US UNMANNED MISSONS
FIRST DAY COVERS

STAMP RELEASES

Pioneer 10 Jupiter mission 1975 stamp issue souvenir page.
Mariner 10 Mercury mission 1975 stamp issue souvenir page.
Viking Mars mission 1978 stamp issue souvenir page.
This is the 1991 stamp issue commemorating America's space exploration of the solar system. Included are the first day covers for each stamp and special 22 karat gold stamp issues for the same release.

FIRST DAY COVERS

America's first satellites
This first day cover is from Echo 1 the world's first communication satellite. This cover was issued for the launched 12-August-1960.
This cover was cancelled 15-December-1960 for the release of the Echo 1 stamp.
MARINER 2 - (First planetary encounter) - Venus
Mariner 2 was launched on 27-August-1962 and flew by Venus 14-December making a new record for the first planetary encounter.

This Sarzin cover was cancelled for the launch 27-August-1962 at Patrick Air Force Base.

This Swanson cover was cancelled for the 27-August-1962 launch of Mariner 2 and includes an information stuffer.
RANGER - Moon
The Ranger series of nine unmanned lunar impact probes were launched between 1961 - 65. There were three batches of Ranger probes. The final four, Rangers 6-9 (batch 3) were designed to impact the moon returning photos and video before impact. Of these only Ranger's 7,8 and 9 were successful.
Issued for the launch of Ranger 1, this cover is cancelled on 28-August-1961. Ranger 1 was designed to test communications and various components.
This Swanson cover was issued for the launch of Ranger 2 this cover is cancelled on 18-November-1961.
Another in the Swanson set of covers, this example was issued for the launch of Ranger 3 and was cancelled on 26-January-1962.
Issued for the launch of Ranger 4, this Swanson cover was cancelled on 23-April-1962.
The fifth in this series of Swanson covers, this example was cancelled on 18-October-1962 for the launch of Ranger 5.
The first of the new design, Ranger 6 only failed due to the cameras not working, everything else was a success. Cancelled for the launch on 30-January-1964.
This is a Ranger 7 cover and was cancelled on 28-July-1964 for the launch.
This cover was also issued for the 28-July launch of Ranger 7.
Issued for the launch of Ranger 7, this cover is cancelled on 28-July-1964. It returned some 4,316 images of the moon before impact.
Another cover from the Swanson series, this example was also issued for the launch of Ranger 7.
Here is a 15th anniversary Milestones of flight cover and information foldout commemorating the Ranger 7 mission.
This Swanson cover was issued for the launch of Ranger 8 and was cancelled on 17-February-1965. It was the second successful Ranger moon impact probe.
Pictured here is the last of the Swanson series of Ranger covers. It was cancelled on the 21-March-1965 for the launch of Ranger 9. This was the third successful and last of the Ranger series moon probes.
MARINER 3 - (Failed)
Mariner 3 was launched on the 5-November-1964. Identical to Mariner 4, it was to perform a fly-by of Mars, but unfortunately the probe was lost soon after launch.

This Swanson cover was cancelled on the day of the launch of Mariner 3.

MARINER 4 - Mars
Launched 28-November-1964, Mariner 4 performed the first fly-by of Mars on 14-July-1965 returning the first photographs of the surface of another planet.

This cover was cancelled 14-July-1965 for Mariner 4's Mars fly-by.

Here we have the Swanson cover issued for the launch of Mariner 4 on 28-November-1964.
This Swanson cover was cancelled for Mariner 4's Mars fly-by 14-July-1965.
Here we have the Sarzin cover issued for Mariner 4's Mars fly-by 14-July-1965.
Issued for the 10th anniversary, this Milestones of flight cover features an informative fold-out (also pictured).
LUNAR ORBITER - Moon
The Lunar orbiter series of five unmanned lunar orbiters were launched between 1966 - 67. All five Lunar orbiter missions successfully achieved their missions of photographically map the moon in search for possible landing sites for the Apollo missions.

This Swanson cover was cancelled on August-1966 for launch of the Lunar Orbiter 1 mission.

Another Swanson cover, this time for the launch of Lunar Orbiter 2 on 7-November-1966.
The third from the Swanson series of Lunar orbiter launch covers was cancelled on 5-February-1967 for launch of Lunar Orbiter 3.
This cover was cancelled on 4-May-1967 for launch of the Lunar Orbiter 4 mission.
The last of the Swanson covers was cancelled for the launch of Lunar Orbiter 5 on 1-August-1967.
SURVEYOR - Moon
The Surveyor series of seven unmanned lunar landers were launched between 1966 - 68. Surveyors 1,3,5,6 and 7 were all successful whilst Surveyors 2 and 4 crashed.

