Hardly any other topic exudes the same fascination for mankind as outer space. The adventure of space travel and the conquest of space are among the greatest events in our history. After man has been in space and landed on the moon, the next step was to establish a space station designed to orbit planets. The aim was to stay in space for longer periods of time and to conduct a variety of scientific experiments and programmes, including observations of the Earth and the universe and studies of human physiology and biology. Space continues to harbour many secrets for those of us on Earth, and we never fail to be amazed when authentic records from cosmonauts and astronauts reach the Earth.
In the spirits of it Auktionshaus Felzmann auctioned the diary of Soviet cosmonaut Anatoly Nikolayevich Berezovoy written during his time in space in 1982.
On 13 May 1982, 51st pilot and commander Anatoly Nikolayevich Berezovoy – together with flight engineer Valentin Lebedev – flew on Soyuz T-5 on the first mission to the Soviet space station Salyut 7. They returned to Earth on 10 December 1982, having spent exactly 211 days in zero gravity, breaking the existing record for the longest time spent in space. In his diary, Berezovoy recorded his thoughts, feelings and experiences over 92 pages.
His first entry was on 22 June: “For a long time I’ve been trying to write about everything that has moved me during these days passed in flight, but I haven’t managed to. There is a lot of work to be done. Only now do I begin to write and it is just past midnight. Now everything is quieter and it seems to be the quiet before the storm.” In his singular diary entries, the Soviet cosmonaut writes about human life in space. In doing so, he describes his personal and professional experiences and the feeling of loneliness that was never far away. An account that is punctuated by daily feelings of joy but also of fear.
It is extremely likely that the first written correspondence between space and Earth – the first instance of “space mail” – can be attributed to Anatoly Nikolayevich Berezovoy.
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Space philately will be an ongoing theme with us for a while, there are other treasures that are still waiting to be discovered that are with us already or on the way to us.
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