Helios

(West German)
Helios-series
satellites

Helios patch
drawingpatch

This page contains philatelic information on the (West German) Helios-series satellites. Catalog numbers, years of issue, and notes on the satellites featured are given when available. If readers know of additional information or images, please contact the authors using the e-mail addresses at the bottom of this page.

The West German Helios-series from the 1970s should not be confused with the French Helios-series, the first of which was launched in 1995.

Launch information
(found elsewhere)
Launch covers
(including anniversary-of-launch covers, and launch-related event covers)
(farther below)
Other postal items
(stamps, souvenir sheets, aerogrammes, postal cards, etc.)
(immediately below)
Helios
(West Germany)
Helios
(West Germany)
Helios
(West Germany)
Helios (on other than Helios launch covers)


Below is a list of (West German) Helios-series satellite postal items (stamps, souvenir sheets, aerogrammes, postal cards, etc.).

CountryCatalog NumberType of ItemYear of IssueNotes on Content
Helios (West Germany)
Equatorial GuineaMi588
MiA588

Imperforate on lavender paper
1975"Helios-1"
French GuianaNone(At upper-right of) cachet on cover1979"Helios"
Germany (West)None(Pictorial) cancel on cover1974"Helios"
Germany (West)None(Pictorial) cancel (same date/time) on cover (no cachet)1974"Helios"
Germany (West)None(Pictorial) cancel (different time) and cachet on cover1974"Helios" (in cancel); "Helios-A" (in cachet)
Germany (West)None(Pictorial) cancel (different date/time) and cachet (same) on cover1974"Helios" (in cancel); also "Helios-A" (in cachet)
Germany (West)None(Pictorial) cancel (same date/time) on cover (different cachet)1974"Helios"
Germany (West)None(DFVLR mission patch) cachet on (un-stamped and un-canceled) cover~1975"Helios"
Germany (West)NoneCancel and cachet on cover1979"Helios"
Grenada756 (Mi790)From MS50 (756a (50x 756))1976"Helios"
Grenada757 (Mi791)From MS50 (757a (50x 757))
Grenada758 (Mi792)
Grenada759 (Mi793)
Grenada763 (BL59)SS1
ParaguayC414 (BL251)SS11975Spelled "Helius" (in cancel)
ParaguayC414 fdcSS1 and (pictorial) cancel and cachet on FDC
RomaniaNone(Pictorial) cancel2005"Helios-1", "Helios-2"
SpainNone(Printed) cachet on cover1984"Helios" (in text only)
United StatesNone(Black rubber-stamp) cachet (and signature) on (un-canceled) cover1975?"Helios-B" (but Skylab is depicted)
United StatesNone(Ken Bishop) cachet on cover, also back1985Helios-A depicted (on cover front); "Helios-A" (in text on cover back)


Below is a list of (West German) Helios-series satellite launch covers (including anniversary-of-launch covers, and launch-related event covers).