This Swanson cover was cancelled for the launch of Surveyor 1 on 30-May-1966.

This cover was cancelled on 20-September-1966 for the launch of Surveyor 2. Unfortunately it crashed on moon landing.
Another Swanson cover, this time cancelled for the launch of Surveyor 2 on 20-September-1966.
Issued for the launch of Surveyor 3, this cover is cancelled at Cape Canaveral on 17-April-1967. This was the second successful Surveyor lander mission returning some 6,300 photos.
The third Swanson cover in the series is this cover cancelled for the launch of Surveyor 3.
Cancelled for the launch on the 14-July-1967, this is a Swanson Surveyor 4 cover. Like Surveyor 2, Surveyor 4 also crashed while attempting to land on the moon.
Issued for the 8th September launch of Surveyor 5, this is an Orbits cover. Surveyor 5 returned some 18,000 photos of the lunar surface and performed chemical analysis on the lunar surface.
Swanson covers issued this for the launch of Surveyor 5. It is cancelled at 8-September-1967.
Issued for the launch of Surveyor 6, Surveyor 6 returned some 30,000 photos and analysed soil samples. This Orbits cover is cancelled on 7-November-1967 and features the then recently released Project Gemini stamp.
Another cover cancelled for the launch of Surveyor 6 on 7-November-1967 this cover also features the Project Gemini stamp.
Cancelled for the Lunar landing of Surveyor 6 on 9-November-1967 this cover also features the Project Gemini stamp.
Another cover cancelled for the Lunar landing of Surveyor 6 on 9-November-1967.
This Swanson cover is cancelled for the launch of Surveyor 7 on 7-January-1967.
And here is another cover cancelled for the launch of Surveyor 7.
Commemorating the achievements of the Surveyor unmanned Lunar lander missions, this final Swanson cover is cancelled for the launch of Surveyor 7 and details the various mission dates.
EARLY PIONEER MISSIONS
The early Pioneer missions occurred in the 1960s and were all launched into solar orbit.

This is a Sarzin cover issued for the 16-December-1965 launch of Pioneer 6.

Here is an orbits cover cancelled for the 17-August-1966 launch of Pioneer 7.
And this is a Sarzin cover cancelled for Pioneer 7's launch.
Pioneer 8 was launched 13 December 1967.
Pictured here is a Sarzin cover issued for Pioneer 9's launch on 8-November-1968.
MARINER 5 - Venus
Mariner 5 was launched 14-June-1967 and performed its fly by of Venus on 19-October-1967.

This pair of Sarzin covers were issued for the launch of Mariner 5 from Cape Canaveral 14-June-1967.

Here is an Orbits cover issued for the launch of Mariner 5 14-June-1967.
This is the Swanson cover cancelled for Mariner 5's Venus fly-by 19-October-1967.
Here is a cover cancelled for Mariner 5's 19-October-1967 fly-by of Venus.
MARINER 6 & 7 - Mars
Mariner 6 and 7 were a pair of identical probes that performed a fly by of Mars on 31-July and 5-August-1969 respectively.

This Swanson cover commemorates the launch of Mariner 6 on 24-February-1969, en route to Mars.

Here is the matching Swanson cover cancelled for Mariner 7's 27-March-1969 launch.
Matching the launch covers abover, this Swanson cover was cancelled for Mariner 6's Mars fly-by 31-July-1969.
This Sarzin cover was cancelled the day after the 24-February-1969 launch of Mariner 6.
Another Sarzin cover, this one was cancelled for Mariner 6's Mars fly-by 31-July-1969.
Here is one of a pair of covers, this one for the 24-February-1969 launch of Mariner 6.
Matching the abover cover and issued for the 27-March-1969 launch of Mariner 7.
Another pair of covers, this one for the launch of Mariner 6 is also cancelled for the July 31st fly by.
Here is the matching Mariner-7 launch cover of the pair.
Continuing the theme of matching pairs of covers is this Sarzin one, cancelled for the Mars fly-by by Mariner 6.
This is the matching Mariner-7 Sarzin cover to the one above, cancelled for the Mars fly-by by Mariner 7.
and finally this Mariner-7 Sarzin cover was cancelled for the 27-March-1969 launch.
MARINER 8 - (Failed)
Mariner 8 along with Mariner 9 were two identical space craft forming the Mariner Mars 71 project. Mariner 8 was lost as a result of a launch vehicle failure.

This cover was issued for the 10-May-1971 launch of Mariner 8.

Here is another Mariner-8 cover was cancelled for the expected launch date of 08-May-1969.
MARINER 9 - (First planetary orbiter) - Mars
Mariner 9 was the first interplanetary orbiter and was launched 30-May-1971. It reached the Mars orbit on 13-November.

