The stamps depict some scenes from Christer Fuglesang's space flight in December 2006 when he became the first Swede in space. During the almost two-week mission to the International Space Station, ISS, Fuglesang carried out three space walks.
Day of Issue: September 24, 2009
The stamps were engraved by Martin Mörck (portrait and space walk) and Lars Sjööblom (other three stamps) based on proofs by Eva Wilsson, who processed photographs from NASA. Eva Wilsson also designed the stamp typography and cancellation for the first day cover (the Discovery space shuttle from the official emblem for the 2009 flight) based on a picture from NASA. The illustration for the first day cover is also from NASA and shows the official emblem for STS-128, Christer Fuglesang's flight in autumn 2009. The collector's sheet shows the 2006 lift-off of the Discovery space shuttle and was designed by Eva Wilsson.
In autumn 2009 astronaut Christer Fuglesang made his second trip to the International Space Station. He found time in the middle of his training program ahead of the mission to visit Sweden Post Stamps to approve the stamp originals.
"It's tremendously exciting and is a genuine honor to appear on stamps. Sweden Post has made an excellent choice of photos from the spaceflight," said Christer Fuglesang after his meeting with Head of Sweden Post Stamps Britt-Inger Hahne, head of design Stina Olofsdotter and designer Eva Wilsson.
The stamp issue contains six designs, one of which was made public on 28 January at the premiere showing of the 2009 stamp program. The other motifs were released closer to the day of issue at the end of September.
That is also the time when National Stamp Day was celebrated throughout Sweden - this time with a particularly elated atmosphere. Space and spaceflights are a popular theme that fire the imagination and appeal to all age groups.
Christer Fuglesang said that his wife was the first person to find out he was to be a stamp motif. He will send the first letters bearing the stamps to his children, but that will have to be via Sweden because the family lives in the US.
"I think it's nice both to send and receive letters and postcards, even if nowadays most correspondence is by e-mail. My driving forces are speed and efficiency, but when I write more personal greetings I opt for a normal letter."
Christer's interest in stamps began during his childhood and has stayed with him. When he took the Russian cosmonaut training in Star City in the mid-1990s, he acquired quite a few Russian stamps with space motifs.
Christer Fuglesang's three successful space walks from the ISS in December 2006 were reviewed with the words "nice catch" by the commander of the Discovery space shuttle, Bill Oefelein. And these stamps will certainly be a nice catch for collectors when they are issued.