CountryCancel DateCancel LocationType of ItemNotes on Content
Helios (West Germany)
1974-12-10: Helios-1
United States1974-12-09Pasadena CA(Space Voyage) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
United States1974-12-09Pasadena CA(JPL Stamp Club) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
Australia1974-12-10Canberra ACT(NASA Communications Network) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
Germany (West)1974-12-10Wessling Oberbay(DFVLR/GSOC) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
Germany (West)1974-12-10Bad Münstereifel(Mission patch) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
Germany (West)1974-12-10Ottobrunn(MBB) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
Germany (West)1974-12-10Stuttgart(SEL red) meter and (SEL blue rubber-stamp) cachet on cover. The rubber stamp that was used to create this cachet is shown here and here.Helios-1 launch
Germany (West)1974-12-10Stuttgart(SEL blue rubber-stamp) cachet on cover (black cancel). The rubber stamp that was used to create this cachet is shown here and here.Helios-1 launch
Germany (West)1974-12-10Stuttgart(SEL blue rubber-stamp) cachet on (airmail) cover (black cancel). The rubber stamp that was used to create this cachet is shown here and here.Helios-1 launch
Germany (West)1974-12-10Bad Münstereifel(DFVLR/GSOC blue rubber-stamp) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
Germany (West)1974-12-10Weilheim Oberbay(DFVLR/GSOC blue rubber-stamp) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
Germany (West)1974-12-10Stuttgart(SEL red) meter on coverHelios-1 launch
Spain1974-12-10Madrid(Green printed) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
Spain1974-12-10Madrid(Green rubber-stamp) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
Spain1974-12-10Madrid(Blue rubber-stamp) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
Spain1974-12-10Madrid(Blue printed) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
Spain1974-12-10Madrid(NASA Communications Network) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
United States1974-12-10Orlando FL, Kennedy Space Center Branch(SEL blue rubber-stamp) cachet on cover. The rubber stamp that was used to create this cachet is shown here and here.Helios-1 launch
United States1974-12-10Orlando FL, Kennedy Space Center Branch(SEL blue rubber-stamp) cachet on (airmail) cover. The rubber stamp that was used to create this cachet is shown here and here.Helios-1 launch
United States1974-12-10Kennedy Space Center FL(Space Voyage) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
United States1974-12-10Cape Canaveral FL(InterSpace Cover) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
United States1974-12-10Kennedy Space Center FL(SCPS) cachet on cover, also backHelios-1 launch
United States1974-12-10Kennedy Space Center FL(SCPS with logo) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
United States1974-12-10Kennedy Space Center FL(NASA/KSC black rubber-stamp) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
United States1974-12-10Kennedy Space Center FL(NASA/KSC black rubber-stamp) cachet (and signatures) on coverHelios-1 launch
United States1974-12-10Orlando FL, Kennedy Space Center Branch(NASA/KSC black rubber-stamp) cachet (same) on coverHelios-1 launch
United States1974-12-10Cape Canaveral FL(Centennial) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
United States1974-12-10Cape Canaveral FL(Whitney magenta and black) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
United States1974-12-10Satellite Beach FL(Whitney magenta and black) cachet (same) on coverHelios-1 launch
United States1974-12-10Greenbelt MD(GSFC Stamp Club blue rubber-stamp) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
United States1974-12-10Greenbelt MD(GSFC Stamp Club purple rubber-stamp) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
United States1974-12-10Greenbelt MD(GSFC Stamp Club) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
United States1974-12-10Cape Canaveral FL(Roma) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
United States1974-12-10Cape Canaveral FL(Orbit Covers) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