This cover commemorates the launch of Mariner 9 estimating its arrival sometime in November.

Here is another first day cover issued for the 30-May launch of the Mars bound orbiter, Mariner 9.
Featured here is another first day cover commemorating Mariner 9 entering Mars orbit 13-November-1971.
This is another cover issued for the launch of Mariner 9 and cancelled on the day.
Issued for the 30th-May launch of Mariner 9.
And a further launch cover (Space Voyager cachet) for the Mariner 9 Mars orbiter.
Matching the above Space Voyager launch cover, this commemorative cover was issued when Mariner 9 entered Mars' orbit.
This cover notes the launch date and is cancelled on when it entered Mars orbit on 13-November at Mars PA.
PIONEER 10 - Outer Planets
This is the first day cover commemorating the launch of Pioneer 10 on 3-March-1972.
Another excellent example of a Pioneer 10 first day cover issued by Interspace covers to commemorate the launch of Pioneer 10 on 3-March-1972.
A further example of cover issued for the launch of Pioneer 10.
And another cover issued for the 3-March launch of Pioneer 10.
This is an excellent Sarzin cachet for the launch of Pioneer 10, cancelled 3-March-1972.
Pioneer 10 was originally called Pioneer-F (and Pioneer 11 was Pioneer-G). This rare cover was made for the original launch date (2-March-1972) before it was delayed and before the craft was renamed.
This cover was cancelled for the arrival of Pioneer 10 to Jupiter on 3-December-1973.
Here we have an Interspace cover which was also cancelled for the arrival of Pioneer 10 to Jupiter.
Here is a Artcraft first day cover commemorating the arrival of the Pioneer 10 probe to Jupiter. It features the Pioneer 10 Jupiter stamp and is cancelled on 28-February-1975.
This is a fleetwood cachet first day cover for the same event. There is a matching Mariner 10 cover below. Oddly they got the wrong planet pictured on the cachet.
This excellent fleetwood cover is from the same set at the Pioneer 10/Mariner 10 PNC below and the Mariner 10 cachet also below.
Another fleetwood cover is from the same set.
And finally a third from the fleetwood set.
Here is the Colorano silks cachet for this event.
And this is a second Colorano Silks cover.
This is a Pioneer 10 first day cover mounted on an A4 informative presentation page.
This cachet is from TRW systems and features an informative stuffer. It is also featured on the presentations page as a PNC.
This is an excellent example of a Pioneer 10 postcard.
This Artcraft cachet was stamped and cancelled for both the Pioneer 10 and Mariner 10 missions that both arrived at their respective destinations just months apart.
Similarly this is a joint Pioneer 10 and Mariner 10 artcraft cachet that also features both stamps.
Likewise this is another joint Pioneer 10 and Mariner 10 large Fleetwood postcard also features both stamps.
PIONEER 11 - Jupiter, Saturn
Launched over a year after Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11 was also tasked with visiting Jupiter and Saturn.

This Interspace cover was issued for the 6-April-1973 launch.

Another cover cancelled for the launch of Pioneer 11's on 6-April-1973. I have similarly styled covers for Pioneer 10 and Mariners 9 and 10.
Similar to the cover above, this one is double cancelled, firstly for the Mars fly-by and again for the 1975 stamp release.
As stated in the Pioneer 10 section, Pioneer 11 was originally called Pioneer-G. This rare cover was issued 5-April (again the launch was delayed) before the craft was renamed.
This cover was cancelled for Pioneer 11's arrival at Jupiter 2-December-1974.
Cancelled for Pioneer 11's closest approach to Jupiter 3-December-1974.
Another cover cancelled for Pioneer 11's closest approach to Jupiter 3-December-1974 and now on its way to Saturn.
Here we have a cachet cancelled for Pioneer 11's closest approach to Saturn 1-September-1979.
Another cover cancelled for Pioneer 11's closest approach to Saturn 1-September-1979.
Yet another cover cancelled for Pioneer 11's closest approach to Saturn 1-September-1979.
And finally this cover was cancelled for Pioneer 11's closest approach to Saturn's moon Titan 2-September-1979.
MARINER 10 - Mercury via Venus
Launched 3-November-1973, Mariner 10 passed by Venus on 5-February-1974 on route to investigate Mercury's magnetic fields. It performed three flybys of Mercury 29-March-1974, 21-September-1974, 16-March-1975..

Here is a Artcraft first day cover commemorating the end of the Mariner 10 mission. It features the Mariner 10 Venus/Mercury stamp and is cancelled on 4-April-1975.

