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  Space Cover 44: Stafford Gets Scrubbed

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Author Topic:   Space Cover 44: Stafford Gets Scrubbed

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

posted 02-14-2010 08:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space Cover of the Week, Week 44 (February 15, 2010)

Space Cover #44, Stafford Gets Scrubbed

This week's space cover(s) illustrate an oft overlooked niche of space cover collecting - scrub covers. During Mercury, scrubs were common - each of the manned flights except Schirra's had scrubs (where the countdown commenced, but launch didn't happen). Covers for the Mercury scrubs are scarce or even non-existent. I've found a couple postmarked on the date of Glenn's February 14, 1962, weather scrub, but no others.

But two Gemini flights each had two scrubs before successfully launching on the third try. Scrub covers for both flights are available. And both flights had Tom Stafford on the crew! There were a lot of jokes floating around about Stafford having taken the most launch pad elevator rides DOWN the gantry.

The top cover was postmarked at KSC on October 25, 1965 when the Agena target vehicle for Gemini 6 failed to reach orbit. Wally Schirra and Tom Stafford had already been strapped into the Gemini 6 capsule at that point. Ride 1 down the gantry for Tom...

The next cover down was hand cancelled at Cape Canaveral on December 12, 1965 on the second attempt to launch Gemini 6 where the Titan booster actually lit off, then shut down a fraction of a second before launch. Ride 2 down the gantry for Tom! This cover is also cancelled for the successful launch of Gemini 6 on December 15, 1966. The Stafford signature on this cover is an autopen.

Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan were in the Gemini 9 capsule on May 17, 1966 (third cover down hand cancelled at Cape Canaveral) when that Agena target vehicle failed to achieve orbit. Ride 3 down the gantry for Tom...

The bottom cover was hand cancelled at Cape Canaveral on June 1, 1966 when Gemini 9 was again scrubbed for an electrical problem. Ride 4 for Tom...

Gemini 9 finally launched on June 3 as shown with the second cancellation on the third cover down!

I know there are some Shuttle astronauts who have since been scrubbed more than Stafford but his is certainly a fun story to tell, and with covers!


Posts: 164
From: millersville, maryland, usa
Registered: Jul 2004

posted 02-20-2010 08:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for stevedd841   Click Here to Email stevedd841     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great study in noting a Gemini astronaut, Tom Stafford, going DOWN the gantry. I had forgotten that Stafford was on two missions, GTA6 and GTA9. Pretty neat to see the scrub date covers, too, for these two missions. Many thanks for your insightful and very interesting SCOTW!


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