREV) of the relevant classes. Giorgio Khouzam was not able to take part to the Jury works due to illness. Michele Caso has been the FSFI Commissioner with Enrico Carsetti as its assistant. Graham Winters has been the Commissioner for Great Britain. Luca Lavagnino has taken part to the Jury works as apprentice. The Jury would like to underline the high quality of the exhibits, as shown by 29 gold or large gold out of a total of 54. The Jury remarks the excellent organization of the Exhibition in the convenient site of Milano City Fair, also thanks to the effective and continuous support of Poste Italiane. It welcomes the decision to invite some exhibits from Great Britain, and observes the perfect integration of the jurors of the two countries in the evaluation work.
The following exhibit has been transferred to Postal History – Subclass C “Historical, social and special studies” for a better evaluation: Pietro Alberto “Storia della pubblicità in filatelia”. The Jury, after careful examination of the exhibits, expressed the evaluations presented in the attached list. All decisions were taken unanimously.
Milano, 6.04.2013: Mario Mentaschi, Giacomo Bottacchi, Enrico Carsetti, Umberto Cavallaro, Graham Winters.


From my exhibit:

ATV-2 / MagISStra flown cover – Umberto Cavallaro – ASITAF AD*ASTRA N° 12 – March 2012

On February 28th we had the pleasure of presenting to the Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli the folder containing one of the covers which ATV-2 carried last year to the ISS. Paolo Nespoli had personally recovered from the ATV the covers which were then signed by him and the by the other 5 members of the Expedition 26-27: Dmitry Kondratyev, Cady Coleman, Andrey Borisenko, Alexander Samokutyaev and Ron Garan.

Besides the ISS octagonal board “seal”, Nespoli also put on the cover his personal MagISStra hand stamp, which after the mission has been made unserviceable.

“The AS.IT.AF. flown and signed cover is presented in an elegant folder designed by our member the artist  Alec Bartos and is reserved for the AS.IT.AF. members only. ”

Official NASA WSS litho portrait of Neil Armstrong – Signed twice adventure

Received from a friend several days ago in an email, this Armstrong signed picture story goes like this:

“In 1971, a boy living in a village from the Transylvanian Plane, wishing to differ from his schoolmates, who were collecting autographs from Elvis-like celebrities, sent a letter to NASA asking for the autograph of Neil Armstrong. In 1991 the signed photo ends up in a primary school classroom where a pupil rewrites the signature in water-marker over the original one.”


As at the end of each year, at the last meeting of the National Philatelic Commission a topic on the agenda was choosing the most beautiful postage stamps issue of 2011 and postage stamp which will represent Romania at international competitions in 2012.

Considering the artistic conception of the design, their originality and personalization, the harmonization of colors and the correlation with printer requirements, following the proposals from the Commission members, were agreed the following postage stamps issues:

1st place


Designer:  Vlad Vamasescu

The 2nd place was awarded to Alec Bartos for his exceptional design of the COSMOS 2011 souvenir sheet.

Dumitru Dorin Prunariu

The complete “COSMOS 2011” stamp issue – images, technical characteristics and other details here.


3rd place

Designer: Razvan Popescu

Article source:


Related to the Cosmos 2011 stamp issue see: postage stamps issue COSMOS 2011 presented at the Romanian Academy 13.05.2011

IAA 2011 Planetary Defense Conference –  introducing into circulation the postage stamps Cosmos 2011My latest stamp design presentation


Search Continues for Secret Stamp Honoring John Glenn’s Historic Spaceflight – by Robert Z. Pearlman, Editor

The 1962 4-cent “Project Mercury” stamp marked the first time that the U.S. issued a previously unannounced commemorative stamp at the same time as the event it was issued to honor. (cS)

The above cover was cancelled on the first day of issue fifty years ago. The cachet designs is made by me (Alec Bartos) in 2008 in an tirage of only two coves. As a custom commissioned cachets for Mr. Ben Ramkissoon. I have remade the cachet handmade. See below:
February 20, 2012– Fifty years ago Monday (Feb. 20), John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, relied on ground stations located across the planet to communicate with his control team. But after his Mercury spacecraft, Friendship 7, safely splashed down, it was another type of station that took over tracking his historic mission: U.S. post offices.For the first and only time in the country’s postal history, the United States Post Office Department — since 1971, the U.S. Postal Service — surprised the public with the release of a secret stamp celebrating Glenn’s successful mission. The 4-cent “Project Mercury” postage stamp was revealed and immediately put on sale in 305 post offices within an hour of Glenn’s triumphant return to Earth at 2:43 p.m. EST (1943 GMT) on Feb. 20, 1962. Half a century later, collectors are still searching for those first-day-of-issue stamps.
above: detail of Ramkissoon’s cover

