From: Northville MI USA
Registered: Aug 2005
posted September 14, 2009 09:41 PM
Space Cover of the Week, Week 22 (September 14, 2009)
Space Cover #22, Gemini V in Space So, that being said, here is the challenge:
Most space cover collections contain covers for the launch and recoveries/landings of the manned space missions of Project Mercury, Project Gemini, Project Apollo, Skylab, Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) and the shuttle missions. These are plentiful and can be relatively easily obtained. Harder to find are covers for the in-between days in space for the flight. While the launch and recovery/landing dates of the flight are very important, every other day of the flight contained important events that needed to be completed to have a successful mission. Servicers like the one who did the illustrated cover for the 3rd day in space for the Gemini V mission serviced covers for the in-between days but on a lot smaller scale than the launch and recovery/landing dates, thus they are harder to obtain.
During the Gemini V mission Cooper and Conrad were to have made a practice space rendezvous with a "pod" deployed from the spacecraft, but problems with the electrical supply forced a switch to a simpler "phantom rendezvous." The phantom rendezvous came on the third day of the mission. It went perfectly, even though it was the first precision maneuver on a spaceflight. They tried four maneuvers -- apogee adjust, phase adjust, plane change, and coelliptical maneuver -- using the orbit attitude and maneuvering system (OAMS).
After the generic daily Project Gemini serviced covers, Bob Whitney provided RSC service for most days of the Project Apollo and ASTP missions. A couple of servicers such as Jack McMahan serviced daily covers for the Skylab missions.
Find in your collection a cover postmarked with a cancel for each day in space for the Project Mercury through STS-2 missions. The covers don't have to be cacheted, just the correct date. Hint: many dates can be found with the various tracking stations for the missions. Some dates are harder to find than others, e.g. a cancel for a Sunday. In fact, many of the ones I have for the Project Gemini missions don't have a cachet. Let us hear from you how close you are to completing the challenge.
Three collectors so far have taken on this challenge and through a lot of searching have been able to complete it - how about you - are you willing to take on the challenge?
Too easy? Start adding on additional shuttle missions - Bob Boudwin created daily STS mission covers for missions he serviced.
Good Luck!!!! You probably can think of the 7 covers to complete Project Mercury dates in your collection already.