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  Space Cover 01: Columbia's Overland Move

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Author Topic:   Space Cover 01: Columbia's Overland Move
Bob M
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Posts: 1367
From: Atlanta-area, GA USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 04-20-2009 08:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space Cover of the Week, Week 1 (April 20, 2009)

Space Cover #1, Columbia's Overland Move

Just over 30 years ago, Space Shuttle OV-102 Columbia began its 38-mile trip from its assembly plant in Palmdale, CA to the Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB. From there, it was transported by the Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft to the Kennedy Space Center, and then 2 years later was launched on STS-1, the Space Shuttle's first mission.

Columbia's first journey was philatelically recorded by this inaugural cover in our Space Cover of the Week series. The four cancels on the cover mark the beginning of Columbia's Overland Move at Palmdale; two cities it passed through, Lancaster and Rosamond; and its destination at the Dryden Flight Research Center, where it later departed on its first cross-country ferry flight to KSC.

The cover features a handsome Columbia printed cachet from the Rockwell Space Division Stamp Club (which produced many significant covers for Enterprise and Columbia) and four well-applied hand stamp cancels from four post offices along Columbia's Overland Move route. This cover was acquired in 1979 from the collector who had 15 similar covers canceled along Columbia's route.

MoonCrater1
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posted 04-21-2009 08:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MoonCrater1   Click Here to Email MoonCrater1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congratulations on this new feature. That is a great cover to begin the series.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-21-2009 08:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If it is known, how was this cover created? Was it driven to each of the post offices or was it mailed to each in succession? If the earlier, did the owner actually follow Columbia on its path?

Bob M
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Posts: 1367
From: Atlanta-area, GA USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 04-21-2009 03:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not a lot is known or remembered about this cover's history. But glad you asked, Robert, as the intention of this cover series is not just to display an interesting space cover every week, but also to give information about the cover that hopefully may be informative and of interest to collectors. We plan to select covers that are more than just attractive, but also have some story behind them.

But what I do remember is that the collector who provided me the cover is Gene Lachowski, who lived in that area and was active in creating and providing covers relating to activities at Edwards AFB. I'm sure that Gene had all his covers canceled at the 4 post offices on the same day that Columbia passed thru and did them himself with no mailing in. Back at that time, philatelic service had to be provided on the same day as the event with no 30-day grace period like we have today. And because of that restriction, this cover almost certainly was there that special day and traveled along Columbia's route the same day.

Bob

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-21-2009 05:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bob M:
And because of that restriction, this cover almost certainly was there that special day and traveled along Columbia's route the same day.
If that is the case, then I can think of no better personal souvenir of that experience.

I only took up cover collecting over the past few years, limited to launch covers documenting missions that I have covered (no pun intended). Their arrival in the mail a few days after the launch is very rewarding.

spaceman1953
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From: South Bend, IN United States of America
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 05-05-2009 04:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1953   Click Here to Email spaceman1953     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting cover, but, for me, is what was the reasoning for using the 16-cent Liberty head singles... that was never a first-class postage rate.

Bob M
Member

Posts: 1367
From: Atlanta-area, GA USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 05-07-2009 07:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by spaceman1953:
Interesting cover, but, for me, is what was the reasoning for using the 16-cent Liberty head singles... that was never a first-class postage rate.

The person who created these covers chose the stamps and I feel that it was a good choice. Perhaps 15c flag stamps would have been a little more appropriate, but I consider these 16c Liberty Head stamps impressive and their blue color matches the blue in the cachet very well.

Back in the good-old-days of space cover collecting, many purists insisted that only space commemorative stamps be used on space covers, but I've always liked to use flag stamps and even some other regular issue stamps that had an appropriate theme.

As far as using space stamps on these 4-cancel covers, the handsome 15c Viking stamp was available, but being twice as large as these 16c regular issue stamps, four of them would have taken up too much room and been somewhat distracting IMO.

Bob

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