Astrophilatelist - LAFON, Jean-Louis 

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Jean-Louis LAFON 

Up dated 01/04/2010

 Jean-Louis Lafon has retired from the space industry, where he worked as chief engineer for 40 years.  He was actively involved in the development of rockets and satellites for the French and European space programmes.  Thus, he participated in the DIAMANT and ARIANE programmes as well as on the METEOSAT, SPOT, HELIOS satellites programmes, furthermore in various telecommunication and scientific satellites programmes such as ARABSAT 1, TELECOM 2, GIOTTO, as well as the French manned flights in co-operation with USSR.  This allowed him to visit all the launch sites worldwide (except those in China) and to become acquainted with the main private astrophilatelic societies linked to the major European aerospace companies, as well as many of the European astronauts.  These close associations gave him the idea to start collecting Astrophilately as early as 1974.

Up until 2001, he remained associated with the aerospace, since he was the Secretary General of the Aeronautical and Astronautical Society of France (AAAF), which brings together French aerospace engineers and technicians.  To day, he remains member of this Society and was graduated Associate Fellow In 2004. He is member of the French Institute of Space History (IFHE).

He was awarded the French Medal of Aeronautics and the Medal of CNES (French Space Agency).

As well as these technical activities, Jean-Louis Lafon is also very active in the field of philately in France.  He was deeply involved with the French Federation of Philately.  First, as vice-president of the Group of Philatelic Societies of Ile-de-France (GAPHIL) from 2000 to 2006 and also as the first French accredited juror for the Astrophilately Class.  He gave several lectures on the implementation of the SREVs and Guidelines for Astrophilately at Jurors’ Meetings and at Philatelic Societies Presidents’ Meetings in France.  He also had three of his articles published in La Philatélie Française, the journal of the French Philatelic Federation and in ORBIT, the journal of the Astro Space Stamp Society.

In 1998, he was appointed delegate of the French Philatelic Federation to the FIP Section for Astrophilately.  And in October 2000 he was elected secretary of the Section up to 2008.  Since 1990, he has been involved in translating into French, the English version of the SREV and Guidelines for Astrophilately, on behalf of the FIP Section for Astrophilately.

He founded the first French Astrophilatelic Society (AAF) in March 2001 and became its first President. AAF is affiliated to the French Federation of Philately. He publishes a quarterly bulletin "Le Cosmophil” in French language.

Since 1995, Jean-Louis has exhibited both of his collections: The European Rockets and From the First Manned Missions to the ASTP Mission at several World Exhibitions and he has received several Large Silver, Vermeil and Large Vermeil awards.

In June 2007, he was awarded "la Plaquette BISCARA”, a French philatelic distinction as a reward for his devotion to the French Philatelic Federation and to the Group of Philatelic Societies of Ile-de-France (GAPHIL).


AAAF = Association Aéronautique et Astronautique de France

GAPHIL = Groupement des Associations Philatéliques de l’Ile-de-France

AAF = Association Astrophilatélique de France

FIP = Fédération Internationale de Philatélie

IFHE = Institut Français d’Histoire  de l’Histoire.

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