My Favourite Cover
By Andy Swanston
On 21st November 1987 a Progress supply space craft delivered 1,038 covers commemorating the 30th anniversary of Sputnik 1, together with a hand stamp for cancelling the covers aboard MIR.
Over the next four weeks Cosmonauts Romanenko and Alexandrov hand stamped and signed the covers. While in space Alexandrov had written a private letter to his wife, and applied the hand stamp to his letter too. Thus Alexandrov created a unique philatelic item, being the only private letter with the hand stamp. Alexandrov later gave the envelope to Mr. Swanston and he has a letter of authenticity with the cover.
My Favourite Signed Cover
Illustrated is a cover signed by President Nixon produced to commemorate his visit to Moscow, and the agreement to dock an Apollo Spacecraft with a Soyuz Space Lab, in 1975, I had my cover signed by President Nixon.
Another interesting cover is one posted at Port Canaveral on January 1st 1961 when Ham, the worlds first Space Chimp was launched into space. To create a unique item I managed to have Ham’s fingerprints applied to the cover. It is also signed by the Head Keeper. With it is a letter explaining why the full hand, which I had requested was not applied.
When President Eisenhower transferred Project Saturn from the Army to NASA on 4th November 1959. 1 had my cover signed by Von Braun. It is of interest to note that he has corrected the spelling of his name, a little personal touch.
I also illustrate a Miniature sheet from Paraguay, showing President and Mrs. Reagan, which has been signed by them. These are just a few of the large number of signed items I have obtained since I started collecting in 1957.