This Fleetwood cover features information on the back. It is of the same set as of of the two Fleetwood Pioneer 10 covers earlier.
This is another Fleetwood cover is from the same set as the Fleetwood Pioneer 10/Mariner 10 PNC later and the Pioneer 10 covers earlier.
A further issue from the Fleetwood series of Pioneer 10/Mariner 10 covers and PNC.
and here is the final cover from this Fleetwood series.
Cancelled on 3-November-1973 for the launch of Mariner 10, this is an Interspace cover cachet.
On 5-February-1974 Mariner 10 reached Venus on route to Mercury. This is an Interspace cover cachet for the event.
This cachet is one of a pair issued for the first encounters with the inner Planets.
Then on 29-March Mariner 10 reached Mercury for the first time. This is the matching cachet to the Venus flyby above.
Cancelled 21-September-1974 for Mariner 10's second fly by of the planet Mercury.
This informative first day cover was cancelled on 16-March-1975 for Mariner 10's third and final Mercury encounter.
Cancelled for Mariner 10's Venus encounter on 5-February-1974 on route to Mercury.
Similar to the cachet above, this cachet is cancelled for Mariner 10's first Mercury encounter 29-March-1974.
Cancelled for the final Mercury fly-by on 29-March-1974.
Here we have a set of JPL stamp club covers commemorating the launch and three Mercury encounters. Included is also a similar cachet from the ATA space unit.
Similar to an earlier Mariner 9 cover, this example was cancelled for the 3rd-November-1973 launch of Mariner 10.
Again similar to an earlier Mariner 9 cover, this example was cancelled for Mariner 10 entering the orbit of Mars on 29-March-1974 .
Another cachet featuring the Mariner 10 stamp.
And another to cachet to feature the Mariner 10 stamp.
Also issued by the JPL stamp club this cachet features the Mariner 10 stamp and an information card.
This is another attractive cachet featuring the Mariner 10 stamp.
Another Mariner 10 cover with stamp.
And another.
And this last Mariner 10 cover is from Colorano silks.
VIKING - Mars
Viking 1 was launched 20-August-1975 (9-September-1975 for Viking 2), the Viking landers touched down 20-July-1976 and 9-September for Viking 1 and 2 respectively, relaying data back via the orbiters to Earth. The Viking mission was officially ended in 1983.

This Viking Project Mission to Mars Information pamphlet has been cancelled 9-September-1975 for the launch of Viking 2.

The Viking stamp was released on the second anniversary of the arrival of Viking 1 lander on Mars. This is the Artcraft first day cover issued for the Viking Mission to Mars stamp release.
Here is a second Artcraft cover issued for the 1978 Viking Mission to Mars stamp release.
Commemorating the launch of the Viking missions, this colourful pair of cachet were cancelled at the Kennedy Space Center.
This pair of covers, one cancelled for the second Mars landing and the other for the stamp release two years after the first landing.
Available in both Red or Blue, this is another pair of covers marks the Landing of both Viking 1 and 2 landers on the surface of Mars.
Viking 1 was launched 20-August-1975. This is the Colorano silks first day cover issued for the event.
Viking 2 was launched 9-September-1975. This is the Colorano silks first day cover issued for the event.
Viking 1 reached Mars on 20-July-1976 on the 7th anniversary of the Moon landing. This is the Colorano silks first day cover issued for the event.
Viking 2 reached Mars on 3-September-1976. This is the Colorano silks first day cover issued for the event.
This cachet of unknown origins is cancelled 20-July-1976 for the Viking 1 Mars landing.
Here is a cover issued for the Viking 2 Mars landing 3-September-1976.
Here we have a Jet Propulsion Labs stamp club cachet issued for the Viking 2 Mars landing.
This is one of a Space Voyager series of covers (some listed below) commemorating the various achievements of the Viking Mission to Mars. On 9-September-1975 Viking 2 launched on mission to Mars.
Another Viking 2 launch cover cancelled 9-September-1975.
Here we have a cachet cancelled 19-June-1976 for Viking 1 entering the orbit of Mars.
and a second cover cancelled on the same day as above.
This cachet commemorates the landing of the Viking 1 lander on Mars that was timed to coincide with the seventh anniversary of the first manned moon landing.
This cover is double cancelled for 20-August-1975 Viking 1 launch and 20-July-1978 for the stamp release.
Another from the Space Voyager series, this time cancelled for the Viking 1 landing on Mars 20th-July-1976 and 28-July-1978 for the stamp release.
and again cancelled on 20th-July-1976 for when Viking 1 lands on Mars along with the stamp release.
and a third for the same two cancellations.
A further cachet cancelled 20-July-1976.
On 20-July-1976 Viking 1 lander descended on Mars.
Again another cachet cancelled on 20-July-1976.
Another on this popular day for cancelling cachets.
On the 28-July-1976 the Viking 1 lander took its first scoop of Martian soil for analysis.
On 7-August-1976 Viking 2 orbiter enters Mars orbit.
Another cover for Viking 2 orbiter enters Mars orbit.
A further cover commemorating Viking 2 entering Mars orbit.
Again a cover cancelled on 7-August-1976 for Viking 2 entering Mars orbit.
Double cancelled for 3rd-September-1976 when Viking 2 landed on Mars and for the 1978 stamp release.
Another Viking cover on the 3rd-September-1976 for Viking 2s Mars landing.
On 3-September-1976 Viking 2 lander descends on Mars.
Again a cover for Viking 2 landing on Mars.
Another cover cancelled 3-September-1976 for Viking 2 lander reaching the surface of Mars.
One of the many covers commemorating Viking 2 landing on Mars.
Here we have a further cover from the series, this one cancelled for the Viking 2's orbiter returning its first photos from Mars on the 11th-September-1976.
On 12-September-1976 Viking 2 took its first scoops of Martian soil.
Featuring a double cancellation, this JPL cover is cancelled in Pasadena on 24-September for Viking 1 and 18-October-1976 for Viking 2's first orbital walks of Mars.
On 25-November all Viking craft were used to test Einstein's theory of general relativity.
Due to their success and continued functionality, on 13-December-1976 NASA JPL announced that the Viking Mars missions were to be extended. all Viking craft were used to test Einstein's theory of general relativity.
Cancelled 18th-February, this cover was issued for the Viking 1 orbiter photographing the moon Phobos.
This cover was cancelled 19-February-1977 for when the Viking 1 orbiter made its closest approach to the moon Phobos.
This Space Voyager cachet was cancelled on 28-February for Viking 1's final photos.
Here we have a cover issued for Viking 2's closest approach to the moon Deimos on 15-October-1977.
This final pair of Space Voyager cachets were cancelled on on the 5th and 20th-October-1977 for Viking 2's various approaches to the Moon Deimos.
On 7-August-1980 Viking 1 orbiter was officially shut down. This cover commemorates this event.
This cachet of unknown origins is cancelled 20-July-1978.
And finally we have a Colorano silks cover cancelled 20-July-1978 for the Viking mission stamp release which was timed for the second anniversary of the Viking 1 lander reaching Mars.
PIONEER VENUS - Venus


