Building up a Stamp Collection
How to get Space Covers yourself
Which addresses shall I choose?
In ORBIT, we publish the updated list of tracking network addresses of the U.S. Space Shuttle. It is not necessary to write to all these addresses. There are two absolute “musts” you have go get when you want to be complete: The Kennedy Space Center for launch and the Edwards AFB for landing. It you want to go further, add the Houston Johnson Space Center as they provide the mission control, and the White Sands Control Center as they control the TDRS satellite which is the basic communication anchor.
The Goddard Space Flight Center and the STDN stations, which will decrease with the forthcoming launches of more TDRS satellites, are to follow then. The rest is almost up to you, depending on how far you want to go, what you want to show, what you want to specialise in. For the ordinary collector, it has become almost impossible to get all the stations complete for all the flights, as there are far too many. Send in your covers not too early, but not too late either.
Count a week delivery time by airmail, and take care your covers reach about a week before the scheduled launch date. There is one exception: DFRC Exchange Service, who provide printed cachets for the launch and landing of Shuttles, need to have the covers at least six weeks before launch.
Here we go: When you take care of all these advices, there is a good chance you’ll have your very personal, beautifully cacheted space covers for the next forthcoming space flight. But prepared to experiences disappointments as well: it’s just a game, you can’t always win. Sometimes the servicer is overworked and forgets to mail, sometimes the cachet is ugly, the postmark missing or the cover scrambled by your post office. But when you receive your first fine stamped, beautifully cacheted and postmarked cover bearing your name and address, you’ll know: there is no better way to have your personal, individual collection than this. Good luck!
By Jurgen Peter Esders
Some selected Philatelic Services of Postal Administrations:
USA: U.S. Postal Service, Philatelic Sales Division, Washington, D.C. 20265—9997, USA
Ascension Island: The Postmaster General, Philatelic Office, Jamestown, Ascension Island
Bermuda: Bermuda Philatelic Bureau, G.P.O., Hamilton 5-24, Bermuda
Chile: Asesoria Filatelica of Empresa de Correos de Chile, Augustinas 1137, Santiago de Chile, Chile
Germany: Deutsche Bundespost, Versandstelle Für Postwertzeichen, Postfach 20 00, D—1000 Berlin 12
Belgium: Regie des Postes, Administration qenerale, Div. 18.104.22.168., B-1000
Obtaining Signed Covers
By Andy Swanston
On 10-1-1964 the first Six Soviet cosmonaut; Gagarin, Titov, Nikolaev, Popovich, Bykovsky and Tereskova visited the Ministry of Communications in Moscow. For this visit a small number of sets of 6’ covers were serviced, each having a stamp showing one of the Cosmonauts. Each cosmonaut signed the covers with their own stamps on.
I understand that this was the first time that a group of Soviet cosmonauts had officially signed philatelic items. I remember that the covers were on offer at the time at £7 each, as this was at that time about half a week’s wages, they were way out of my range. How then did I manage to obtain a set?
In 1964, 1 was lucky to be awarded the first STAMPEX medal struck, with my entry on ‘Spate Exploration’ and I went down to be presented with it. While at the Exhibition, I visited the Russian Stand to make a complaint about the lack of help I had received from the Soviet Embassy. I spoke to the Trade Delegate who offered his help in any matter related to my interest.
When I was informed about the set of signed covers, I contacted him, and asked if he could obtain me a set from Russia. This he did at £13 for the set. I have never seen this set offered since, and I shudder to think what they will be worth today.