Space Cover 121: Conestoga 1, World's 1st Privately Funded Rocket
It's been almost 30 years since Space Services, Inc. of America (SSIA) launched their Conestoga 1 rocket from Matagorda Island, TX.
Before this successful flight took place, a serious setback occurred in August 1981, as an explosion on the pad destroyed SSIA's first Conestoga rocket. Starting anew, astronaut Deke Slayton and former KSC Directot Lee Schrerer joined the SSIA/Conestoga team, then on September 9, 1982, the Conestoga 1 rocket was launched. Reaching am altitude of 313 km and successfully deploying a 500 kg dummy payload, it became the 1st privately funded rocket to reach space.
But even with this success, the Conestaga rocket was used only a total of three times before the program was shut down because of lack of business (See SCOTW 24 for another sad rocket story).
This Conestaga 1 launch cover came from Rand Philatelic Bureau and bears a well-applied hand stamp cancel from the launch site, Matagorda, TX, and also displays a well-designed Conestoga/SSIA rubber stamp cachet. 500 of these covers were done, so covers marking this significant space event should be found.