Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Stamps & Covers
  Space Cover 191: Celebrating Apollo 17 in covers

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

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Space Cover 191: Celebrating Apollo 17 in covers
micropooz
Member

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

posted 12-09-2012 09:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space Cover of the Week, Week 191 (December 9, 2012)

Space Cover #191: Apollo 17

As discussed in another collectSPACE thread, we are currently in the midst of the 40th anniversary of the final Apollo moon landing mission, Apollo 17. So let's celebrate by posting some favorite Apollo 17 covers!

I'll kick it off by starting at the end of the mission! Above is the Captain's Cover from Apollo 17's prime recovery ship, the U.S.S. Ticonderoga, machine canceled the day after she recovered Apollo 17, December 20, 1972.

So, why care about "the day after" in this case? Starting with Apollo 17, the Navy instituted a policy that lasted through Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz, and has perplexed collectors ever since then — the ship's post office was closed on the day of the recovery.

So, on December 19, when Ticonderoga recovered Apollo 17, the shipboard post office was closed. The commonly-seen December 19 U.S.S. Ticonderoga hand cancels were actually applied to collector mail in Hawaii. When the ship's post office reopened on December 20, the Captain's Covers were postmarked.

Therefore, these Captain's Covers were aboard the ship during the recovery, whereas the December 19 covers never made it past Hawaii. And as Paul Harvey used to say: "That's the rest of the story."

So, does anyone else have some Apollo 17 covers to post? Let's celebrate the flight!

Apollo-Soyuz
Member

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

posted 12-09-2012 11:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo-Soyuz   Click Here to Email Apollo-Soyuz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The below cover was serviced by the Goddard Space Flight Center Stamp Club. Goddard was responsible for the Spaceflight Data and Tracking Network which was used to communicate with the Apollo astronauts. 776 sets of the covers were serviced.

micropooz
Member

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

posted 12-09-2012 05:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cool cover John! I never realized they were limited to 776 covers!

Who else has Apollo 17 covers to post? If you need me to host your cover image, please email it to me - glad to help out...

ChrisCalle
Member

Posts: 83
From: Ridgefield, CT USA
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 12-10-2012 06:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ChrisCalle   Click Here to Email ChrisCalle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a cover I did for the 35th Anniversary of Apollo 17:

Ross
Member

Posts: 373
From: Australia
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 12-10-2012 07:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ross   Click Here to Email Ross     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a cover carried by the main Recovery Helicopter and signed by the pilot. Although the scan doesn't show it, the date is the 20th as explained above.

stevedd841
Member

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

posted 12-10-2012 03:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stevedd841   Click Here to Email stevedd841     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Officer-in-Charge of VAW-111 Detachment 3 Flies this Tracer "Willy Fudd" during the USS Ticonderoga's Recovery of the Apollo 17 space capsule and crew on NASA's final manned lunar landing mission.

A cover stuffer (ship's printed card) is also shown for USS Ticonderoga's Apollo 17 recovery effort. Dennis, great SCOTW, many thanks. This brings back fond memories for this ship's company officer and Tico Tiger!

eurospace
Member

Posts: 2275
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 12-12-2012 04:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Will there be a pictorial postmarker for the anniversary somewhere in the US?

stevedd841
Member

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

posted 12-18-2012 05:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for stevedd841   Click Here to Email stevedd841     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ship's recovery cover believed to be canceled on USS Ticonderoga on the actual recovery date and not the day after the recovery as is usually seen. Shown on a number 7 envelope, not the usual number 10, long envelope for a USS Ticonderoga recovery cover for this specific mission.

Reverse of the Apollo 17 cover canceled on the recovery date for Apollo 17 space capsule and crew's recovery by USS Ticonderoga, above. Note the Morris Beck red violet rubber stamped cachet for the ship’s participation in the recovery force.

Regular U.S. size cover signed by the three Apollo 17 astronauts, Gene Cernan, Harrison Schmitt, and Ron Evans with Beck red violet rubber stamped cachet added.

Offline there has been an interesting discussion concerning whether or not hand canceled covers existed for the actual date of the Apollo 17 space capsule and crew's recovery, December 19, 1972, in the Pacific Ocean, by USS Ticonderoga, or if the only actual cancels for the ship's recovery were the smaller, machine cancels seen on a few covers the following day, December 20, 1972. See my cover in this thread for an example of the machine canceled cover. The discussion has been lively and engaging on this subject, but we thought it might be beneficial to bring the discussion online as well. So, your comments on this subject are welcome.

Ross
Member

Posts: 373
From: Australia
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 12-18-2012 08:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ross   Click Here to Email Ross     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello Steve and others,

Great topic. While possible, I have significant doubts that any covers were postmarked on board the PRS during Apollo 17. Lets first look at the logic. The Navy had decided to cachet and postmark all covers on shore and to shut the on-board PO. Considering the large number of covers that were to be postmarked and the fact that all were to be done by hand, it seems unlikely that a hand cancel would have been left aboard the ship. Surely all cancels would have been sent ashore to enable the large volume of mail to be postmarked as quickly and efficiently as possible. Why would one leave one cancel on the ship when it was not expected to be used?

Lets now look at Steve's cover. The first thing I noticed was the Navy cachet on the back. There should not have been any Navy cachets on board the PRS before the 20th. The one or two (most missions had two but at least one mission only had one for the PRS) would have been sent direct to the on shore facility. It seems unlikely that they would have been aboard the ship on the 19th.

Now the postmark. In the offline discussion there have been comments about the 'light'i in Ticonderoga (the only other similar cover also has a light i). However, this may just be ink coverage, uneven surface etc. The fact that both covers have a similar i may just be because they were postmark together, not surprising since both are Captain's covers. What hasn't been mentioned is the positioning of the 19 in the date. Quite distinctive. I've check my covers and about half have the 19 as shown (see below) while the other half have the 19 further to the left. With the exception of the lack of ink on the i my postmarks look the same as Steve's postmark. Therefore, this cancel appears to be one of two used a shore.

How was Steve's Captain's cover produced. Assuming they were printed aboard the ship, one of two possibilities comes to mind.
1) Some or all may have been printed before the ship left port. If so, someone (or possibly more than one person) knowing the PO would be shut on the 19 may have addressed a couple (or more) and sent them to be postmarked on shore.

2) Sometime during the mission the covers may have been offloaded during a resupply mission for the same reason as above.

In conclusion, while I can think of a way the covers could have been aboard the PRS, the simplest explanation, which is most often the correct one, is that they were postmarked ashore.

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 1999-2012 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement