ESRO-1A

ESRO-series
satellites

ESRO-2B
ESRO-1AESRO-2B

This page contains philatelic information on the ESRO (European Scientific Research Organization) 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 ESRO-2A/2B / IRIS-1/2 series from 1967/1968 should not be confused with either the Astro-F / Akari / IRIS satellite from 2006, or with the Explorer-94 / IRIS / SMEX-12 satellite from 2013, or with the Russian IRIS satellite from 2009.

Launch information
(found elsewhere)
Reference images
(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)
ESRO
(ESRO)
ESRO
(ESRO)
ESRO
(ESRO)
ESRO
(ESRO)
ESRO (on other than ESRO launch covers)


Below is a list of ESRO-series postal items (stamps, souvenir sheets, aerogrammes, postal cards, etc.).

CountryCatalog NumberType of ItemYear of IssueNotes on Content
European Scientific Research Organization (ESRO) (ESRO)
BeninUnknown c (Mi?)
Unknown ic
One of MS4 (a-d) [known illegal issue]
One of imperforate MS4 (a-d)
2014"ESRO-4" (also launch date in text)
BeninUnknown a-d fdcOne of four stamps on FDC
BeninUnknown c proof
Unknown ic proof
One of MS4 proof (a-d)
One of imperforate MS4 proof (a-d)
BeninUnknown ms proofSigned-proof MS4 (a-d)
BeninUnknown ms proof fdc
Unknown ims proof fdc
MS4 proof on FDC
Imperforate MS4 proof on FDC
BeninUnknown d (Mi?)
Unknown id
One of MS4 (a-d)
One of imperforate MS4 (a-d)
2014"ESRO-1" (also launch date in text)
BeninUnknown a-d fdcOne of four stamps on FDC
BeninUnknown d proof
Unknown id proof
One of MS4 proof (a-d)
One of imperforate MS4 proof (a-d)
BeninUnknown ms proofSigned-proof MS4 (a-d)
BeninUnknown ms proof fdc
Unknown ims proof fdc
MS4 proof on FDC
Imperforate MS4 proof and cachet on FDC
GabonUnknown d (Mi?)
Unknown id
One of MS4 (a-d)
One of imperforate MS4 (a-d)
2017"ESRO-1" (also launch date in text)
GabonUnknown ms proofSigned-proof MS4 (a-d)
GabonUnknown ms fdc
Unknown ims fdc
MS4 on FDC
Imperforate MS4 on FDC
GabonUnknown a-d fdcOne of four stamps on FDC
Germany (West)None(ESRO) cachet on cover1968"ESRO"
PanamaC365f (Mi1142)One stamp and on (right) selvedge of MS6 (C365 (a-f)) (Mi1137-1142)1969"ESRO-2"
Paraguay1220 (BL134)On stamp of SS11969"ESRO-1B"
Paraguay1220 muestraSS1 overprinted "muestra"
United StatesNone(R.E. Nichol) cachet on cover, also back1969"ESRO" (tiny satellite in red, above "G" in text)
United StatesNone(DuBeau?/Swanson cyan rubber-stamp) cachet on (airmail) cover1970ESRO-2A image1

1This Swanson blue rubber-stamp cachet has radial antennas like those on ESRO-2A.


Below is a list of ESRO-series launch covers (including anniversary-of-launch covers, and launch-related event covers).

