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  Space Cover 17: DOD Manned Orbiting Lab

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Author Topic:   Space Cover 17: DOD Manned Orbiting Lab
yeknom-ecaps
Member

Posts: 458
From: Northville MI USA
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 08-10-2009 08:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yeknom-ecaps   Click Here to Email yeknom-ecaps     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space Cover of the Week, Week 17 (August 10, 2009)

Space Cover #17, DOD Manned Orbiting Laboratory

While NASA was getting a lot of public attention for its space program the Department of Defense Manned Orbiting Laboratory or MOL program was underway as well. During an announcement in 1963 the X-20 program was cancelled and the MOL program begun. The MOL program continued until 1969 before it too was cancelled. It was to use a modified Gemini-Titan configuration to create a manned space laboratory and completed an unmanned test flight on November 3, 1966 complete with a recovery force of three ships - the prime recovery ship was the USS LaSalle with secondary ships USS Aucilla and USS Fort Snelling. These are very difficult ship covers to find and are missing in most recovery ship collections. The cover pictured above is for the launch of the USAF Titan 111-C booster from the Eastern Test Range which released the unmanned Gemini spacecraft on a reentry trajectory and inserted a canister containing nine experiments and three satellites into a high, circular orbit. The modified Gemini spacecraft was released at a 125-mile altitude in a test to determine whether the new heat shield with hatch could withstand reentry temperatures. Traveling 17,500 mph, the spacecraft followed a 5,500-mile trajectory, and landed only seven miles off target in the Atlantic.

micropooz
Member

Posts: 1239
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 08-11-2009 08:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cool cover Tom! I hadn't seen the KSC postmark for that event before!

Posting a cover for this event is timely - one of the other cS threads recently talked about how the Gemini spacecraft used on this test was actually the re-used Gemini 2 spacecraft...

Bob M
Member

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

posted 08-11-2009 02:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
An interesting cover. Tom, could you give us some info on the "all-purpose" rocket launch rubber stamp cachet used on this cover? Who designed it and were there other "all-purpose" cachets used for other occasions from the same source?

Bob Mc.

yeknom-ecaps
Member

Posts: 458
From: Northville MI USA
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 08-12-2009 06:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yeknom-ecaps   Click Here to Email yeknom-ecaps     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't know who made this particular "all purpose" cachet. It isn't as common as the Swanson all-purpose ones usually seen.

All times are CT (US)

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