This multi-craft mission consisted of an orbiter (Pioneer Venus 1) and a multi-probe launcher (Pioneer Venus 2) for five different probes. Pioneer Venus 2 distributed its five probes across a wide area. Pioneer Venus 1 then relayed data collected from the probes back to Earth whilst also radar mapping the topography of Venus.

This first cover was issued for the launch of the Pioneer Venus 1 orbiter on 20-May-1978.

This next cover was issued for the launch of the Pioneer Venus 2 multi-probe craft on 8-August-1978.

This is a second cachet issued for the launch of Pioneer Venus 2 multi-probe launch vehicle.
Another Cachet commemorating the launch of Pioneer Venus multi-probe space craft.
And a fourth cachet issued the launch of Pioneer Venus multi-probe space craft.
Pioneer Venus orbiter reaches Venus orbit 4-December-1978.
On 4-December-1978 the Pioneer Venus Orbiter entered Venuses orbit.
Another cachet cancelled on 4-December-1978 for the Pioneer Venus Orbiter entering Venuses orbit.
Issued for the release of the first probe for Venus from the Pioneer Venus 2 multi-probe launch vehicle.
Another Orbits cover issued for the release of the remaining probes destined for Venus from the Pioneer Venus 2 multi-probe launch vehicle.
This Orbits cover issued on 9-December-1978 for the release of the Venus probes by the launch vehicle.
And finally this last cover also cancelled 9-December for the first signals received from the Pioneer Venus lander probes.
VOYAGER - Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune
Launch covers






The objectives of both Voyager missions was to perform the grand tour of the solar system, flying by the large outer gas giants taking images and measuring the chemical composition of atmosphere.

Voyager 1 was launched 5-September-1977 and visited Jupiter 5-March-1979 and Saturn 12-November-1980

Voyager 2 was launched 20-August-1977 and visited Jupiter 9-July-1979, Saturn 26-August-1981, Uranus 24-January-1986 and Neptune 25-August-1989.

This first pair of covers (top) was issued from NASA's JPL stamp club commemorating the launch of the two Voyager space craft.

The second pair of Voyager covers (left), was also issued for the launch of the two craft. Voyager 2 first at 20-August-1977 followed by Voyager 1 (Voyager B) on 5-September-1977 which had a shorter more direct route and overtook Voyager 2 before reaching Jupiter.

The final launch cover is for Voyager 1.

This is one of the Space Voyager covers issued for the various mission highlights, as with many of the others below.