CountryCancel DateCancel LocationType of ItemNotes on Content
European Scientific Research Organization (ESRO) (ESRO)
1967-05-29: ESRO-2A / IRIS-1 [failed]
United States1967-05-29Vandenberg AFB, CA(SpaceCraft/Swanson) cachet (with ESRO logo in low position) on cover, also insert1 and insert2 front and insert2 backESRO-2A launch [failed] (also "ESRO-1" on insert2, and "TD-1" (TD-1A) and "TD-2" [canceled] on insert2 back)
United States1967-05-29Vandenberg AFB, CA(SpaceCraft/Swanson) cachet (with ESRO logo in high position) on cover, also insert1 and insert2 front and insert2 backESRO-2A launch [failed] (also "ESRO-1" on insert2, and "TD-1" (TD-1A) and "TD-2" [canceled] on insert2 back)
United States1967-05-29Vandenberg AFB, CA(Centennial) cachet on coverESRO-2A launch [failed]
United States1967-05-29Vandenberg AFB, CA(Orbit Covers) cachet on coverESRO-2A launch [failed]
United States1967-05-29Vandenberg AFB, CA(Sarzin) cachet on coverESRO-2A launch [failed] (but TIROS depicted)
United States1967-05-29Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on coverESRO-2A launch [failed]
United States1967-05-29Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on (airmail) coverESRO-2A launch [failed]
United States1967-05-29Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson magenta rubber-stamp) cachet on coverESRO-2A launch [failed]
United States
Australia
1967-05-29
1966-05-24
Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB
Woomera SA
(Rank silkscreened) cachet on coverESRO-2A launch [failed]
Europa-1-F4 (sub-orbital) rocket launch
United States1967-06-01Lompoc CA(Black rubber-stamp) cachet (and signature) on coverESRO-2A launch [failed]
1968-05-16: ESRO-2B / IRIS-2
Germany (West)1968-05-12Ottobrunn(JFM?) cachet on coverESRO-2B launch
United States1968-05-16Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on coverESRO-2B launch
United States1968-05-16Vandenberg AFB, CA(Orbit Covers) cachet on coverESRO-2B launch
United States1968-05-16Vandenberg AFB, CA(Orbit Covers, with missing "8" in "5-16-6") cachet on coverESRO-2B launch
United States1968-05-16Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(SpaceCraft/Swanson orange) cachet on cover, also insert or insert variation (slightly different line lengths)ESRO-2B launch
United States1968-05-16Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(SpaceCraft/Swanson red) cachet on cover, also insert or insert variation (slightly different line lengths)ESRO-2B launch
United States1968-05-16Vandenberg AFB, CA(SpaceCraft/Swanson) cachet on cover, also insert or insert variation (slightly different line lengths)ESRO-2B launch
United States1968-05-16Vandenberg AFB, CA(Centennial) cachet on coverESRO-2B launch
United States1968-05-16Lompoc CA(Black rubber-stamp) cachet (and signature) on coverESRO-2B launch
ESRO-2B / IRIS-2 (anniversaries)
Germany1978-05-17Darmstadt(Club philatélique ESA-Lollini) cachet on cover10th anniv. ESRO-2B launch
Netherlands1978-05-17Noordwijk(ESTEC Philatelic Club) cachet on cover10th anniv. ESRO-2B launch
1968-10-03: ESRO-1A / Aurorae
United States1968-10-03Vandenberg AFB, CA(SpaceCraft/Swanson) cachet on cover, also insert1 and insert2 front and insert2 backESRO-1A launch ("ESRO-2A" and "ESRO-2B" on insert2 back)
United States1968-10-03Vandenberg AFB, CA(Orbit Covers) cachet on coverESRO-1A launch
United States1968-10-03Vandenberg AFB, CA(Sarzin?) cachet on coverESRO-1A launch
United States1968-10-03Vandenberg AFB, CA(Swanson/DuBeau? blue rubber-stamp) cachet on coverESRO-1A launch
1969-10-01: ESRO-1B / Boreas
United States1969-10-01Vandenberg AFB, CA(Orbit Covers) cachet on coverESRO-1B launch
United States1969-10-01Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(SpaceCraft/Swanson) cachet on cover, also insert1 and insert2 front and insert2 backESRO-1B launch; also "ESRO-1" [referring to ESRO-1A] (in text on insert2 front and back); "ESRO-II", "ESRO-IIA" and "ESRO-II(B)" (in text on insert2 back)
United States1969-10-01Vandenberg AFB, CA(SpaceCraft/Swanson) cachet on cover, also insert1 and insert2 front and insert2 backESRO-1B launch; also "ESRO-1" [referring to ESRO-1A] (in text on insert2 front and back); "ESRO-II", "ESRO-IIA" and "ESRO-II(B)" (in text on insert2 back)
United States1969-10-01Vandenberg AFB, CA(Swanson/DuBeau? blue rubber-stamp) cachet on coverESRO-1B launch
United States1969-10-01Vandenberg AFB, CA(Sarzin) cachet on coverESRO-1B launch
United States1969-10-01Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(Centennial) cachet on coverESRO-1B launch
United States1969-10-01Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(ikarus-cover) cachet on coverESRO-1B launch
1972-03-11: ESRO-TD1A
