2011 Astrophilately activities in Italy.
2011 marked the 50th anniversary of the First Manned Space Flight. Several Events have been organized by AS.IT.AF. for commemorating this anniversary.
The main Celebration took place on April 12th with the Participation of three "Space Explorers”: i.e. the "golden age” American Astronaut Walter R. Cunningham (Apollo 7), who is an Honorary Member of AS.IT.AF., the Russian Cosmonaut Valeri Tokarev (Buran Test Pilot and STS-96 Mission Specialist) and the Italian Astronaut Maurizio Cheli, one of the best Italian test pilots (STS-75).
The Celebration started on April 11th in the morning, in Turin, where the astronauts were officially welcomed by the Authorities of the Piedmont Region, had a joint conference in the afternoon and the following day held a debate on the space race at the "Torino Incontra” Congress Centre.
Opening of the conference.
On April 12th in the afternoon the three astronauts/cosmonauts participated in a general discussion at the Science Museum in Milan. With the contribution of AS.IT.AF. an Italian Stamp celebrating Gagarin was issued and it was officially presented in Turin at "Torino-Incontra” in the context of the AS.IT.AF. Meeting.
Poste Italiane officially invited the AS.IT.AF. President to prepare the related promotional materials, together with the President of the Italian Space Agency. Eighteen Astrophilately exhibits were on show at Torino-Incontra during the largest Astrophilately Exhibition ever held in Italy.
American astronaut Cunningham and Russian cosmonaut Tokarev during the Conference.
American astronaut Cunningham awarded Member of AS.IT.AF.
(photos are provided by Umberto Cavallaro)
Other Gagarin Events, with Astrophilately exhibitions and conferences, were organized by AS.IT.AF. in Latina, near Rome, at the beginning of May, and in Crescentino (North Italy) in September.