Romania – 2008 – “Space Exploration” stamp issue – design Alec Bartos

In 1958, the United States of America launched the first space mission, Explorer I that was to reveal a fundamental discovery for space explorations: due to its magnetic poles, the Earth is surrounded by a radiation belt, thereafter called “Van Allen”.
The Sputnik program implied a series of space missions no human aboard, conducted by the Soviet Union, during late 60´s and its purpose was to emphasize the feasibility of artificial satellites. The name “Sputnik” actually means “satellite” or “travel companion”. The first attempt to launch the Artificial Earth Satellite Sputnik 3 on February, 3rd 1958 was a failure but the second one, dating May 15th was a real success and managed to transport an important number of devices to be used in geophysical research into space. The magnetic recorder on board damaged and any research data registration on Van Allen radiation belts, just four months previously discovered by the American satellite Explorer I, accordingly became impossible.
In December 1958, the United States Army launched the Jupiter AM-13 missile having monkey Gordo aboard. This mission was devoted to biological research. Unfortunately, upon landing, the monkey died because of defection of the parachuting system of the missile.
The stamp with the face value of RON 1.00 presents Explorer I space mission.
The stamp with the face value of RON 2.40 presents Sputnik 3 space mission.
The stamp with the face value of RON 3.10 presents Jupiter AM-13 space mission.


Astro Space Stamp Society – Airmail Labels – Space thematic etiquettes – Orbit magazine

ORBIT is the official quarterly publication of the Astro Space Stamp Society, full of illustrations and informative space stamp and space cover articles, postal auctions, space news, and a new issues guide.

The etiquettes have appropriate illustrations and are imperforate on gummed paper; the computerized realizations were achieved by me. Other realizations were achieved by Eve Archer, wife of Jeff Dugdale, who edits the ASSS’s journal ORBIT. (

They are available from him, C/o Elgin High School, Elgin, Moray, IV30 3YU.The price are only £1 for 4 (it’s 25p for 4 to ASSS members) All can be postally used to indicate airmail.

space cover cachets – handpainted

Cachet: In French, cachet means a stamp or a seal. On a cover, the cachet is an added design or text, often corresponding to the design of the postage stamp, the mailed journey of the cover, or some type of special event. Cachets appear on modern first-day covers, first-flight covers and special-event covers.

All the cachets are totally hand made, worked under the magnifying glass with nibs and brushes. Pigments used are inks and gouaches. In the darkness some features are photoluminiscent (glow in the dark pigments). The postmarks and stamps are originals from the respective period and places.  Actual covers size are approx. 16,5X9 cm (6,49X3,54 inch) For details please click the images.

The Liberty Bell 7 cover has some features made with UV sensitive pigment. The cover bears a fake USS Randolph cancellation made by the famous forger Charles Riser. He was caught with the use of this kind of UV markings.

The Discoverer 1 – CORONA cover has silver paint effects. The cachet look different depending of the angle of  the light (Éclairage).

Marshall Islands announces new stamp issue commemorating the end of the Space Shuttle era

On July 21, 2011, the day the Shuttle Atlantis touched down for the last time, the Marshall Islands Postal Service issued seven new stamps commemorating the end of the Space Shuttle era.

Since its beginning in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has been responsible for many remarkable accomplishments. For example, on May 5, 1961, NASA sent Alan Shepard, the first American astronaut, into space. Then, just eight years later, on July 16, 1969, NASA launched Apollo 11, carrying astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins on a journey to the Moon. In 1973, NASA was responsible for launching Skylab, a space-borne laboratory which circled the earth for nearly seven years. However, NASA’s next project—the famed Space Shuttle—is perhaps its greatest accomplishment so far. For 30 years beginning with the launch of Columbia on April 12, 1981, the Space Shuttle was the workhorse of America’s space program, bringing America as close as it has ever come to routine space travel.
A Full Mint Sheet of 7 is available for $4.31 (stock number 466-7190). A First Day Cover is available at the Official Price of $5.71 (stock number 466-7204). A shipping and handling charge is added to all orders.
For information about this issue, or other stamps of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, contact the Stamps and Philatelic Center of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, One Unicover Center, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82008-0021. Information may also be obtained by calling 1-800-443-4225 or ordering on-line at



42 years ago, on July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to step foot on another heavenly body.

Armstrong emerged from the spacecraft first. While descending, he released the Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly (MESA) on which the surface television camera was stowed, and the camera recorded humankind’s first step on the Moon at 109:24:19 GET.

The astronauts carried out a planned sequence of activities that included deployment of a Solar Wind Composition experiment, a Laser-Ranging Retroreflector and a Passive Seismic Experiment Package; also collecting samples of lunar material and photographing terrain. While Armstrong and Aldrin completed their tasks on the lunar surface, command module pilot Michael Collins kept vigil in the Columbia module orbiting above.

The three reunited and landed safely in the Pacific Ocean four days later.

For more info:

Cover flown to the moon with Apollo 11.

DL stationery envelopes designed by me for the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11

My private FDC (self adhesive printed cachet) for Apollo 11 designed stamps (2009) see

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art • space • philately

I would like to discuss any opportunities for projects that implies art, space and/or philately.