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  Space Cover 236: SSS Explorer-45 Launch

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Author Topic:   Space Cover 236: SSS Explorer-45 Launch
Apollo-Soyuz
Member

Posts: 891
From: Shady Side, Md
Registered: Sep 2004

posted 10-20-2013 08:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo-Soyuz   Click Here to Email Apollo-Soyuz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space Cover of the Week, Week 236 (October 20, 2013)

Space Cover #236: SSS Explorer-45 Launch

The space cover of the week while not of a major satellite launch is unique. This cover commemorates the launch of the Small Scientific Satellite (SSS) later designated Explorer=45 on November 15, 1971 aboard a Scout launch vehicle and is the first cover issued by the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Stamp Club. 1000 covers were serviced and sold out.

In September 1971 the GSFC Stamp Club was formed with NASA emlpoyees and contractors as members.A few philatelists decided to form the club to assist and take over the philatelic affairs of the Public Affairs Office (PAO) of the center. One of the primary purposes of the club was to help cachet and cancel envelopes sent in by collectors. Envelopes were sent to the PAO for Mercury, Gemini. Apollo, Skylab, ASTP and Shuttle and other Goddard satellite launches. The stamp club also decided to issue commemorative launch envelopes commemorating Goddard managed satellites. I plan to show some of the covers serviced by the GSFC Stamp Club in future posts.

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John Macco
Space Unit #1457

NAAmodel#240
Member

Posts: 145
From: Charleston, SC USA
Registered: Jun 2005

posted 10-21-2013 05:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NAAmodel#240   Click Here to Email NAAmodel#240     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What has Goddard's role been in spaceflight? Many think of the Center as a deep space tracking facility. Does it control missions and how would you contrast the function with that of JPL in Pasadena?

onesmallstep
Member

Posts: 579
From: Staten Island, New York USA
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 10-21-2013 08:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Generally, GSFC manages and controls unmanned earth-observation missions (like those for NOAA) and earth-orbiting astronomy satellites and platforms (Hubble, COBE, Swift), while JPL handles unmanned planetary missions.

JBoe
Member

Posts: 114
From: Edgewater, MD, USA
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 10-21-2013 06:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is there still a Goddard Stamp Club and if so, what are the details in possibly joining? Thanks!

micropooz
Member

Posts: 1260
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 10-21-2013 06:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As onesmallstep mentioned, Goddard has historically been the developer and operator of Earth science missions. And as NAAmodel240 mentioned, Goddard operates the NASA ground and space communications/tracking networks (along with developing the communications satellites needed for that job).

But the boundaries have expanded. Goddard developed the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) that has been orbiting the moon for a number of years, sending back evidence of water on the moon and fantastic photos of the lunar landscape. Later this year, Goddard's MAVEN probe will be launched to analyze the Martian atmosphere. Goddard is developing the OSIRIS-REX mission to retrieve dust from an asteroid. The Goddard SOHO, Solar Dynamics Observatory, and STEREO missions are performing major research on the Sun.

Goddard's Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE)mission produced the first map of the residual energy from the Big Bang, and earned Goddard scientist John Mather a Nobel Prize.

All five Hubble servicing missions were planned and developed at Goddard. And the next generation space telescope - the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is being developed there. And many more...

Not just a tracking facility!

The GSFC Stamp Club is still active and selling covers! You can contact them at jcwgsfcsc@aol.com .

onesmallstep
Member

Posts: 579
From: Staten Island, New York USA
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 10-21-2013 06:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You can reach them at:

GSFC Stamp Club
PO Box 261
Greenbelt, MD 20768-0261

I don't know about outsiders (i.e., non-NASA employees) joining as philatelists working at Goddard founded the club and took over the servicing of covers for space events.

micropooz
Member

Posts: 1260
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 10-21-2013 06:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The GSFC Stamp Club meetings are held at the GSFC Visitor Center, and hence are open to all comers.

Apollo-Soyuz
Member

Posts: 891
From: Shady Side, Md
Registered: Sep 2004

posted 10-25-2013 06:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo-Soyuz   Click Here to Email Apollo-Soyuz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are some other covers serviced by the GSFC Stamp Club.

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