Since Discovery was retired this week, it seemed fitting to take a trip into space when I came across this Space Shuttle stamp from my box. Turns out this comes from a series of eight stamps celebrating space achievement. Unfortunately the Shuttle pictured is the ill-fated Columbia, but it still speaks to our innovation and curiosity. With only two more Shuttle missions left, we're really coming to the end of an era.
And we tend to think of the Space Shuttle as a national achievement, but apparently our neighbors to the north, while not launching an astronaut program until 1982, contributed to the Shuttles and the first Canadian astronaut flew aboard the Challenger in 1984. Going to guess this stamp was inspired by him.
And not to be left behind, here's a set of stamps from China entitled "Space Flight" (some of the few mint condition stamps in the box--not sure who gave them to me). According to a Taiwanese seller, these depict...
1. Dongfanghong-1 satellite
2. Returnable remote sensing and technical test satellite
3. Submarine-launched rocket
4. Launch to Geosynchronous Orbit
5. Satellite receiving earth station
6. Geosynchronous Earth Orbit communications satellite