Space News
space history and artifacts articles

space history discussion forums

worldwide astronaut appearances

selected space history documents

related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Stamps & Covers
  Space Cover 129: Early Arkansas Space Covers

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Space Cover 129: Early Arkansas Space Covers

Posts: 217
From: millersville, maryland, usa
Registered: Jul 2004

posted 10-02-2011 09:21 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 129 (October 2, 2011)

The Explorer I satellite is launched into Earth orbit at 10:48 pm EST, LC-26, at Cape Canaveral Missile Annex, Florida. The cover above is a bona fide space cover in that the satellite orbited over Summers, Arkansas, the evening (PM) of January 31, 1958, the cancelation date on this Explorer I cover.

Similar to the cover above, the Vanguard I satellite rockets into Earth orbit from LC-18A, at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The cover also is an authentic space cover in this early period as it orbited over Summers, Arkansas, the evening (PM) of March 17, 1958, the cancellation date on this additional example, a Vanguard I cover.

Space Cover #129: Early Arkansas Space Covers? Really?

When you think about finding an early, great space cover, you would probably check covers mailed from the Kennedy Space Center, or the Космодром Байконур (Baikonur Cosmodrome). Recently at the Baltimore Philatelic Society's annual stamp show in Baltimore, Maryland, September 2-4, 2011, I found two interesting early space covers from Summers, Arkansas. While not usually in the mainstream of locations that would tweek my interest in Arkansas as a venue for finding early U.S. space covers, this time I took a closer, second look.

The first cover for Explorer I was canceled January 31, 1958, PM, Summers, Arkansas, and the cover cachet really gives the cover away, providing this information. "This cover commemorates the launching of the satellite Explorer I. The illustration below was copied from a picture shown on a TV screen on the night of the launching. This satellite was launched at Cape Canaveral, Fla., January 31, 1958."

The second cover found at the stamp show is similar, but canceled March 17, 1958, PM, Summers, Arkansas. The cover cachet, states this information. "Today, March 17, 1958, the United States launched Vanguard I, the first of that class. Shown above is a hand-drawn copy from a TV picture." The cover is for the launch of Vanguard I, but very much like the earlier Explorer I cover in appearance, cachet, and the satellite in the cachet is drawn from its likeness as seen on television.

So, if you are lucky enough to find one of these Summers, Arkansas, covers, you might want to take a closer, second look. They are the not too distant prototypes of the present space covers that we have learned to know and love. And, the covers are legitimate space covers in their own right at the dawn of the Space Age when early satellites for both the Explorer program and the Vanguard program were launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, into Earth orbit and crossed over Summers, Arkansas, in early 1958. The Summers, Arkansas, space covers are legitimate space covers and very worthy of collecting for one's space cover collection. I don't know who made the covers or what additional covers were made for later satellite missions. If the readers of this "Space Cover of the Week" posting know, please feel free to add this information as a reply to this week's offering. As a footnote, a year or so before this, I had found an earlier Summers, Arkansas, cover for the launch of Sputnik I, and canceled October 4, 1957, on the USSR's satellite orbit date over the U.S. If you see a Summers, Arkansas, space cover, take the time to take a closer, second look. You're looking at a great, early U.S. space cover!

Steve Durst, SU 4379

New Member

Posts: 2
From: Beebe, Arkansas, USA
Registered: Apr 2006

posted 02-19-2015 05:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rumrumm   Click Here to Email Rumrumm     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You and I may be the only ones interested in this 2011 topic, but I, too, own space covers produced by the same cachet maker.

I have four others: Explorer 3 (3/26/58), Explorer 4 (7/26/58), Pioneer 3 (12/6/58), and Pioneer 4 (3/3/59). I will be trying to identify the maker and looking for more of his/her cachets, if for no other reason than to honor their creativity and foresight, a true space cover pioneer, regardless of their geographic challenge.

Thanks for posting your covers, and if you locate others, please share their images as well.

New Member

Posts: 2
From: Staten Island, NY, USA
Registered: May 2013

posted 04-08-2015 06:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for helix11219   Click Here to Email helix11219     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have covers from Summers Ark.
  • Pioneer 1 Oct. 11, 1958
  • Vanguard 1 Mar. 17, 1958
  • Vanguard 2 Feb. 17, 1959
  • Vanguard 3 Sep. 18, 1959.
I got them a few years ago and I have not seen any since, online or at stamp show.

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2015 All rights reserved.

Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a