The Soviet Space Program, From Sputnik to 1989, in Postage Stamps

On this day in 1957, the Soviets successfully sent Sputnik into orbit around Earth, launching not just a satellite, but an age, and spurring on a rivalry that would dominate the coming decades.

To bring back the feeling of the era, we've put together a slideshow of stamps about space from the Soviet Union. Their vivid colors and particular style give us a taste of what the Soviet space program looked like from behind the iron curtain.

Presented by

Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

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