USA 1969 Apollo 11

On July 16, 1969, the 363 ft tall Apollo 11 spacecraft was launched from the Kennedy Space Center to accomplish its mission - land two men on the lunar surface and return them safely to Earth. The spacecraft carried a crew of three; Mission Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin E. Aldrin Jr.

Apollo 11 launch cover with KSC postmark. Alec Bartos painted this cover with contents carried in Armstrong's Personal Preference Kit (PPK) - a piece of wood from the Wright brothers' 1903 airplane's left propeller, a piece of muslin fabric from its upper left wing, a gold olive branch pin that was left on the Moon's surface.

Signed byGuenter Wendt, the Pad Leader.

Apollo 11 crew photo (left to right) Michael Collins, Edwin E. Aldrin Jr, Neil Armstrong, and signed cover with KSC official cancel on launch day 16 July, 1969.

Apollo 11 "Dow-Unicover" insurance cover cancelled on launch date, 16 July 1969.

Apollo 11 Bendix Contractor Cover, postmarked Kennedy Space Center on Apollo 11 launch day, July 16, 1969 (addressed to Harry Flood Byrd, Jr). Signed by Neil Armstrong and Wernher von Braun.

The NASA Manned Space Flight Network (MSFN) was a world-wide network of stations that tracked the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Skylab missions. Most MSFN stations were only needed during the launch, Earth orbit and landing phases of the lunar missions, but three "deep space" sites with larger antennas provided continuous coverage during the trans-lunar, trans-earth and lunar mission phases. These three sites form the NASA Deep Space Network were the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex near Goldstone, California; the Madrid Deep Space Communication Complex near Madrid, Spain; and the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, in Tidbinbilla, near Canberra, Australia

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to land on the moon, while Collins orbited above them.

Apollo 11 "NASA Manned Spacecraft Center Stamp Club" insurance cover cancelled on moon landing day, 20 July 1969. The first cover is believed to be from Buzz Aldrin's collection, while the second cover comes with a letter of provenance.

Apollo 11 First Man On the Moon (NASA Local Post) cover, postmarked Houston 20 July 1969, signed by Neil Armstrong.

CSIRO's Parkes Radio Telescope, Australia - it was a giant leap for mankind, and it was taken at 12:56pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) on Monday 21 July 1969. CSIRO's Parkes Radio Telescope in New South Wales, Australia, claimed a place in history when it received the television transmission of Apollo 11 moonwalk. Six hundred million people watched the momentous occasion.

After a day spent exploring the moon's surface, all three members of the Apollo 11 mission returned to Earth on July 24, 1969.

Apollo 11 Lunar Module lifts off from the moon on 21 July 1969.

About 600 million people across the world watched the video broadcast of the moon landing, making this the largest audience that any transmission has had to this day. Armstrong's now famous words, "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind", fulfilled the challenge set out nearly a decade earlier by the US President, John F. Kennedy, to land a man on the moon.

Houston Mission Control starts calling Apollo 11 after 4 minutes of blackout as the spacecraft re-enters earth.

After the drogue chute deployed, the recovery forces took over the airwaves to communicate with the Apollo 11 crew. Above are the two type of USS Hornet machine cancels that were used to postmark the covers. First cover was signed by William R Carpentier, the NASA flight surgeon who gave the astronauts a verbal physical check when they were hoisted up to the recovery helicopter one at a time.

Apollo 11 captain cover - 6,000 copies of this envelope were produced by the ship's commanding officer. This cover was machine cancelled aboard the USS Hornet recovery ship on the day the Apollo 11 crew splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.

This Apollo 11 captain cover signed by the ship's commanding officer, Carl Seiberlich. USS Hornet hand cancel is less common on such cover.

Very rare Apollo 11 USS Hornet hand cancel variation with time slug above the year.

Apollo 11 USS Hornet hand cancel on a hand painted cachet cover.

Apollo 11 flown Kapton foil.

Unusual Apollo 11 USS Hornet hand cancel with missing time slug.

Apollo 11 PRS USS Hornet hand cancel on Beck printed cachet.

While the Hornet was the primary recovery ship, the Arlington provided communications support. After the Apollo 11 recovery the Hornet and Arlington steamed for Pearl Harbour with the Hornet arriving first. Most covers for this ship has a Honolulu postmark, only a small quantity has the USS Arlington postmark.

A "plugged 9" Cape Canaveral cover signed by Neil Armstrong.