United States1974-12-10Patrick AFB, FL(no/blank) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
Germany (West)1974-12-10
1974-12-10
Stuttgart (red meter)
Stuttgart (black cancel)
(SEL red) meter and (SEL sticker) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
Australia1974-12-11Moree NSW(?) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch (TIROS depicted)
Australia1974-12-11Paddington NSW(?) cachet (different colors) on coverHelios-1 launch (TIROS depicted)
Australia1974-12-11Carnarvon WA(?) cachet (different colors) on coverHelios-1 launch (TIROS depicted)
Australia1974-12-11Carnarvon WA(Black rubber-stamp) cachet on coverHelios-1 launch
Helios-1 (events)
Germany (West)1975-01-03Wessling Oberbay(black rubber-stamp) cachet (and signature) on cover(possible) Helios-1 tracking (by the GSOC)
Australia1975-03-15Adelaide SA(Purple and red and green rubber-stamp) cachet on coverHelios-1 perihelion1
Germany (West)1975-03-15Stuttgart(SEL red) meter and (SEL red and black rubber-stamp) cachet on cover. The rubber stamp that was used to create this cachet is similar to the one shown here and here.Helios-1 perihelion1
Spain1975-03-15Madrid(Green printed and red rubber-stamp) cachet on coverHelios-1 perihelion1
United States1975-03-15Cape Canaveral FL(Space Voyage) cachet on coverHelios-1 perihelion1
United States1975-03-15Cape Canaveral FL(Space Voyage) cachet (and signature) on coverHelios-1 perihelion1
United States1975-03-15Cape Canaveral FL(NASA/KSC black rubber-stamp) cachet on (airmail) coverHelios-1 perihelion1
United States1975-03-16
1875-03-17
Barstow CA (red meter)
Barstow CA (black cancel)
(Goldstone Space Communications Station) cachet on coverHelios-1 perihelion1
United States1975-03-17Orlando FL, Kennedy Space Center Branch(Mission patch) cachet on coverHelios-1 perihelion1
Australia1975-04-22Canberra City ACT(Red and purple rubber-stamp) cachet on coverHelios-1 tracking
Germany (West)1975-04-25Bad Münstereifel(DFVLR/GSOC blue rubber-stamp) cachet on coverHelios-1 tracking
Germany (West)1975-05-16Weilheim Oberbay(DFVLR/GSOC purple rubber-stamp) cachet on coverHelios-1 tracking by Zentrale-Deutsche Bodenstation (ZDBS)
United States1975-09-21Cape Canaveral FL(Space Voyage) cachet on coverHelios-1 perihelion1
United States1976-03-29Cape Canaveral FL(Space Voyage) cachet on coverHelios-1 perihelion1
Germany (West)1976-04-01Bad Münstereifel(DFVLR/GSOC blue rubber-stamp) cachet on coverHelios-1 perihelion1
United States1976-10-05Cape Canaveral FL(Space Voyage) cachet on coverHelios-1 perihelion1
United States1977-04-13Pasadena CA(Space Voyage, no logo) cachet on coverHelios-1 perihelion1
United States1977-10-21Pasadena CA(Space Voyage, no logo) cachet on coverHelios-1 perihelion1
United States1978-04-29Pasadena CA(Space Voyage) cachet on coverHelios-1 perihelion1
United States1978-11-05Pasadena CA(Space Voyage) cachet on coverHelios-1 perihelion1
United States1980-12-05Pasadena CA(Space Voyage) cachet on coverHelios-1 perihelion1
United States1981-06-13Pasadena CA(Space Voyage) cachet on coverHelios-1 perihelion1
United States1981-12-20Pasadena CA(Space Voyage) cachet on coverHelios-1 perihelion1
United States1982-06-28Kennedy Space Center FL(Space Voyage) cachet on coverHelios-1 perihelion1
United States1983-07-13Pasadena CA(Space Voyage) cachet on coverHelios-1 perihelion1
United States1984-07-27Pasadena CA(Space Voyage) cachet on coverHelios-1 perihelion1
United States1985-02-02Pasadena CA(Space Voyage) cachet on coverHelios-1 perihelion1
United States1986-03-14Pasadena CA(Space Voyage) cachet on coverHelios-1 perihelion1: "Helios program ends"
1976-01-15: Helios-2
United States1976-01-15Cape Canaveral FL(Space Voyage) cachet on coverHelios-2 launch
United States1976-01-15Cape Canaveral FL(Space Voyage) cachet (changed colors) on coverHelios-2 launch
United States1976-01-15Kennedy Space Center FL(Space Voyage) cachet on coverHelios-2 launch
United States1976-01-15 (year inverted)Greenbelt MD(GSFC Stamp Club) cachet on coverHelios-2 launch
United States1976-01-15 (year inverted)Greenbelt MD(GSFC Stamp Club) cachet on cover (no signatures)Helios-2 launch
