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  Space Cover 60: The First KSC Cachet

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Author Topic:   Space Cover 60: The First KSC Cachet

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

posted 06-06-2010 12:28 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 60 (June 7, 2010)

Space Cover #60: First Kennedy Space Center cachet

For the last couple of Space Cover of the Weeks, John Macco and Bob McLeod have shown us a sampling of the KSC "Official" Cachets. This week, let's look at the very first of these.

Nobody can describe the start of the KSC Post Office as well as Ralph Yorio does in his book, Kennedy Space Center Philatelic History, 1971, The Viking Press. I'll quote directly from his introduction:

On June 3, 1965, NASA-KSC published an announcement that KSC would open a postal facility on July 1, 1965 at the Kennedy Space Center. It would be a contract branch of the Orlando, Florida post office. NASA appointed Mr. John E. Markovich as Clerk-in-Charge. The post office was located in the KSC Headquarters Building. Two Zip Code numbers were given to this post office: 32815 for Kennedy Space Center Installation and 32899 for official National Aeronautics and Space Administration mail.

On July 1, 1965, the KSC Post Office opened; to commemorate this occasion. NASA-Mail and Reports Management Section, headed by "Dusty" Rhodes, of the Installation Support Directorate, issued a special cachet and thus started the philatelic history of KSC.

My copy of this cachet is shown above. According to Yorio, this cachet was applied to 7116 pieces of mail that day, about 3000 of which were philatelic covers.

This cachet and its successors seem pretty unremarkable on the surface - small (usually), single color, rubber stamped cachets, much less extravagant than some of the commercially available cachets of the time. But two factors make these highly desirable to astrophilatelists:

  1. the rubber stamps were supplied by NASA, not a private enterprise, and
  2. the rubber stamps were applied at the post office, thereby making them official postal markings (a real distinction over privately applied artwork, to the hardcore philatelists).
For these two reasons, these cachets are often called "KSC Official Cachets."

Don't overlook KSC Cachets just because they aren't as flashy as a Space Craft, Orbit, or other printed cachet!


Posts: 868
From: Shady Side, Md
Registered: Sep 2004

posted 06-06-2010 12:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo-Soyuz   Click Here to Email Apollo-Soyuz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dennis- Great post. It would be great if the Space Unit updated Yorio's book on the officials. Any plans for this update?

John Macco
Space Unit #1457

Bob M

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

posted 06-10-2010 01:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ralph Yorio's excellent "Kennedy Space Center Philatelic History" booklet was published way back in 1971 and pictures and gives info on all official NASA/KSC cachets only through Apollo 14. It would be very useful to have it updated and include all the NASA cachets - and NASA VIP cards. A future issue of the SU's "Astrophile" would be a great place for such.

In the meantime, it would be good if someone would display all the NASA cachets on a Website. The SU Website would be ideal for this.


Posts: 373
From: Australia
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 06-11-2010 08:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ross   Click Here to Email Ross     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If somebody was willing to send me a writeup (in digital format) on the cachets and scans of all of them, I'd be happy to create an appropriate page on the SU website.

(SU Webmaster)

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