During September 2011 a cover which was carried to the moon by the crew of Apollo 15 was auctioned by RR Auction and brought for $7139 + 20% buyers premium. Note the USS Okinawa postmark.
RR Auction Description
Uncommon and scandal-plagued Apollo 15 postal cover, 6.5 x 3.75, #176 of 300, carried to the lunar surface aboard the Falcon, signed in the lower left corner by crew members Dave Scott, Al Worden, and Jim Irwin. In fine condition. This particular cover comes from astronaut Dave Scott’s personal collection. Accompanied by a one-page typed notarized certification, signed “Alfred M. Worden,” “David R. Scott,” and “James B. Irwin.” The provenance reads in part: “Postal covers were carried aboard the Apollo 15 Mission, which postal covers were stamped and postmarked at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on the date of the launch, July 26, 1971, and carried aboard the Apollo 15 Spacecraft during the entire term of the Mission, to include landing on the moon and were returned to the Earth at the termination of the Mission on August 7, 1971…The postal covers were in the possession of one or more of the undersigned until 1972, at which time they were deposited with the United States Government…The undersigned have this date inspected Postal Cover No. 176, bearing NASA Serial No. 223, and aver, affirm and certify that said Postal Cover is a cover which was carried aboard the United States Lunar Mission—Apollo 15.”
Prior to the flight of Apollo 15, a German stamp dealer cut a deal with the crew to carry 100 covers to the moon in return for $7,000 each, on the condition that they not be sold until after the end of the Apollo program. The crew carried his covers, along with 300 of their own. Despite the agreement not to sell the items, the stamp dealer immediately began offering them to interested parties…leading to a Congressional investigation and a decision by NASA to suspend Scott, Worden, and Irwin from flight duty. The agency also confiscated the items owned by the Apollo 15 crewmen. In 1983, after the US Post Office announced plans to fly 260,000 covers onboard a Space Shuttle, Worden sued the government for return of the Apollo 15 cachets.
Following an out-of-court settlement, the crew drafted and signed a notarized letter of provenance for each cover. The legal document is, of course, specific in its detail, noting that the postal covers “were carried aboard the Apollo 15 Mission…and carried aboard the Apollo 15 Spacecraft during the entire term of the Mission to include…the moon, and were returned to the Earth at the termination of the Mission on August 7, 1971.”
The trail of the offered cover is a piece of space collectible legend, with the provenance that tells the tale in great detail! RRAuction COA.
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Last modified on 23 September 2011