Space Cover #59, Apollo 4 and 5 official NASA/KSC cacheted covers
Official NASA/KSC cachets were a very popular collecting topic in the earlier days of space collecting and I'll only touch on the history of these fascinating and very collectible cachets at this time, and leave it to my SCOTW colleagues to continue as they choose.
The first official NASA/KSC cachet was applied to collectors' covers on July 1, 1965, to mark the opening of a postal facility at the NASA-Kennedy Space Center. All mail sent out that day received the official cachet, of which about 3,000 were philatelic covers.
Official NASA/KSC cachets were normally issued for Gemini and Apollo launches only, however, cachets were issued for a few other purposes, including the opening of the KSC post office; launch of Surveyor C (3); Fire Prevention Week; and the first anniversary of the first lunar landing. These rubber stamp cachets were typically applied in either red or blue ink, but for Apollo 7 and 8, special adhesive labels were affixed to the covers instead of the usual rubber stamp cachets.
The two covers presented this week are good representatives of these official NASA/KSC cachets. The top cover was the 17th issued NASA/KSC cachet and marks Apollo 4, the launch of the first Saturn V moon rocket on November 9, 1967 (and autographed by the Saturn V Program manager at MSFC), and the second cover and cachet mark the launch of Apollo 5, the first orbital, and unmanned, test flight of the Apollo Lunar Module, and autographed by Gene Kranz, the Apollo 5 Flight Director.
We plan to feature more official NASA/KSC cachets and information about them from time-to-time.