This cover was cancelled for the launch of Voyager 2 on 20-August-1977.
Cancelled two days after the launch, this cover was also issued for the launch of Voyager 2.
Here we have a cover for the launch of Voyager 1 5-September-1977.
This cover was also cancelled for the launch of Voyager 1.
On 4-January-1979 Voyager 1 takes first photos of the planet Jupiter.
Voyager 1 takes the first pictures of Jupiter's moon Callisto on 18-February-1979. Data relayed back to Goldstone tracking station, Barstow California where these next four covers are cancelled.
On 25-February Voyager 1 takes first pictures of Jupiter's moon Ganamede.
First images of the moon Europa were taken by Voyager 1 on 1-March-1979.
Then on 2-March Voyager 1 returned the first pictures of the moon Io.
4-March Voyager 1 took its first pictures to Jupiter's inner-most moon Amalthea.
On 5-March Voyager 1 marks its closest approach to Ganamede, Io and the host planet Jupiter.
This Space Voyager cachet is cancelled at the Madrid tracking station on 5-March for the same event.
On 25-June-1979 Voyager 2 begins its approach of Jupiter, taking its first pictures of the moon Callisto.
Five days later on 30-June Voyager 2 returns it's first pictures of Jupiter's moon Ganamede.
Continuing its approach, Voyager 2 takes its first photos of Europa on the 3-July.
Then on the 7-July Voyager 2 takes its first images of the moon Io.
Voyager 2 marks its closest approach to Jupiter on the 9-July-1979.
This Space Voyager cachet is cancelled at the Madrid tracking station on 9-July for the same event.
On 11-October-1980 Voyager 1 begins its approach on the Planet Saturn, starting with pictures of it's moon Titan. This cachet was printed with the wrong year.
Voyager 1 takes its first pictures of the moon Iapetus on 6-November-1980.
The first significant pictures of the moon Rhea was taken 8-November, followed by Dione the following Earth day. This cachet was cancelled on 9-November for the Dione images.
Then on 10-November, Voyager 1 returned images of the moon Tethys and made its closest approach to the moon Mimas.
11-November Voyager 1 made its closest approach to the moon Titan.
Then on the 12-November Voyager 1 made its closest approach to the planet Saturn.
And finally this cover commemorates Voyager 2 beginning its approach to the planet Uranus on 4-November-1985.
5-September-1977 for the launch of Voyager 1.
5-March-1979 Voyager 1 made its closest approach to Jupiter.
9-July-1979 Voyager 2 made its closest approach to Jupiter.
12-November-1980 Voyager 1 made its closest approach to Saturn.
12-November-1980 Voyager 1 made its closest approach to Saturn.
Voyager 1's closest approach to Saturn was from the 11th to 13-November-1980, while Voyager 2's closest approach was from the 25th to the 27th-August-1981. These cards were both cancelled for all three days where the craft were closest to Saturn.
This cover commemorates the arrival of Voyager 2 to Saturn on 13-June-1981.
This cover was issued for the arrival of Voyager 2 to Neptune on 24-August-1989.
A second cover was issued on the same day, this time for Voyager 2's fly by of Neptune's moon Titan.
MAGELLAN - Venus
Launched 4-May-1989 by shuttle mission STS-30, Magellan reached Venus' orbit on 10-August-1990. The mission was terminated 12-October-1994.

This Colorano silks cover was cancelled on 10-August-1990.

GALILEO - Jupiter
Launched from shuttle mission STS-34 18-October-1989, it arrived at Jupiter on 7-December-1995 five months after launching a probe into the Jupiter atmosphere. The mission was terminated 21-September-2003.

This first day cover was issued for the mission launch and is cancelled 18-October-1989.

The cover pictured here was cancelled on 07-December-1995 for Galileo's arrival to the planet Jupiter.
HUBBLE - Space Telescope
Launched 25-April-1990 from shuttle mission STS-31, it has allowed NASA to see much further and clearer into the universe than ever before.

Here we have the Colorano Silks cover issued for the 25-April-1990 launch.

ULYSSES - Sun
Launched 6-October-1990 from shuttle mission STS-41. Its mission is to explore the Suns poles.

Here we have a Silks cover issued for the 6-October-1990 launch.

This is the official JPL stamp club first day cover for the launch of the Ulysses space probe.
MARS OBSERVER - Mars
Launched 25-September-1992, communication with the Mars Observer probe was lost three days before arriving at Mars.

This cover was issued for the mission launch.

CASSINI-HUYGENS - Saturn
Launched 15-October-1997 the Cassini is the first space craft to orbit Saturn and carries the European Huygens probe. It entered orbit 1-July-2004. The Huygens probe was launched 24-December-2004 and reached Titan 14-January-2005.