United States1976-01-15 (year inverted)Greenbelt MD(GSFC Stamp Club blue rubber-stamp) cachet on cover, also backHelios-2 launch
United States1976-01-15Kennedy Space Center FL(SCPS) cachet on coverHelios-2 launch
United States1976-01-15Kennedy Space Center FL(BMFT/DFVLR/NASA) cachet on coverHelios-2 launch
United States1976-01-15Kennedy Space Center FL(Mission patch) cachet on coverHelios-2 launch
United States1976-01-15Cape Canaveral FL(Orbit Covers) cachet on coverHelios-2 launch
United States1976-01-15Kennedy Space Center FL(Typed and rubber-stamp) cachet (and signature) on coverHelios-2 launch
United States1976-01-15Kennedy Space Center FL(Blue and red rubber-stamp) cachet on coverHelios-2 launch
United States1976-01-15Patrick AFB, FL(Whitney blue and black) cachet on coverHelios-2 launch
United States1976-01-15Patrick AFB, FL(Whitney blue and black) cachet (and signatures) on coverHelios-2 launch
United States1976-01-15Kennedy Space Center FL(Centennial) cachet on coverHelios-2 launch
United States1976-01-15Cape Canaveral FL(Centennial) cachet on coverHelios-2 launch
Germany (West)1976-01-15
1976-01-15
Stuttgart (red meter)
Stuttgart (black cancel)
(SEL red) meter and (SEL blue rubber-stamp) cachet on cover. The rubber stamp that was used to create this cachet is shown here and here.Helios-2 launch
Germany (West)1976-01-15
1976-01-15
Ottobrun (red meter)
Ottobrun (black cancel)
(MBB/mission patch) cachet on coverHelios-2 launch
Germany (West)1976-01-15
1976-01-15
Ottobrun (red meter)
Ottobrun (black cancel)
(blank/no) cachet on coverHelios-2 launch
Germany (West)1976-01-15
1976-01-15
Stuttgart (red meter)
Stuttgart (black cancel)
(SEL red) meter and (SEL sticker) cachet on coverHelios-2 launch
United States1976-01-17Agana, Guam(NASA Communications Network) cachet on coverHelios-2 launch
Helios-2 (events)
Germany (West)1976-03-29
1976-03-29
Köln (red meter)
Köln (black cancel)
(DFVLR purple rubber-stamp) cachet on cover(possible) Helios-2 tracking
United States1976-04-16Cape Canaveral FL(Space Voyage) cachet on coverFirst Helios-2 perihelion1,2
Germany (West)1976-04-17Weilheim Oberbay(DFVLR/GSOC blue rubber-stamp) cachet on coverFirst Helios-2 perihelion1,2
Germany (West)1976-04-17Wessling Oberbay(DFVLR blue rubber-stamp) cachet on coverFirst Helios-2 perihelion1,2
United States1976-04-17Greenbelt MD(GSFC Stamp Club blue rubber-stamp) cachet on coverFirst Helios-2 perihelion1,2
Germany (West)1976-04-17
1976-04-17
Köln (red meter)
Bonn - Bad Godesberg (black cancel)
(DFVLR purple rubber-stamp) cachet on coverFirst Helios-2 perihelion1,2
Germany (West)1976-10-19Stuttgart(SEL red) meter and (SEL blue rubber-stamp and black typed) cachet on cover. The rubber stamp that was used to create this cachet is similar to the one shown here and here.Helios-2 perihelion1
United States1977-04-23Pasadena CA(Space Voyage) cachet on coverHelios-2 perihelion1
United States1978-04-29Pasadena CA(Space Voyage) cachet on coverHelios-2 perihelion1
United States1978-11-01Pasadena CA(Space Voyage) cachet on coverHelios-2 perihelion1
United States1979-05-08Pasadena CA(Space Voyage) cachet on coverHelios-2 perihelion1
United States1979-11-07Pasadena CA(Space Voyage) cachet on coverHelios-2 perihelion1
United States1980-05-12Pasadena CA(Space Voyage) cachet on coverHelios-2 perihelion1
United States1980-11-14Pasadena CA(Space Voyage) cachet on coverHelios-2 perihelion1, and "final Helios-2 information due to shutdown"
Helios (on other than Helios launch covers)
Australia1975-03-18Woomera SA(Printed) cachet on (sub-orbital) rocket launch cover"Helios-A" (in text only)
United States1978-08-08Cape Canaveral FL(Purple and blue rubber-stamp) cachet on Pioneer-13 launch coverHelios

1Perihelion: The point in the satellite's orbit when it is nearest to the Sun, which in the case of Helios satellites occurs semi-annually.
2The first Helios-2 perihelion on 17 April 1976, at a distance of 0.29 AU (43.432 million km) from the Sun, was the closest flyby of the Sun of any spacecraft until the Parker Solar Probe flew closer in October 2018. See https://earthsky.org/space/parker-solar-probe-1st-image-from-inside-suns-atmosphere.


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Updated: 2019-09-05