United States1972-03-11Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(Space Voyage) cachet on cover, also insertESRO-TD1A launch
United States1972-03-11Vandenberg AFB, CA(Orbit Covers orange) cachet on coverESRO-TD1A launch
United States1972-03-11Vandenberg AFB, CA(Orbit Covers gold) cachet on coverESRO-TD1A launch
United States1972-03-11Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(Riser/Andromeda/Cygnus Cover no.18) cachet on (airmail) cover, also insertESRO-TD1A launch
United States1972-03-11Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(Solar Covers no.?) cachet on coverESRO-TD1A launch
United States1972-03-11Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson green rubber-stamp) cachet on coverESRO-TD1A launch
United States1972-03-11Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on coverESRO-TD1A launch
United States1972-03-11Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on coverESRO-TD1A launch
United States1972-03-11Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on (airmail) coverESRO-TD1A launch
United States1972-03-11Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(Sarzin) cachet on coverESRO-TD1A launch
United States1972-03-11Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(Blue printed and blue rubber-stamp) cachet on cover, also insertESRO-TD1A launch
United States1972-03-11Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(Centennial) cachet on coverESRO-TD1A launch
Germany (West)1972-03-12Bochum(InterCover) cachet on coverESRO-TD1A launch
1972-11-21: ESRO-4
United States1972-11-21Vandenberg AFB, CA(Space Voyage) cachet on cover, also insertESRO-4 launch
United States1972-11-21Vandenberg AFB, CA(InterSpace Cover) cachet on cover, also insertESRO-4 launch
United States1972-11-21Vandenberg AFB, CA(Sarzin) cachet on coverESRO-4 launch
United States1972-11-21Vandenberg AFB, CA(Riser/Andromeda/Cygnus Cover no.41) cachet on (airmail) cover, also insertESRO-4 launch
United States1972-11-21Vandenberg AFB, CA(Orbit Covers orange) cachet on coverESRO-4 launch (but ESRO-TD1A depicted)
United States1972-11-21Vandenberg AFB, CA(Orbit Covers yellow) cachet on coverESRO-4 launch (but ESRO-TD1A depicted)
United States1972-11-21Vandenberg AFB, CA(Sarzin?) cachet on coverESRO-4 launch
United States1972-11-21Lompoc CA(Polar Covers) cachet on coverESRO-4 launch
United States1972-11-21Vandenberg AFB, CA(Goldcraft? black printed) cachet on coverESRO-4 launch
United States1972-11-21Fairbanks AK(ESRO return-address and hand-written) cachet on (airmail) coverESRO-4 launch
United States1972-11-21Vandenberg AFB, CA(Centennial) cachet on coverESRO-4 launch
United States1972-11-21Vandenberg AFB, CA(Swanson/DuBeau? black rubber-stamp) cachet on coverESRO-4 launch
Australia1972-11-22Woomera SA(WRE) cachet on coverESRO-4 launch
Australia1972-11-22?Canberra ACT(Black and magenta printed) cachet (and signature) on coverESRO-4 launch
Germany (West)1972-11-22Darmstadt(Brown rubber-stamp) cachet on coverESRO-4 launch
Germany (West)1972-11-22Darmstadt(ESOC purple rubber-stamp) cachet on coverESRO-4 launch
Australia1972-11-23Canberra ACT(Cyan rubber-stamp) cachet on coverESRO-4 launch
ESRO (on other than ESRO launch covers)
United States1967-11-10Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on ESSA-6 launch coverESRO-2A image1
United States1968-08-16Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on ESSA-7 launch coverESRO-2A image1
United States1968-08-16Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on ESSA-7 launch (airmail) cover
United States1968-12-05Cape Canaveral FL(ESRO) cachet on HEOS-1 launch cover"ESRO"
United States1968-12-05Patrick AFB, FL (hand cancel)(SpaceCraft/Swanson) insert from HEOS-1 launch cover, also front"ESRO-I" and "ESRO-II"
United States1968-12-05Patrick AFB, FL (machine cancel)(SpaceCraft/Swanson) insert from HEOS-1 launch cover, also front
United States1968-12-05Cape Canaveral FL (hand cancel)(SpaceCraft/Swanson) insert from HEOS-1 launch cover, also front
United States1968-12-05Cape Canaveral FL (machine cancel)(SpaceCraft/Swanson) insert from HEOS-1 launch cover, also front
United States1968-12-15Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on ESSA-8 launch coverESRO-2A image1
United States1969-04-15Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on KH8-21 launch coverESRO-2A image1 ("secret satellite")
United States1969-04-15Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on KH8-21 launch (airmail) cover
United States1969-06-21Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(DuBeau?/Swanson blue and magenta rubber-stamp) cachet on Explorer-41 launch coverESRO-2A image1
United States1970-01-23Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(DuBeau?/Swanson blue and magenta rubber-stamp) cachet on TIROS-M and OSCAR-5 launch coverESRO-2A image1