This cover was cancelled for the 15-October launch and features a 1981 space exploration series stamp of Voyager 2 / Saturn.

Here we have two covers the first for Cassini's closest approach to the moon Enceladus and the second for the 54th flyby on Titan.
This is another launch cover for the Cassini Huygens mission, cancelled 15-October-1997.
Another cover cancelled for the launch 15-October-1997.
And yet another Cassini Huygens launch cover.
On its way to Saturn, this cover was for the gravity assist flyby of Venus 26-April-1998.
This cover is for Cassini's release of the Huygens probe to the moon Titan on 24-December-2004.
MARS GLOBAL SURVEYOR - Mars
Launched 7-November-1996 Mars Global Surveyor remained in orbit around Mars from September 1997 until November 2006. In April-2005 it became the first spacecraft to photograph spacecraft in orbit around another planet, capturing images of the Mars Odyssey and Mars Express spacecraft. This cover was issued for the launch of the Mars Global Surveyor.
This cover was cancelled for the orbital insertion on 11-September-1997.
MARS PATHFINDER - Mars
Here is a first day cover that includes an informative stuffer. The cover is cancelled for the launch 3-December-1996.
Here is a second cover issued for the launch of the Mars Pathfinder mission.
This first day cover features a miniature sheet commemorating the Mars pathfinder 4-July-1997 landing and was cancelled 10-December-1997.
Colorano silks used the same stamp from the miniature sheet for their Mars Pathfinder cachet.
LUNAR PROSPECTOR - Moon
Launched 6-January-1998 the mission entered lunar orbit on the 11-January and ended its mission on 31-July-1999 by impacting the moon in an unsuccessful attempt to locate water.

This first day cover was issued for the launch.

DEEP SPACE 1 - Technology Demonstration
The Deep Space 1 mission was designed to test new technologies including and artificial intelligence control system which was later used on the Phoenix Mars lander.

Launched 24-October-1998 it encountered Asteroid KD1992 on 28-July-1999.

This cover was issued for Deep Space 1's encounter with comet Borrelly on 22-September-2001.
DEEP SPACE 2 - Mars
Deep Space 2 consisted of a polar lander with two probes designed to penetrate the surface of the Martian poles. The mission failed after communication was lost on landing.

This cover was issued for the mission failure on 3-December-1999.

STARDUST - Comet
Launched 7-February-1999 with the objective to obtain samples from the tail of comet Wind-2. It also photographed an asteroid. The mission probe returned its samples on 15-January-2006.

Here is the first day cover for the mission encounter with the comet Wind-2 on 02-January-2004.

This cover was issued for the recovery of Stardust's samples on 15-January-2006.
On 14-Feburary-2011 Stardust, now on its extended mission, encountered comet 9P/Tempel 1 for a fly-by.
GENESIS - Solar Samples
Launched 8-August-2001 Genesis was tasked with the mission of returning solar samples to Earth. This it did on 8-September-2004 but the parachute failed to open damaging some of the samples.

This cover was issued for the mission launch.

This is a second cover issued for the mission launch.
Here is a cover issued for the recovery of the Genesis samples on 8-September-2004.
MARS ODYSSEY - Mars
Launched 7-April-2001 the Mars Odyssey orbiter entered Mar's orbit 23-October-2001. Its purpose is to use spectrometers and images to locate evidence of water and volcanic activity on Mars and relay communications back from the two Mars rovers.

This cover is to commemorate the mission launch.

Here is a cover issued to commemorate the orbiters insertion into Mars orbit on 23-October-2001.
MARS EXPRESS - Mars
Launched June-2003, at a time when the Mars Earth orbit was at its closest, the Mars Express orbiter was the ESA first interplanetary orbiter mission. It was paired with the Beagle-2 rover which failed on descent. This cover was cancelled for the orbital insertion and Beagle 2 landing attempt 25-December-2003.
MARS EXPLORATION ROVERS - Mars
Spirit and Opportunity are two Mars rovers that have been exploring Mars since 2004.

This is a cover for the 10-June-2003 launch of Spirit MER-A.

