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  Space Cover 142: Space Shuttle's Final Flight

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Author Topic:   Space Cover 142: Space Shuttle's Final Flight
Bob M
Member

Posts: 1367
From: Atlanta-area, GA USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 12-31-2011 03:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space Cover of the Week, Week 142 (January 1, 2012)

Space Cover #142: The Space Shuttle's Final Flight

Beginning with STS-1 in April 1981 and after 135 flights and about 21,000 orbits of the earth, NASA's Space Shuttle made its final flight on STS-135 in July 2011.

Five orbiters, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour, carried out these 135 flights, with OV Enterprise accomplishing the preliminary approach and landing test flights (ALT) at Edwards AFB, CA.

Featured here this week are five covers that commemorate the final flight and are the handiwork of longtime space collector-dealer Ken Havekotte.

The top cover bears the space Shuttle Program insignia and is canceled for the first flight, STS-1, and the final flight, STS-135: the spectacular and promising beginning; and the somber finale.

The next cover bears the STS-135 crew patch/emblem cachet and is canceled for launch and has a "Final Shuttle Flight" Zazzle stamp.

Next down is one of Ken's novel 4-cancel launch covers for STS-135 bearing hand cancels from four KSC-area post offices all on the day of launch.

The fourth cover is one of the well-designed 5-orbiter cacheted covers, with cancels for STS-135 launch and landing.

Finally, is a 5-orbiter cacheted 10-inch launch/landing cover bearing five of the Space Achievements stamps issued in 1981, including a space telescope stamp representing perhaps the shuttle's greatest achievement: the deployment, repair and servicing of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Apollo-Soyuz
Member

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

posted 12-31-2011 05:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo-Soyuz   Click Here to Email Apollo-Soyuz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great SCOTW for the end of 2011. All cS members have a great New Years.

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

albatron
Member

Posts: 2103
From: Stuart, Florida, USA
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 12-31-2011 08:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron   Click Here to Email albatron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
GREAT stuff Bob - thanks for sharing! I wonder if anyone had the foresight to get an STS-1 cover cancelled on the last day of STS-135 as well?

Joel Katzowitz
Member

Posts: 325
From: Marietta GA USA
Registered: Dec 1999

posted 01-01-2012 08:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joel Katzowitz   Click Here to Email Joel Katzowitz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great covers Bob.

As a totally random comment, the third cover exhibits the infamous Statue of Liberty stamp which in fact is an image of the Vegas statue not the NYC statue. Pretty funny and somewhat embarrassing for the Postal Service.

Bob M
Member

Posts: 1367
From: Atlanta-area, GA USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 01-01-2012 11:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by albatron:
I wonder if anyone had the foresight to get an STS-1 cover cancelled on the last day of STS-135 as well?
Thanks, guys, but the compliments should go to Ken, as all I did was buy the covers.

Al, I certainly intended to have an STS-1 launch cover canceled for the STS-135 landing and even had the ideal stamp for it, but not being the go-getter I used to be, failed to carry through. What a perfect stamp it would have been to have used; what an opportunity missed.

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 1823
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 01-01-2012 03:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A big thanks to Bob for featuring the covers in this topic discussion.

It should also be noted that Astrophile editor, graphic designer Jim Roth, designed the special "5 orbiters" cachet cover for my firm. Thanks, Jim, for the superb design artwork depicting an illustrated highlight history of the shuttle program.

There were a few first shuttle landing covers from EAFB, mostly with the shuttle program logo as cachets, that were cancelled a second time for the final shuttle landing at KSC--and if I recall--a very limited few with dual cancels for launch of STS-1 and landing of STS-135.

I'll have to recheck my STS-135 cover boxes and see if any are still there, as I did let a few of them go earlier. I am sure, though, a few of those unusual combinations were kept for my own collections and I'll make sure that Bob is able to get one of each, if possible, as I had almost forgot about them beforehand.

DChudwin
Member

Posts: 972
From: Lincolnshire IL USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 01-01-2012 04:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I did prepare one double cancel cover for the launch of STS-1 and the landing of STS-135. See Space Cover of the Week 128: Double Cancels on September 25, 2011 for the illustration (last cover pictured).

Eddie Bizub
Member

Posts: 32
From: Kissimmee, FL USA
Registered: Aug 2010

posted 01-02-2012 06:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Eddie Bizub   Click Here to Email Eddie Bizub     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was able to see the STS-135 launch from atop the blockhouse at Launch Complex 14 which is of course where John Glenn and the other Project Mercury orbital flights were launched from. I had a handful of covers with me in my camera bag. I then sent them in for launch postmarks from KSC.

On half of the covers I had the mission emblem printed and on the other half I had a picture that I took of the launch printed making some unique covers. On all of them, I added a notation on the back that they were at Launch Complex 14 for the historic launch.

My dad took two of the launch picture covers to the USS Intrepid and had Doug Hurley, Rex Walheim and Sandra Magnus sign them. Dad told each of them where I was for the launch. Doug Hurley commented that it was a really nice picture. Too bad Dad ran out of time to have Chris Ferguson sign the covers.

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