by John Macco
15th of January 2012
The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project was the first joint space venture by the Soviet Union and the United States. The story of the Apollo-Soyuz stamps began in July 1973 when Gordon Morison, manager of the Postal Services Philatelic Affairs Division drafted a memorandum for Benjamin Bailar, Senior Assistant Postmaster General. Morison provided a detailed proposal for development and release of stamps in like designs by the two nations to mark the planned linkup in space. Morison noted one possibility would be for an artist from each country to design two stamps with each country to issue its own design and those of the other country for a total of four stamps. Morison added that if the project was approved Robert McCall a space artist who had done extensive work for NASA and who was then working on a Skylab-Pioneer set for 1974 would be commissioned to prepare designs. In October 1973, the Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee who was unaware of Morison's proposal discussed the 1975 space project in general terms and recommended consideration for the stamp. McCall was asked to prepare designs in general terms. later he was given as his format, the setenant commemorative of his Space Achievement pair of 1971. He turned in 22 rough sketches. If anybody would like to see the sketches McCall prepared, send me an email and I'll send you via email a copy of the article I used for information. The article appeared in Minkus Journal in 1975. As issued on July 15, 1975, the United States issued two commemoratives commemorating ASTP. The top stamp was designed by Robert McCall and the bottom stamp was designed by Anatoly Aksamit. Each country issued both designs. Russia issued an additional three commemoratives which showed the Soyuz launch, both crews and the Soviet Mission Control.