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  Space Cover 277: ASTP, After Splashdown

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Author Topic:   Space Cover 277: ASTP, After Splashdown
Bob M

Posts: 1429
From: Atlanta-area, GA USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 08-10-2014 12:52 PM     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 277 (August 10, 2014)

Space Cover #277: Apollo-Soyuz Test Project: After Splashdown

Last week's Space Cover of the Week focused on the 39th anniversary of the joint US/Soviet Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, so to continue with ASTP this week, I'll present some covers marking several events after the Apollo CM splashed down.

The cover at the top was canceled onboard the PRS, USS New Orleans, but because the ship's post office was closed on the day of recovery, July 24, all covers there for the splashdown were canceled the next day. The cachet is the USS New Orleans' ships cachet.

The top cover has a July 30, 1975, Honolulu, HI/Tripler Army Hospital Sta. cancel, marking the release of the Apollo crew from Tripler Army Medical Center after being exposed to Nitrogen Tetoxide that entered the capsule after splashdown. The cover is autographed by the doctor in charge of their treatment.

The bottom cover marks the crew's return to KSC after their flight and is autographed by Lee Scherer, the KSC Director and Master of Ceremonies.

The top cover has a special Soyuz-Apollo Soviet cancel, and marks the beginning of both crew's European tour, starting in Star City, USSR. It bears the Soviet issued ASTP stamp picturing both crews and is autographed by the Apollo crew. The bottom cover is canceled in Washington, DC, the first city on a multi-city US tour by both crews.

Hart Sastrowardoyo

Posts: 2520
From: Toms River, NJ
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 08-10-2014 10:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm curious - in the pre-Internet days, how did one know when crews were doing what on what day? (Even today, sometimes little advance notice is given. Open the newspaper and find out, "Today marks....") Was the cover postmarked first, and then an appropriate cachet added?

Bob M

Posts: 1429
From: Atlanta-area, GA USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 08-11-2014 03:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, it was a different time before the Internet and certainly info was not easy to come by and too often we found out about an event in the newspaper the day after it happened. But collector enthusiasm was high and information was shared and phone calls often resulted in useful collector information relating to autograph and cover opportunities.

As far as the Tripler cover above canceled on the date the crew was released, I don't remember the specifics, but did send the cover to that location and it was canceled properly. And then it was sent to Dr. Bartelloni to sign. I probably saw his name in the newspaper.

The "Day after" PRS cover was bought from long-time cover dealer Sean Marsar and mailed to the USS New Orleans for the cachet to be applied. Also the cover marking the crews' two-week US tour was bought from Marsar. Surely, as a dealer, he made phone calls to gather useful info.

The Russian canceled cover was obtained from Leo Malz, who specialized in Russian covers/cancels, and then I had the crew sign the cover one-at-a-time from JSC.

Ken Havekotte had the Awards Ceremony cover done, as he certainly knew of every event planned for KSC and serviced untold thousands of covers thru the years.

Since information was more difficult to come by pre-Internet, the hunt for useful information and significant space material was interesting, challenging and often rewarding. It was an exciting time.

All times are CT (US)

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