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  Space Cover 263: Little Joe II

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Author Topic:   Space Cover 263: Little Joe II

Posts: 1281
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 05-04-2014 07:02 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 263 (May 4, 2014)

Space Cover #263: Little Joe II

Next week will be the 50th anniversary of the first inflight abort test of an Apollo spacecraft. This was performed on May 13, 1964 at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico using a Little Joe II booster and boilerplate Apollo spacecraft BP-12. The cover above was produced by SpaceCraft Cachets to commemorate this flight. It is listed as Vukotich #78, with 300 produced, and carries a White Sands machine cancel for the launch day. Cachet designer Carl Swanson has autographed this one. Cachets for the other Little Joe II flights are not nearly as ornate as this one – usually White Sands generic rubber stamped cachets.

The Little Joe II was a beefier successor to the Little Joe booster that was used to test the abort systems for Mercury. Each Little Joe II was configured with different clusters of solid rocket motors to power the capsule to the right altitude and speed for each particular test before lighting off the escape tower.

Spacecraft Cachets usually added a typed insert into their covers, and the typed insert for this one compares the Little Joe and Little Joe II boosters (below).


Posts: 117
From: Douglasville, Ga U.S.A.
Registered: Nov 2009

posted 05-04-2014 11:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bobslittlebro   Click Here to Email bobslittlebro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great subject Dennis. Here is one of the generic rubber stamp cachets you mentioned.Not a White Sands generic but generic.


Posts: 196
From: millersville, maryland, usa
Registered: Jul 2004

posted 05-04-2014 05:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stevedd841   Click Here to Email stevedd841     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's another example of the cover Tim has shown, a Tom Dixon text cachet in light blue, sent to his business address in Brooklyn, New York. Dixon's cachet overlays a Sokolsky printed Little Joe II cachet for the Little Joe II, high dynamic pressure, transonic abort test.

The test flight is the second test in the Little Joe II series of tests to evaluate the Apollo program’s launch escape system or LES subsequent to launch. If activated, the LES would safely rocket the command module away from the launch vehicle in the event of a critical or emergency abort situation.

The cover by Sokolsky and as overlaid by Dixon are findable by space cover collectors in what are generally called dollar boxes at stamp shows. In spite of the modest price they are great space covers from 50 years ago as of May 13, 2014!

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