Space Cover #439: First Spanish stamps launched to stratosphere
Exfilna 2017 (Spanish National Exhibition 2017) will go down in history as the first exhibition in which a balloon with Spanish stamps was launched to stratosphere.
Past Oct 8, 2017 in Portugalete (Vizcaya) — in the north of Spain — a balloon containing two bags with 25 sheets each one as well as the first Spanish stamps issued in 1850 was launched to stratosphere with the goal to reach 35.000 meter of altitude.
Although the balloon broke at 26.750 meters, the goal to bear the first Spanish stamps to stratosphere was completely achieved.
The capsule (in form of mailbox) with the stamps landed on earth in Oñate (72 km far away from Portugalete) and was safety recovered.
CORREOS – Spanish Post- the manager for this launch, prepared 50 covers to commemorate this event. Please note that just the sheets were to stratosphere, not the covers.
50 sheets were numbered and postmarked in advance of the launch, and after landing, were affixed to the special covers, also numbered with a 4 line printed-sentences translated as: "First Stamps launched to Stratosphere" – This cover contains an affixed, postmarked and numbered stamp launched to stratosphere – Portugalete 08-10-2017.
In reverse side appears a rectangular mark that acts as certificate which is signed by the Philately Spanish Director Mr. Modesto Fraguas, as well a second postmark.
A detailed image (before dating) is providing as better comprehension:
You can see the complete launch at this short video.
Finally, as save the records, covers from 1-10 were reserved to authorities. The cover number bears too affixed the first Spanish stamp and will be delivered to Spain King Felipe VI.
40 remaining covers were auctioned on Oct 14, the last day of Exfilna 2017, at the starting price of 100 Euros each one. Some of them were sold and still some are available.
Please, feel free to contact me if you are interested in these covers, and I will do my best to contact with the provider.