Auf einer Briefmarke in den Weltraum. Spacelab und das Versprechen einer Zukunft in den Sternen/
On a stamp into the space. Spacelab and the promise of a future in the stars.
The contribution centers on the 40-penny stamp of the German federal post office introduced in 1975 showing the motif of a space laboratory (“Spacelab”). While the Spacelab marked the entry of Europe into manned space flight and research, the introduction of the stamp demonstrates the status of space flight as “key technology” and indicator of progress and modernity for the government of the German Federal Republic during the 1970s and 1980s. At the same time, the wide distribution of the stamp contributed to the introduction of outer space into the everyday life worlds of ordinary people and turned it into a reference point for future aspirations. Representing a symbol of progress and international understanding during the 1970s, the Spacelab also transformed into a manifestation of the potential threat of warlike conflicts and catastrophic calamities in the course of increasing armament in outer space during the 1980s.