Space Cover #43, John Glenn: From Mercury to the Space Shuttle
On February 20, 1962, at age 40, John H. Glenn, Jr., became the first American to orbit the Earth; 36 years later on October 29, 1998, at age 77, John Glenn returned again to space on Space Shuttle mission STS-95.
Certainly all of us space cover collectors have at least a few covers commemorating Glenn's 1962 Mercury-Atlas 6/Friendship 7 flight and there are plenty to choose from.
But for this week's Space Cover of the Week, I have chosen two exceptional covers from Glenn's 1998 Space Shuttle flight and, like with his Mercury flight, a good number of various covers were created. I feel that these two are among the best and most impressive.
These two beautiful covers have excellent and well-designed cachets and pictorial hand stamp cancels especially designed for Glenn's STS-95 flight, with a tie-in to both his Mercury flight and Shuttle flight.
The bottom cover has two pictorial cancels, with the top cancel designed with wording formed in the shape of a Mercury capsule, plus including a Shuttle orbiter in the design and the years of Glenn's two spaceflights (It's interesting that the "Capsule" cancel comes in two different sizes, as can be seen on these two covers). The bottom cancel from Houston, has a special pictorial cancel showing the Mercury capsule and the Shuttle.
The top cover has a very imaginative duel Mercury/Shuttle cachet showing Glenn as a Shuttle astronaut and as a Mercury astronaut. And the use of a 4-cent Mercury stamp from 1962 and a $3.00 Space Shuttle Priority Mail stamp together, help make for a very special STS-95/Glenn launch cover.
(Without checking, I believe that both Ken Havekotte and Joel Katzowitz share the credit for the design of the cachets and cancels on these two beautiful covers).