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  Space Cover 182: "How About a Date?"

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Author Topic:   Space Cover 182: "How About a Date?"
stevedd841
Member

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

posted 10-07-2012 05:52 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 182 (October 7, 2012)

For this Space Cover of the Week, "How About a Date?" The postally used space cover shown is canceled on the date of what turns out to be the launch and attempted recovery date of Scatback Monkey, December 19, 1961, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. Scatback monkey was an early rhesus monkey test flight on USAF Atlas 6E rocket to see if a monkey could survive the extreme stresses of reentry from space. While the launch and mission went as planned, the capsule and monkeynaut, Scatback, were lost at sea during recovery, late in the evening of December 19, 1961. Covers with a date of December 20, 1961 are also considered valid covers for Scatback monkey due to the late time of loss of the small monkeynaut and capsule.

Canceled space stamps also present excellent opportunities to find launch and recovery dates for determined collectors. The USAF stamp pictured was a popular U.S. airmail stamp of the period and this one canceled on piece, is especially worth a second look. The space project behind this canceled stamp was begun in 1954 as Project Orbiter to put a scientific satellite into Earth orbit for the International Geophysical Year. Successfully launched into orbit on January 31, 1958, at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, Explorer 1 was the second Earth satellite to carry a payload into Earth orbit. Russia's Sputnik was the first satellite to do this.

V-2 rocket tests conducted by General Walter Dornberger and Wernher von Braun's rocket team at Peenemunde 2, Germany, during World War II were classified as top secret. There were no rocket test covers commemorating key test dates for the development for the V-2 rocket. However, mail went into and was sent from the top secret rocket base, Peenemunde 2, on a regular basis. This Peenemunde cover is a significant find in that it was sent to a German Army Reservist involved in the rocket program and stationed at Peenemunde 2. The cover to Arbeitsmann Christof Siwinski is even more important in that it was canceled on the date of the second V-2 rocket test at Peenemunde 2, August 16, 1942, although the rocket failed shortly after launch.

This is the reverse side of the Peenemunde 2 cover pictured above, showing the hand cancel for August 16, 1942, Peenemunde 2, Germany. This date is the second V-2 rocket test at the rocket base and precedes by only a few weeks the first successful operational V-2 rocket test to be conducted seven weeks later on October 3, 1942 at Peenemunde 2, Germany.

Space Cover #182: "How About a Date?"

I've called this Space Cover of the Week posting, "How About a Date?" because it appeals to my simple space stamp and space cover collecting interests. Now, what does that mean? It means all you really need to collect great space stamps and space covers are the following: a stamp show offering space stamps and covers, maybe finding a sizeable box of them to go through, and a written list or other means to check dates, locations, and cancels on stamps or covers that you will see. It's that simple!

This sounds complicated, but if you try it, you may be surprised at what you can find. You will need to put a list together ahead of time for your search, or you will need to write down key dates and locations that you in which you would like to search. And sorry, this week's Space Cover of the Week did not pertain to that other very similar question, "How About a Date?" you know, that often asked romantic question leading to a hot date.

Do you have any interesting dates on space stamps or space covers you wish to share?

Steve Durst, SU 4379.

micropooz
Member

Posts: 1239
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 10-07-2012 09:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good thread Steve! Here’s another "sleeper" dated cover. It looks like any other WWII era cover, and was postmarked in Ithaca, NY on July 24, 1944. It gets a little more interesting in the fact that it was addressed to Muroc AAF, the forerunner of Edwards AFB that has played such a huge part in aerospace history.

But the "sleeper" part really comes in with the backstamp showing that the cover arrived at Muroc Sta. No. 1 on July 26, 1944. That was the date that the MX-324 rocketplane flew it’s seventh and final rocket powered flight, and that was over Muroc! This is the only cover that I’ve ever seen that happened to be postmarked on the right date and location for one of the MX-324 rocket powered flights. As Steve mentioned above, sometimes you have to look at a lot of drab looking covers with a big list of dates to find a gem...

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

posted 10-07-2012 11:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fascinating stuff, guys. "Egbert K. Bacon"?

micropooz
Member

Posts: 1239
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 10-07-2012 03:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
LOL Bob, good catch! Here's a "toast" to Egbert Bacon...

stevedd841
Member

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

posted 10-07-2012 06:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stevedd841   Click Here to Email stevedd841     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bob, Agree, good catch. I missed it until you and Dennis mentioned it. Ha Ha, no doubt the distinguished Egbert would have been pleased with Scatback the monkeynaut.

Joel Katzowitz
Member

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

posted 10-07-2012 06:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joel Katzowitz   Click Here to Email Joel Katzowitz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And how did you all miss the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon?

stevedd841
Member

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

posted 10-08-2012 09:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for stevedd841   Click Here to Email stevedd841     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Having shown the precursor V-2 failed rocket test cover of August 16, 1942, thought you might also want to see the first successful V-2 rocket test of October 3, 1942, Peenemunde 2, Germany, also. Please see the attached:

The postcard is mailed and canceled October 4, 1942, Zinnowitz, Germany, the nearby seaside and tracking range for Peenemunde 2 for V-2 tests. The postcard cancelation date is the day after the first successful V-2 rocket test at Peenemunde 2. But, the postcard was written on October 3, 1942, the successful V-2 rocket test date, with a striking purple Versuchs Kommando Nord (VKN-7) briefstemple, signifying it was mailed from the Walter Dornberger - Wernher von Braun rocket test group.

DOX32
Member

Posts: 203
From: Fairfax, VA USA
Registered: Jul 2004

posted 10-08-2012 07:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DOX32   Click Here to Email DOX32     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Google Egbert K Bacon, and you find he was a prominent published professor at Union College (Chemistry).

Maybe he was very interested in this launch?

cosmos-walter
Member

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

posted 10-24-2012 02:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cosmos-walter   Click Here to Email cosmos-walter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Steve, I congratulate you to this great postcard! How did you find it?

stevedd841
Member

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

posted 10-25-2012 07:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stevedd841   Click Here to Email stevedd841     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Woody and Walter, thank you both for your additional comments.

Here is the front of the Peenemunde-2 postcard shown above and for which Walter asked for information concerning the card.

Walter, I found the card on Germany eBay about four years ago, but the listing showed only the front of the postcard, an idyllic Germany beach scene with a pleasant beach summer scene.

On a hunch it might be near Peenemunde, I asked the seller to send me a scan of the other side of the postcard. Upon seeing the scan, things became very obvious with the date of mailing of the card being October 4, 1942, Zinnowitz, very close to Peenemunde, and of course, the briefstemple for Komp. 7 VKN at Peenemunde.

My thought at the time was one of disappointment, if only the card had been mailed October 3, 1942, the date of the first successful, live V-2 rocket test by Wernher von Braun and Gen. Walter Dornberger, and then upon a closer look I saw the handwritten date 3 October 1942, (German date format) the date the card was written and mailed by the sender, and the date of the successful rocket test. I was stunned after seeing this.

Looking above the circular purple briefstemple, I also saw in small letters, PEENEMUNDE 2. What a surprise!

All times are CT (US)

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