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  Space Cover 247: Apollo 8: Off to the Moon!

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Author Topic:   Space Cover 247: Apollo 8: Off to the Moon!
Bob M
Member

Posts: 1393
From: Atlanta-area, GA USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 01-04-2014 08:52 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 247 (January 5, 2014)

Space Cover #247: Apollo 8: Off to the Moon!

This week we will continue with our tribute to Apollo 8 on its 45th anniversary that Steve and Tom began so well with Apollo 8 Christmas-related covers and USS Yorktown recovery covers. The covers shown this week will commemorate the launch of Apollo 8 on the first manned flight to the moon.

On December 21, 1968, Apollo 8 lifted off from LC-39A at KSC. A huge amount of covers were produced for the launch and shown here are only three examples: An Apollo 8 crew patch/mission emblem cacheted cover of the type sold at the KSC gift shop (top); a Space City Cover Society Local Post rubber stamp cacheted cover (middle); and an official NASA/KSC label cacheted cover (bottom).

As expected, through the years many Apollo 8 launch covers were autographed by one or more of the three Apollo 8 crew members, with both Frank Borman and Jim Lovell generally receptive to signing for many years. However, as many collectors well know, Bill Anders was a very reluctant signer, so covers authentically signed by the entire three-man Apollo 8 crew are among the hardest to find Apollo crew signed covers.

Two of the three Apollo 8 signed covers shown here have been signed by all three, with the Apollo 8 crew patch cover signed before the flight for a NASA official. The SCCS cover was signed sometime after the flight, and the Apollo 8 official NASA/KSC label cacheted cover signed by only Borman and Lovell.

These covers show only three types of covers/cachets for Apollo 8, with two being scarce examples of covers signed by the entire Apollo 8 crew. Because Borman and Lovell signed a large amount of covers and photos together, collectors need to be advised and warned that a fairly convincing Bill Anders forgery added to any Borman/Lovell signed item would transform it into a valuable commodity. Unless Apollo 8 crew signed material has solid provenance, and not just originating from any well-known auction or dealer, it should be checked out by a qualified impartial authority.

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 1925
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 01-04-2014 12:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bob, Great trio of Apollo 8 crew-signed covers of man's first lunar orbital voyage during the 1968 Christmas holiday season.

As a related sidebar, the top depicted NASA Exchange mission emblem cover signed pre-launch by the Apollo 8 crew, as we know, came from the collection of a prominent public affairs official that headed NASA's Visitors Services Branch at Kennedy Space Center during the Apollo era.

His grandson David was over to my home a few days ago, along with his two young sons, for a visit and appraisal examination of other space memorabilia items once belonging to his grandpa.

It was a wonderful visit and a chance for me to personally meet the grandson of a KSC-NASA public relations pioneer-of-sorts, no longer with us, that I had been fortunate enough to have contact with throughout the 1970/80s.

As Bob pointed out, authentic crew-signed Apollo 8 postal covers are indeed not common among space cover autograph collectors.

In fact, I would go a step further, and declare crew signed covers from Apollo 8 are perhaps the rarest of all the flown Apollo mission crews.

From my personal collecting experiences, though, with Apollo 8 crew signed covers -- first place rarity would be the NASA Exchange emblem variety, next would be a KSC-ONC type, and perhaps third would be a tie between a Harry Anderson Space City Cover Society (SCCS)-printed cover and a cachet cover produced by Bill Ronson's Orbit Covers. Another close tie could possibly be a Carl Swanson SpaceCraft production as well for either launch and/or lunar orbit events.

More common crew-signed for Apollo 8 may be a first day issue of the famous "Earth rise from lunar orbit" 6-cent Apollo 8 postage stamp, with a Manned Spacecraft Center Stamp Club (MSCSC) cachet, that I've seen (and own one or two of) more often than any other commemorative first manned lunar orbit covers "out there."

All times are CT (US)

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