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  Space Cover 169: Flown on final shuttle flight

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Author Topic:   Space Cover 169: Flown on final shuttle flight
Bob M
Member

Posts: 1405
From: Atlanta-area, GA USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 07-07-2012 09:45 AM     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 169 (July 8, 2012)

Space Cover #169: Automated Transfer Vehicle-2/STS-135/Atlantis Flown Cover

When Space Shuttle Atlantis landed at KSC on July 21, 2011, it marked the end of the 30-year and 135-flight Space Shuttle Program. 600 postal covers returned to Earth aboard Atlantis on STS-135 and the Space Shuttle program's historic final flight. These 600 covers were among the cargo onboard ESA's unmanned ATV-2 spacecraft that was launched to the ISS aboard an Ariane 5 rocket in February 2011.

Many of the flown covers were offered for sale by Espace Lollini of France. The top cover shown here (thanks to Chris Calle) is one of only a small number signed by the six ISS Expedition crew members and also rubber stamped with two small ISS onboard cachets.

The standard, unsigned covers (example above) were sold by Lollini for around $70, but are out-of-stock now and are on sale elsewhere for $199.

Lollini mounted their flown ATV-2 covers in excellent folders, that included a tracking station cover (shown here) and a Mission Control cover.

While these flown covers were mainly promoted as being flown on the ATV-2 transfer vehicle, their real significance lies in the fact that they were onboard Atlantis when it accomplished the Space Shuttle Program's final flight.

Flown covers and various flown material is common now, but these flown covers have extra special significance: launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, South America; flown to the ISS onboard ATV-2 and spent 156 days in space; and finally returned to Earth aboard Atlantis on its and the Space Shuttle Program's last flight.

eurospace
Member

Posts: 2336
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 07-12-2012 02:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are actually three basic types of flown covers and postcards from ATV-2 and STS-135:
  • the said Astrium covers (the folder was produced by the club, not Lollini)
  • the ERNO postcards
  • covers flown by Alenia Spazio from Italy.
The Italian ASITAF club and his President, Umberto Cavallaro, has actually published an interesting overview of flown ATV covers in the recent edition of their newsletter. The same manuscript was also published in "Orbit", the magazine of ASSS/U.K.

------------------
Jürgen P Esders
Brussels, Belgium

International Director (Europe), Space Unit
Weltraum Philatelie e. V./BFV Cosmos/AAF/GWP/AAAS/UACC/AdA/Fellow BIS
Yahoo Groups: Astroaddies

BrianB
Member

Posts: 99
From:
Registered: Oct 2001

posted 07-12-2012 04:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BrianB   Click Here to Email BrianB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Crap!

I was just inquiring about one of these from Lollini. Can you tell me where they are available elsewhere, or does anyone have a spare? Thanks.

cspg
Member

Posts: 4563
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 07-13-2012 01:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bob M:
The top cover shown here (thanks to Chris Calle) is one of only a small number signed by the six ISS Expedition crew members and also rubber stamped with two small ISS onboard cachets.
If memory serves well, that one was selling for around 250 euros. So I bought the standard Astrium covers.

eurospace
Member

Posts: 2336
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 07-15-2012 04:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The best and cheapest way to get one of those flown covers is being a member of the issuing clubs ("Marianne", "SEP", "ERNO Philatelie", or "ASITAF") and subscribing to their space covers series (Ariane).

This way, I got the flown covers/cards for sometimes as little as 10 or 15 Euro, and the whole bunch of unsigned and signed covers for around 100 Euro.

On the free market, these are of course much more expensive, and the price is increasing by the day.

alec
Member

Posts: 31
From: Romania
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 09-15-2012 11:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alec   Click Here to Email alec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ATV-2 / MagISStra flown cover – Umberto Cavallaro – ASITAF AD*ASTRA N° 12 – March 2012

------------------
Alec Bartos
President of Astrophilatelic Commission of Romanian Philatelic Federation
Member of ASSS, Space Unit, ASITAF

MrSpace86
Member

Posts: 1413
From: Gardner, KS, USA
Registered: Feb 2003

posted 04-22-2014 11:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry to bring back a really old thread, but I am a bit confused.

I own one of these covers (the unsigned version) but I am unclear as to whether there were 600 covers flown overall -or - 600 unsigned and 600 signed. Jürgen (eurospace) points out a few different versions and items.

It seems the signed and unsigned version have slight variations. My covers also came in a different folder than then one Alec linked (I assume mine is from Lollini).

Final question: Anyone seen the postcards that were flown? I have been unable to find an example.

cosmos-walter
Member

Posts: 425
From: Salzburg, Austria
Registered: Jun 2003

posted 04-22-2014 05:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cosmos-walter   Click Here to Email cosmos-walter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Additionally, Space Shuttle Atlantis brought three letters and two cards on board ISS. I am attaching scans of the letter I wrote from Graz stamp exhibition to Sergey Volkov. Additionally Russian cosmonauts on board ISS sent a few letters to friends with STS-135.

Space-it
New Member

Posts: 5
From: Villarbasse - TO - Italy
Registered: Jun 2008

posted 04-24-2014 12:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Space-it   Click Here to Email Space-it     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MrSpace86:
I am unclear as to whether there were 600 covers flown overall -or - 600 unsigned and 600 signed. Jürgen (eurospace) points out a few different versions and items.
Since the beginning (i.e. ATV-1) 1200 covers and 550 cards were flown on each flight.

As for now 600 covers are flown in the French kit prepared by EADS Astrium France, 600 covers are in the Italian kit prepared by Thales Alenia Space Italy and 550 card in the German kit sent by EADS Astrium DE.

On the initiative of ASITAF (Italian Astrophilately Society) for ATV-2 some of the 600 French covers were signed onboard by the crew of the Expedition 27 and were stamped with the ISS onboard seal and with the seal of the MagISStra mission, before returning with the last Space Shuttle flight .

The folder shown on the Alec website has been designed by Alec Bartos for ASITAF and was used to present the above-mentioned signed covers which were reserved for ASITAF Members only. The philatelic Club "La Marianne" (EADS Astrium France) presented its flown cover and three other related commemorative covers in a folder which was also sold by Lollini (Lollini has never prepared itself an ATV folder).

Full details on the ATV covers may be found on AD*ASTRA (the Journal of ASITAF – the Italian Astrophilately Society).

Umberto Cavallaro
President ASITAF

MrSpace86
Member

Posts: 1413
From: Gardner, KS, USA
Registered: Feb 2003

posted 04-24-2014 01:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow Umberto. Thank you so much!!

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