Space Cover #95: Do-It-Yourself Dyna-Soar
I think you are all aware of the X-20 Dyna-Soar program of the 1960's that would have put a manned glider into orbit 15 years before Shuttle, had it not been cancelled on December 10, 1963. I won't delve into the history of the program, but suffice it to say that the thought of Dyna-Soar actually flying is one of the more intriguing "what-if's" of the space program.
Have you ever seen a cover postmarked for a Dyna-Soar development event? Probably not, and if you have, please post it! Cachet makers Sarzin and Sokolsky used the Dyna-Soar in some of their cachet designs, but the cachets ended up getting postmarked for Gemini or lifting body events after the Dyna-Soar was cancelled.
So how did the above cover come about? I was thumbing through a dealer's dollar-box many years ago, and came upon an uncacheted cover postmarked at Cape Canaveral on the day that the Dyna-Soar program was cancelled. This cover was actually postmarked for a Polaris missile test, launched late the night before, after the Cape Canaveral Post Office had closed (ref: McMahan #2075.01.03). So, I grabbed it for a buck and it languished in my miscellaneous box for years.
A couple of years ago, I finally got up the courage to cachet the cover for the end of the Dyna-Soar program. I downloaded an illustration of a Dyna-Soar re-entry, added the wording, and voila' the Dyna-Soar cover you see above! If any of you find a December 10, 1963 postmarked cover and would like to use this cachet design, just drop me an e-mail, and I will be glad to send it to you (just do some test runs on blank envelopes to make sure you have the positioning right before you put your postmarked cover in the printer!).