The first Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space was held in Vienna in 1968. Scientists, astronomers and representatives from 78 countries had come together to discuss the benefits of space exploration for mankind. UNISPACE II and III were held in 1982 and 1999 respectively.
The 50th anniversary of the first conference would be celebrated by the UN by releasing a set of 6 commemorative stamps on 20th June in Geneva, New York and Vienna. They would be issued in pairs with U.S. dollar, Swiss franc and Euro denominations.
The $1.15 stamp features a photograph taken by Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli in 2011 showing the space shuttle Endeavour at the orbiting laboratory. The € 0,80 stamp depicts a 2011 picture of Russian Soyuz and Progress spacecraft with Aurora Australis in the background. A CHF 1,00 stamp shows a 2015 picture of Egypt taken by NASA astronaut Scott Kelly from Space. A CHF 1,50 stamp shows the launch of China's first prototype space station - Tiangong-1. A € 0,68 stamp presents the Great Red Spot on Jupiter taken by NASA's Voyager 1 interplanetary probe in 1979. Finally, a 50 cent issue depicts the Milky Way galaxy which is a mix of images in X-ray, optical and infrared wavelengths.
Three "souvenir sheets" will contain three more stamps. The $1.15 issue features Scott Kelly outside the International Space Station; a CHF 2,00 stamp depicts a picture taken by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) of comet 65P/Gunn; and a € 1,70 stamp features a picture taken by the European Space Agency's (ESA) Sentinel-2A satellite in 2016 showing the eastern edge of the Sundarbans in Bangladesh.
14 different first day covers will also be offered. 70,000 to 90,000 sets and 22,000 to 27,000 souvenir sheets would be released. The New York cancellation features a meteor; the Geneva postmark shows a solar system; and the Vienna postmark depicts a telescope. UNPA art director Sergio Baradat created the stamp. He had also designed a 2013 set featuring photographs of nebula.
Image Courtesy: UNPA