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  Space Cover 213: The Last Mercury

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Author Topic:   Space Cover 213: The Last Mercury

Posts: 1352
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 05-12-2013 06:42 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 213 (May 12, 2013)

Space Cover #213: The Last Mercury

Fifty years ago this week, L. Gordon Cooper flew Mercury-Atlas 9, also named Faith 7, for 22 orbits of the earth to cap off the Mercury Program.

The cover above is the "Captain's Cover" for Cooper's prime recovery ship, the USS Kearsarge. While many other prime recovery ships produced specific cover designs for their "Captain's Covers", the Captain of the Kearsarge, E. P. Rankin just used his corner card (printed return address in the upper left) stationery.

Since this was considered official Navy mail, no postage was required (see the typed "Postage and Fees Paid Navy Department" in the upper right). The USS Kearsarge May 16, 1963 hand cancel was also not required, but likely applied as extra commemoration for the splashdown.

This cover also garnered the black Beck-designed rubber stamp cachet that was applied onboard the ship to all mail that day.

Who else has some neat Cooper/Faith 7 covers? Let's post 'em! Just Cooper's Mercury flight — let's save his Gemini 5 covers for future SCOTWs. And if you need someone to host your Cooper cover image for posting, please send it to me in an email. Glad to do it!


Posts: 229
From: millersville, maryland, usa
Registered: Jul 2004

posted 05-12-2013 09:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for stevedd841   Click Here to Email stevedd841     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dennis, your Gordon Cooper cover for his MA-9 mission is absolutely spectacular and a real gem for Cooper's record setting 22 hour Project Mercury spaceflight, May 15-16, 1963. Thought I would add the George Goldey cover with USS Kearsarge's rubber stamped cachet (red version) for his recovery. Goldey's cover for Cooper is not often seen.

A second cover I find interesting for Cooper's mission is his receipt of the Collier Trophy, given by President John Kennedy at the White House, October 10, 1963, in Washington, D.C. The trophy is striking in that it is presented annually "For Outstanding Space Achievement," and Cooper's Project Mercury mission's achievements met this criteria in every respect.


Posts: 419
From: Australia
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 05-12-2013 10:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ross   Click Here to Email Ross     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Two great PRS covers from Dennis and Steve. Steve's shows the red (magenta) version of the cachet while Dennis shows the black. All Captain's covers have a black cachet while all philatelic covers have the red cachet. However, there is a third type of cover.

There is some question over who produced this cover but it seems likely that it was produced by the ship's Postal Clerk and authorized by the Commanding Officer who signed it. It has only been seen with the black cachet and is a very desirable MA-9 cover.

One of my favorite cachets is a beautiful multicolour cachet believed to have been produced by Frederick L. Karcher of Karcher Kovers.

And now a couple of Aussie covers. To support Project Mercury NASA established a network of 14 ground stations to track Mercury spacecraft. Two of these were located in Australia. The first site was Muchea on the west coast while the second was Red Lake which was part of the Woomera Rocket Range tracking network. Mercury tracking covers from Australia are especially hard to find.

Bas S Warwick

Posts: 16
From: New Zealand
Registered: May 2013

posted 12-01-2015 03:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bas S Warwick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can add another Aussie cover:

All times are CT (US)

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