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  STS-8 flown cover 149734 on the unflown list

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Author Topic:   STS-8 flown cover 149734 on the unflown list
Apollo-Soyuz
Member

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

posted 09-05-2011 08:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo-Soyuz   Click Here to Email Apollo-Soyuz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have been contact with a collector who wanted to know if her STS-8 cover was flown.

Her cover has all three cancellations on it.

In checking the unflown cover list, to my amazement the serial number of the cover was on the unflown cover list. What kind of value does the cover have?

I know that some covers that were flown were missing one or more of the cancellations. I know collectSPACE members will come up with some opinions for which I thank all in advance.


------------------
John Macco
Space Unit #1457

LM1
Member

Posts: 368
From: New York, NY USA
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 09-06-2011 04:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM1   Click Here to Email LM1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You are right, it is on the USPS/NASA list. I have no idea of its value.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-06-2011 05:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Assuming the cover is authentic and not altered (and I have no reason to think that it is), the question then becomes what exactly is this?

Is this an unflown cover that was accidentally packaged and sold? Or is this a flown cover that was accidentally listed on the unflown cover list, either by typo or other error?

As the only known existing example (?) of a cover on the unflown cover list, it is very difficult to judge which scenario is more likely.

Ross
Member

Posts: 373
From: Australia
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 09-07-2011 11:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ross   Click Here to Email Ross     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was thinking the same thing as Robert but would go one step further. Looking at the logistics of it, while I can see how a flown cover could miss being stamped as flown (covers sticking together or being dropped and recovered in such a way that the flown cancels are missed), it is hard to come up with a non-contrived scenario where a non-flown cover could be stamped as flown. On the other hand, it is easy to see how one or more mistakes could be made in the rather large list of unflown covers.

Unfortunately, on the balance of probabilities, I believe an error in the list is the most likely scenario. I say unfortunately because that significantly reduces the usefullness of the list.

Apollo-Soyuz
Member

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

posted 09-08-2011 07:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo-Soyuz   Click Here to Email Apollo-Soyuz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One also has to remember that 500,000 covers were printed and should have been loaded in order. Unfortunately, they were not loaded in order. This is why the unflown cover list was compiled to document the serial numbers of the covers that were not flown.

cosmos-walter
Member

Posts: 406
From: Salzburg, Austria
Registered: Jun 2003

posted 09-10-2011 04:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cosmos-walter   Click Here to Email cosmos-walter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The flown covers were postmarked after flight in another state than Florida or Texas. Thus it is unlikely that any unflown cover ever came near to the postmarks used on flown covers.

LM1
Member

Posts: 368
From: New York, NY USA
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 09-11-2011 05:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM1   Click Here to Email LM1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So the question now is - are there more errors in the list? You would have to say YES because of the odds against finding the ONLY cover that was flown but is included in the unflown list. What are the odds that there is only one mistake in that huge list and that a collectSPACE member/collector has a cover with that number and has compared it to the list. The odds against that are high, so there must be more errors - if only a few.

Years ago I had an idea called "The Iceberg Theory". This theory (roughly stated) is as follows - What are the odds that if something happens, that it is the only time that it ever happened? This idea came about when I discovered TWO $100 bills in the street four months apart. I found the first $100 on the floor leading into the building where I work. A delivery man had entered in front of me. I immediately presumed that he had dropped it and I gave it to him. I guessed that because I presumed again that anyone in front of him would have seen it and would have picked it up. (OK, I should have kept it.) Three or four months later I found another $100 bill (folded tightly) on the sidewalk well across town from where I work. There was no one around. I kept this $100 bill and I have been giving it away slowly $1 at a time to people on the street who need it.

The question related to this thread is - Were these the only $100 lost in a large city such as New York? Did I find the only two $100 bills lost in this large city? Some people have told me YES - that I was very lucky (the odds are enormous against this). Some have told me NO - that were other large bills lost in the city (perhaps not $100 bills, but $50 or several $20s). I agree with the odds on the latter case - there were other large bills lost in the street that I did not find.

There are probably more errors in the Unflown STS-8 Challenger list, but we may never discover them unless another collectSPACE member/collector discovers the error and reports to this message board. As for value of this cover - I do not believe that it has any more value than any other FLOWN STS-8 Challenger cover. The error is in the list and this does not add to the value of the cover.

Apollo-Soyuz
Member

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

posted 09-11-2011 10:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo-Soyuz   Click Here to Email Apollo-Soyuz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The shuttle covers were unloaded in Florida, returned to Washington, DC after the return of STS-8 from Edwards AFB. Covers were inspected, damaged covers pulled out. Covers then were cancelled with both cancels. I do not know if they were machine or hand cancellations.

Ross
Member

Posts: 373
From: Australia
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 09-11-2011 11:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ross   Click Here to Email Ross     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One should also note out of interest that because optical scanning equipment was used, two covers are involved. The first as we know is 149734 which was probably flown. That means that there is an unflown cover whose number was recorded incorrectly. Of course, since it was destroyed, that probably is of little importance. One might also guess that the number of the cover probably differs by only one of the six digits, giving 55 likely candidates (the first number must be 1-5).

cosmos-walter
Member

Posts: 406
From: Salzburg, Austria
Registered: Jun 2003

posted 09-12-2011 04:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cosmos-walter   Click Here to Email cosmos-walter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
German astrophilately dealer Carsten Fuchs reported that these covers were postmarked in Marrifield, Virgina.

Does anybody of you know whether the covers already had the $9.35 stamp and the KSC Space Mail cancellation when they flew on board STS-8?

Apollo-Soyuz
Member

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

posted 09-13-2011 05:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo-Soyuz   Click Here to Email Apollo-Soyuz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe the covers had the stamp on them and the KSC space mail cancellation on them when they flew. Upon return, the other two cancellations were applied. One small correction- it is Merrefield, Va.

stevedd841
Member

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

posted 09-13-2011 06:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stevedd841   Click Here to Email stevedd841     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
John, pretty close, but it is Merrifield, Virginia. I think this is what you and Walter meant.

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