COSPAS / SARSAT
This page contains philatelic information on the COSPAS / SARSAT program. 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 SARSAT program is operated by Canada, USA, and France, while the COSPAS system is operated by Russia. Thirty-two other nations also participate in the program. The two satellite systems work together, receiving signals from emergency radio beacons and relaying them to ground stations which process the signals and calculate the locations of the beacons. This allows search and rescue authorities to send rescue missions to those locations.
The necessary COSPAS/SARSAT equipment has been placed aboard various satellites:
Worldwide, over 20,000 persons have been rescued by the COSPAS/SARSAT system since 1982. Unlike the Argos Data Collection and Location System intended for environmental data and limited other use, SARSAT is designed specifically for the rescue of persons in distress. However, many of the system characteristics are similar, such as global coverage provided by the use of the same polar-orbiting weather satellites to collect and transfer the data to ground stations. Reference: http://www.sarsat.noaa.gov/
(including anniversary-of-launch covers, and launch-related event covers)
|Other postal items
(stamps, souvenir sheets, aerogrammes, postal cards, etc.)
|COSPAS / SARSAT program||COSPAS / SARSAT program|
Below is a list of COSPAS / SARSAT program postal items (stamps, souvenir sheets, aerogrammes, postal cards, etc.).
|Country||Catalog Number||Type of Item||Year of Issue||Notes on Content|
|COSPAS / SARSAT program|
|Cambodia||782 (Mi860)||1987||Nadezhda satellite, COSPAS acronym|
|Cambodia||875 (BL160)||On stamp of SS1||1988||Nadezhda satellite, COSPAS acronym|
|Canada||2111 (Mi2280-2283)||MS8 (2x 2111 (a-d))||2005||NOAA and Nadezhda satellites, "Search and Rescue" (in text)|
|Canada||2111a-d fdc||Strip of four stamps on FDC|
|Russia (USSR)||5603 (BL196)||On stamp and in (upper) margin of SS1||1987||NOAA and Nadezhda satellites, COSPAS/SARSAT acronyms|
|Russia (USSR)||5603 cover||SS1 and cachet on cover||1987?||NOAA and Nadezhda satellites, COSPAS/SARSAT logo (in cachet), also with NOAA and Nadezhda satellites|
|Russia (USSR)||None||Cachet on stamped envelope||1987||Nadezhda satellite, COSPAS acronym|
|Russia (USSR)||None||Cancel and cachet on stamped envelope||1987||Nadezhda satellite, COSPAS acronym|
|Tonga||785 (Mi1181-1183)||Strip of 3 (785 (a-c))||1991||NOAA satellite, SARSAT depiction|
Below is a list of COSPAS / SARSAT program on satellite launch covers.
|Country||Cancel Date||Cancel Location||Type of Item||Notes on Content|
|COSPAS / SARSAT program|
|United States||1983-03-28||Vandenberg AFB, CA||(2-color printed) cachet on cover||NOAA-8 launch; "international search and rescue" (in text)|
|United States||1983-03-28||Greenbelt MD||(GSFC) cachet on cover||NOAA-8 launch; SARSAT logo|
|United States||1983-03-28||Vandenberg AFB, CA||(Space Voyage) cachet on cover||NOAA-8 launch; COSPAS/SARSAT logo, SARSAT acronym|
|United States||1983-03-28||Greenbelt MD||(Space Voyage) cachet (different color) on cover|
|United States||1984-12-12||Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB||(Space Voyage) cachet on cover||NOAA-9 launch; COSPAS/SARSAT logo, SARSAT acronym|
|United States||1985-03-24||Park Forest IL||(Space Voyage) cachet on cover||25th anniv. TIROS-1 launch; SARSAT acronym|
|United States||1986-09-17||Greenbelt MD||(Space Voyage) cachet on cover||NOAA-10 launch; SARSAT acronym|
|United States||1986-09-17||Vandenberg AFB, CA||(Space Voyage) cachet (different color) on cover|
|United States||1988-09-24||Geeenbelt MD||(Space Voyage) cachet on cover||NOAA-11 launch; SARSAT acronym|
|United States||1988-09-24||Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB||(Space Voyage) cachet (different color) on cover|
|United States||2009-02-06||Vandenberg AFB, CA||(Mission 57) cachet on cover back, also front||NOAA-19 launch; "NOAA-N Prime is crucial to international satellite-aided search and rescue organizations, which have helped save over 24,500 lives since 1982 by detecting emergency beacons from ships, aircraft and people in distress" (in text)|
|Russia||2009-07-21 / 2009-07-21||Kosmodrome Plesetsk / Archangelsk Province||(Printed) cachet on cover||Kosmos-2454 + Sterkh-1 launch; COSPAS/SARSAT logo|
|Russia||2009-09-17||Kosmodrome Baikonur Kazakhstan||(Printed) cachet on cover||Meteor-M1 + Sterkh-2 + other launch; conical omni-directional antenna on Sterkh satellite, possibly a COSPAS antenna|
1Conical omni-directional antennas depicted on these items are similar to those on Nadezhda satellites that receive COSPAS signals. A good depiction of a conical omni-directional antenna like that on Nadezhda is seen as a detail of a Russian Venera satellite on Togo C344.
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