1975 10¢ Apollo-Soyuz Space Mission
Issue Date: July 15, 1975
City: Kennedy Space Center, FL
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Photogravure
Apollo-Soyuz was the first mission undertaken by Russian and American astronauts in a joint, peaceful quest into outer space. Issued as an attached pair, these stamps illustrate the main objective of the mission, which was a successful docking in space.
Please note: Due to the layout of the pane, the se-tenant may or may not be provided in Scott Catalogue order.
First U.S.-Soviet Joint Issue Stamps
On July 15, 1975, the U.S. and Soviet Union each issued stamps honoring the launch of their Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, their first joint space venture.
After several years of tension and a Space Race to the Moon, the United States and Soviet Union began to adopt a détente policy. This was an easing of strained relations. Out of this policy came the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.
As the American and Soviet space agencies worked together, so did their postal administrations. Plans for a joint issue between the nations began in July 1973. At that time, Gordon Morison, manager of the Postal Services Philatelic Affairs Division submitted a proposal to Senior Assistant Post Master General Benjamin Bailar. Morison’s proposal was to create stamps for both nations to mark the linkup in space.
One of Morrison’s suggestions was for each country to design two stamps, and then both countries would issue their own designs and the designs of the other, for a total of four stamps. Meanwhile, that October, the Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC), unaware of Morison’s proposal, began discussing the test project and the possibility of producing a stamp.
The U.S. and Soviet postal agencies then began working together to design the stamps. In the end, Robert McCall, who previously did the artwork for the 1971 Space Achievement and 1974 Skylab-Pioneer stamps, was selected to design the “after link-up” stamp. Soviet Artist Anatoly Aksamit designed the “before link-up image.” The Soviet Union also issued three commemorative stamps illustrating the Soyuz launch, both crews, and the Soviet Mission Control.