United States1970-04-08Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(DuBeau?/Swanson cyan rubber-stamp) cachet on Nimbus-4 and Topo-1 launch coverESRO-2A image1
United States1970-04-08Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on Nimbus-4 and Topo-1 launch cover
United States1970-06-25Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on KH8-27 launch coverESRO-2A image1 ("secret satellite")
United States1970-10-23Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on KH8-29 launch coverESRO-2A image1 ("secret satellite")
United States1970-12-11Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on NOAA-1 and CEP-1 launch coverESRO-2A image1
United States1970-12-11Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(DuBeau?/(Swanson cyan rubber-stamp) cachet on NOAA-1 and CEP-1 launch (airmail) cover
United States1971-01-21Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(DuBeau?/Swanson cyan rubber-stamp) cachet on KH8-30 launch coverESRO-2A image1 ("secret satellite")
United States1971-02-17Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on KH4B-13 launch [failed] coverESRO-2A image1 ("secret satellite")
United States1971-03-24Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on KH4B-14 launch coverESRO-2A image1 ("secret satellite")
United States1971-04-22Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on KH8-31 launch coverESRO-2A image1 ("secret satellite")
United States1971-07-16Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson black rubber-stamp) cachet on Strawman-4 launch coverESRO-2A image1 ("secret satellite")
United States1971-11-13Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(DuBeau?/Swanson red rubber-stamp) cachet on Mariner-9 event coverESRO-2A image1
United States1971-11-13Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(DuBeau?/Swanson red rubber-stamp) cachet on Mariner-9 event (airmail) cover
United States1971-11-13Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson red rubber-stamp) cachet on Mariner-9 event cover
United States1971-12-14Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on Poppy-9A/9D launch coverESRO-2A image1
United States1972-01-31Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(DuBeau?/Swanson black rubber-stamp) cachet on HEOS-2 launch coverESRO-2A image1
United States1972-01-31Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson black rubber-stamp) cachet on HEOS-2 launch coverESRO-2A image1
United States1972-03-17Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(DuBeau?/Swanson black rubber-stamp) cachet on KH8-34 launch coverESRO-2A image1 ("secret satellite")
United States1972-03-17Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(DuBeau?/Swanson black rubber-stamp) cachet on KH8-34 launch (airmail) cover
United States1972-03-17Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson black rubber-stamp) cachet on KH8-34 launch cover
United States1972-05-25Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on KH4B-17 launch coverESRO-2A image1 ("secret satellite")
United States1972-05-25Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson green rubber-stamp) cachet on KH4B-17 launch cover
United States1972-09-01Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on KH8-36 launch coverESRO-2A image1 ("secret satellite")
United States1972-09-01Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on KH8-36 launch cover
United States1972-10-02Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson purple rubber-stamp) cachet on Radcat-2 and Radsat launch coverESRO-2A image1 ("secret satellite")
United States1972-10-02Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson magenta rubber-stamp) cachet on Radcat-2 and Radsat launch (airmail) cover
United States1972-12-10Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on Nimbus-5 launch coverESRO-2A image1
United States1973-05-16Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(DuBeau?/Swanson black rubber-stamp) cachet on KH8-38 launch coverESRO-2A image1 ("secret satellite")
United States1973-05-16Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson black rubber-stamp) cachet on KH8-38 launch cover
United States1973-12-15Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on Explorer-51 launch coverESRO-2A image1
United States1974-06-06Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on KH8-42 launch coverESRO-2A image1
United States1974-08-30Vandenberg AFB, CA(DuBeau?/Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on ANS launch coverESRO-2A image1

1This Swanson blue rubber-stamp cachet has radial antennas like those on ESRO-2A.


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