Flown to the moon and held in quarantine with the astronautsApollo 11 Flown Crew-Signed Quarantine Cover, C-2, Originally from the Personal Collection of Mission Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, Signed and Certified. A color-cacheted "NASA Manned Spacecraft Center Stamp Club Official Commemorative Cover of the First Manned Lunar Exploration" signed in blue: "Neil Armstrong", "Michael Collins", and "Buzz Aldrin" to the right of the cachet. Collins has signed at upper left: "Carried to the Moon aboard Apollo 11" and numbered it "C-2" in the image of earth in the cachet. This cover flew to the moon on one of mankind's greatest adventures, the first manned lunar landing mission. Affixed to the cover is a 6¢ "Apollo 8" stamp (Scott #1371) with an August 11, 1969, cancellation at Webster, Texas. Stamped beneath the cancellation is the text: "Delayed In Quarantine At/ Lunar Receiving Laboratory/ M.S.C. - Houston, Texas". Apollo 11 splashed down on earth on July 24 at which point, the equipment, and astronauts from the spacecraft were quarantined. As soon as this cover was released, it was taken to the nearest post office for cancellation. This is the ultimate for any collection of space philately and an extremely desirable low number from this member of the crew. Very fine.
Space historian Howard Weinberger has done extensive research on these Apollo 11 flown covers and has confirmed that there were a total of 214 covers flown. Of the three different cachet designs known, the majority were of this NASA Manned Spacecraft Center variety. The 214 flown covers were shared among the crew in the following breakdown: Armstrong- 47; Collins- 63; and Aldrin- 104. Each of the astronauts devised their own serial numbering key for their covers. Aldrin noted each cover in the top left corner with his initials and a number. Collins noted his covers within the image of the earth on the front with his last name initial and a number such as the "C-2" found on this one in that position. Aldrin and Collins hand wrote above the cachet on each of their covers that it flew to the moon aboard Apollo 11. It is not known if and how Armstrong notated his. Armstrong had recently confirmed that he was still in possession of his forty-seven covers and that they were noted similarly to the Aldrin and Collins covers. Weinberger, analyzing their collectability, states: "... the flown covers really do exemplify the ideal rarity because they incorporate all of the desired elements: the commemorative aspect, the flown status, the quarantine time, the crew signatures and the scarcity of only 214 having existed." A great opportunity for the astute collector.
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