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  Space Cover 86: Rarest of the Gemini PRS Covers

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Author Topic:   Space Cover 86: Rarest of the Gemini PRS Covers
stevedd841
Member

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

posted 12-05-2010 07:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for stevedd841   Click Here to Email stevedd841     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space Cover of the Week, Week 86 (December 5, 2010)

A rare, intended primary recovery ship cover and Captain's cover for USS Wasp is shown cancelled with a ship's hand cancel on the mission's scrub date of October 25, 1965. This Gemini 6 Captain's cover is rare because the cover is cancelled after the failure of the Atlas-Agena rocket with USS Wasp and the mission's support ships already at sea and on station for the Gemini 6 spacecraft recovery. Note that the names of the two Gemini 6 astronauts, Wally Schirra and Tom Stafford, and recovery latitude and longitude are missing from the USS Wasp Captain's cover above the printed signature of the Captain in the printed cachet.

Space Cover #86: Rarest of the Gemini PRS Covers

After emergency meetings to determine the next steps to reconstitute and reschedule the scrubbed Gemini 6 mission, NASA Director Jim Webb informs President Lyndon Johnson that the launch of Gemini 7 with astronauts Frank Borman and Jim Lovell, will be scheduled in early December. If the launch pad condition is acceptable after the launch of Gemini 7's flight, it is possible that a newly designated Gemini 6A flight could be launched with astronauts Schirra and Stafford to conduct a space rendezvous with astronauts Borman and Lovell.

Jim Webb discusses this further with President Johnson stating "I believe it will be encouraging to you to learn that we have gained enough strength in the Gemini program to consider such a quick turnaround." The entire process from start of concept to finished plan takes NASA only three days. On October 28, 1965, the President's staff convenes a press conference at the Texas White House. President Johnson announces to the press corps and to the American people that Gemini 7 and Gemini 6A will rendezvous in space. News correspondents immediately pick-up on this breaking news and name the new plan for two Gemini spacecrafts rendezvousing in space, the "Spirit of 76" with the missions of both Gemini 7 and Gemini 6 to overlay and make the rendezvous. After the launch of Gemini 7, Gemini 6A will launch and will be in orbit and in excellent position to rendezvous with Gemini 7.

But, we digress, lets go back to the original question. Is this cover really that rare? Yes, it almost never is seen at auction or in the dissolution of space cover collections. On rare occasions when it is seen, it may be mistaken for the more available and seen primary recovery ship cover for USS Wasp and Gemini 6A, December 16, 1965, such as the USS Wasp PRS Captain's cover that follows.

Some of the information in this posting is taken from my article concerning Project Gemini to be published in the Space Unit's "Astrophile" December 2010 and to be distributed shortly.

Steve Durst, SU 4379

bobslittlebro
Member

Posts: 94
From: Douglasville, Ga U.S.A.
Registered: Nov 2009

posted 12-05-2010 03:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bobslittlebro   Click Here to Email bobslittlebro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Really enjoyed seeing these covers Steve! Thanks.

stevedd841
Member

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

posted 12-05-2010 04:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stevedd841   Click Here to Email stevedd841     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tim, many thanks for your response back. Am thinking that Bob is up there nudging the Almighty to smile upon space cover collectors and to shake loose a few more of these rare to very difficult to find space covers. Now, every time we make the rocket ride to Chicago we think about Bob and the great times we had. They are great memories!

Ross
Member

Posts: 373
From: Australia
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 12-06-2010 06:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ross   Click Here to Email Ross     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Steve manages to produce the best covers. Even his Gemini 6A Captain's cover is special in that it includes the Captain's corner card and his signature, not to mention a hand cancel. Go Steve.

stevedd841
Member

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

posted 12-06-2010 01:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stevedd841   Click Here to Email stevedd841     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for your comments. Hmmm, I don't know, Ross. You're the only one I know with a USS Fidelity secondary recovery ship cover for the Gemini 6 scrubbed mission and canceled on the scrub date.

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