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Total commemorative banknotes issued is under 1,500 pieces. If you have achieved any figures close to this, then you are doing extremely well, as many of the older commemorative notes are hard to find even in poor conditions.

Opinion: Many collectors of commemorative banknotes would have come across with those Somaliland sets overprinted with gold and silver texts with the following wordings - 5th Anniversary of Independence 18 May 1996 [Sanad Gurade 5ee Gobanimadda 18 May 1996]. I believe these are "home made" (or fake) and not authorised by the central bank. My argument is simple. No central bank would have issued an overprint commemorative banknote that the texts are so large that it would cover the two signatures on the note as well as part of the serial numbers. Even if these are genuine notes, then these could be issued as souvenir sheets and not as legal tender. As I said before, this is my opinion. If you have paid top dollars for these, please think about my argument. There is always a sucker around the corner, including me of course!

All comments are most welcome but it has to be subjects related to banknotes or banknotes collection. If not, it will not be approved. Thanks

16 February 2021

.Ukraine - Leonid Kostyantynovych Kadenyuk Souvenir Note - Not Legal Tender Note


Національний банк України
(National Bank of Ukraine)
Currency - Hriven (UAH)

This is an official souvenir banknote issued by the National Bank of Ukraine on 26.11.2020. The theme for this note is "Leonid Kadenyuk - the first astronaut of independent Ukraine". 

This note celebrates Leonid Kostyantynovych Kadenyuk as the first astronaut of independent Ukraine. Ukraine became independent on 24.08.1991 following the collapse of the Soviet empire. The fall of the Soviet empire also saw many nations, once part of the USSR, became independent nations too. In all, I believe there were 13 nations* in total, including Ukraine.

Leonid Kadenyuk was born in a village in Klishkivtsi, south-west of Ukraine on 28.01.1951. He graduated from the Aviation school in 1971 and became a test pilot for the Soviet Cosmonaut Corps. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, he retained his Ukraine citizenship. In 1995 he was selected as one of the group of astronauts by the Ukraine National Space Agency and then went on and trained by NASA as a payload specialist on the USA spacecraft Columbia. On 19.11.1997, he flew into space on the Space Shuttle Columbia and thus became the first Ukrainian citizen to fly into space. He died on 31.01.2018, aged 67.

The Space Shuttle Columbia was the first space shuttle that flew into space on 12.04.1981. I remembered that this mission was televised live on television around the world. Unfortunately, the Columbia space shuttle came to an erupt end when it was destroyed on 01.02.2003 while attempting to re-entering the earth atmosphere after a 16-day scientific mission. The mission killed all 7 crew members on board at that time. During these 22 years in service, it made a total of 28 missions and had spent 300 days in space and orbited 4808 times around the earth. 

This is the third time the National Bank of Ukraine issued a non legal tender note. Unlike the previous two souvenir banknotes, this note is printed in a vertical format. A total of 50,000 pieces were issued in single note as well as in a presentation folder too. I am unable to see if any value (denomination) is printed on this note. However, it appears that the note is printed with the denomination of 1 but not the currency. On the front, it is printed with the central bank's name in English (National Bank of Ukraine) and on the back is printed with the text - The First Astronaut of Ukraine.
It is not sure why the National Bank of Ukraine issued non legal tender notes. The only advantage I can think of is that such banknotes are not required to be backed by any precious assets such as gold. This is a very good way to raise cash without any liabilities.
Front - Portrait of Leonid Kostyantynovych Kadenyuk in spacesuit, Columbia space shuttle;
Back - Space Shuttle Columbia taking off
Dimensions - 171mm x 80mm
Dated 2020, Leonid Kostyantynovych Kadenyuk

Reverse - Space Shuttle Columbia taking off

Footnote 👴
I remembered that day in 1981 when Colombia took off and flew into space. The launch was televised live and I saw it on television then. The launch was a very proud moment for NASA that a spacecraft took off from earth and then came back and reused it again and again. I also remember in the final mission in 2003 as students from a secondary school not far from where I am living were also invited to participate in the scientific experience. One of their studies was to send spiders into space and see how they would behave. When the shuttle exploded and incinerated, I was then told by one of the students who participated in this experience that they later found the spider(s) intact and alive. How true is this, I cannot confirm but this is what I was told.

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