This is a cover for the 7-July-2003 launch of Opportunity MER-B.
This cover was issued for the 3-January-2004 Mars landing of Spirit MER-A.
and here is the matching cover for the 24-January-2004 Mars landing of Opportunity MER-B.
Pictured here is another cover for the landing of MER- A "Spirit" on to the surface of Mars 3-January-2004.
and here is its matching cover, this one being for the 24-January-2004 landing of "Opportunity" MER-B.
MESSENGER - Mercury
Launched 3-August-2004, Messenger is the first Mercury mission since Mariner-10 some 30 years earlier, Messenger performed a total of three fly-bys of Mercury on 14-January-2008, 3-July-2008 and 29-September-2009. Messenger's orbital insertion is planned for March 2011 and is expected to last for a year. This cover is cancelled for the final Mercury fly-by.
This informative cover is cancelled for the first images prior to the first Mercury fly-by.
On 17-March-2011 the space craft Messenger entered orbit around Mercury.
This is another cover issued on 17-March-2011 for when Messenger entered Mercury's orbit.
On the 4th-May a commemorative stamp was issed for the historic Messenger mission to the planet Mercury.
This is another example featuring the commemorative stamp.
and another cover issued for the Messenger mission stamp.
Here is the colorano silks cover issued for the stamp release.
One of three All star first day covers issued for the stamp release.
This is a second All star cachet issued for the Messenger stamp release.
And here is the third All star cover from my collection.
Finally here is a limited edition cover for the stamp.
DEEP IMPACT - Comet
Deep Impact mission comprised of a space probe and an impact probe and was designed to study the composition of a comet.

Here is a second cover for the Deep Impact mission. This one was issued for the launch on 12-January-2005.

On 3-July-2005 the space probe reached comet 9P/Tempel, launching its impact probe to study the comet's composition and density.
On 4-November-2010 marked the closest approach to comet Hartley-2.
MARS RECONNAISSANCE ORBITER - Mars
Has been orbiting Mars since March 2006 and became the first space craft to photograph another craft making its descent (Phoenix). This cover was cancelled for the launch on 12-August-2005.
This cover was cancelled for the orbital insertion on 10-March-2006.
NEW HORIZONS - Pluto
New Horizons was launched on 19-January-2006 to study Pluto and possibly a Kuiper belt object. It is due to arrive at Pluto 2015.

This cover was issued for the launch.

DAWN - Asteroid
The mission for Dawn is to explore two of the larger objects in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, the Dwarf planet of Ceres and the asteroid Vesta.

Issued for the 27-September-2007 launch of the Dawn mission, this cover features the mission logo.

This is a second cover for the launch of Dawn space probe.
Issued on the 16-July-2011 when Dawn entered orbit around the asteroid Vesta, making it the first man made craft to enter orbit around an object in the asteroid belt.
PHOENIX - Mars
Launched 4-August-2007 the Phoenix Mars lander arrived on location 25-May-2008. From its landing site in a Martian polar region, on 31-July-2008 the Phoenix Mars lander confirmed the presence of water on Mars.

Pictured here is a cover cancelled on the 4-August-2007 for the mission launch.
This cover was issued for the Phoenix lander touching down on the surface of Mars 25-May-2008.
This is a second cover for the Phoenix Mars mission's 25-May landing.
and this is a third cover for the Phoenix Mars mission's landing.
KEPLER - Telescope
Kepler is an orbital space telescope in a similar vein to Hubble. Kepler was launched 6-March-2009 with the sole mission to search for Earth like planets outside the solar system.
This is a second cover for the launch of the Kepler space telescope.
LRO/LCROSS - Moon
Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) are two unmanned lunar orbiters launched from the same rocket. This cover was cancelled for the launch on 18-June-2009.
This is a second first day cover issued for the joint launch on 18-June-2009 of the LRO/LCROSS lunar probes. LRO is currently making detailed 3D maps of the lunar surface.
On 9-October-2009 LCROSS impacted to moon in an attempt to throw up debris in an attempt to find water. After analysis this was confirmed by NASA 13-November. This cover was cancelled for the 9th October impact.
WISE - Space Telescope
Launched 14-December-2009 the Wise space telescope is tasked with mapping the sky in search of asteroids.
JUNO - Jupiter
On the 5-August-2011 the Juno probe was launched on a mission to explore Jupiter. This is one of the covers issued for the launch.
Here we have another cover issued for the launch of the Juno mission to Jupiter and cancelled 5-August-2011.
This is another cover issued for the Juno mission launch and cancelled 5-August-2011. The image of this cover kindly lent by an anonymous source for use on this website.
GRAIL - Moon
On the 10-September-2011 the two grail lunar orbiters were launched was launched. This is an example of a launch cover.
Here we have another cover issued for the launch of the twin Grail lunar orbiters and cancelled for the launch.
And a further Grail mission launch cover.
Another launch cover issued for the twin Grail lunar orbiters.
CURIOSITY - Mars
Launched on 26-November-2011 the Mars Science Laboritory (called Curiosity) is the latest and largest Mars Rover launched to date. Here is one of the launch covers.
This is a second cover issued for the launch of the Mars Science Lab Rover, Curiosity.
The Mars Science Lab Rover made its touch down on the 5-August-2012 suspended under a sky crane for the final part of its descent.
This is a second cover issued for Curiosity's Mars landing.


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