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EXPLORER & VANGUARD
SATELLITE LAUNCH COVERS

Commemorative cacheted covers for
launches and reentrys.

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Explorer 4 Satellite Launch.
Explorer 4 Satellite Launch Cover,

Explorer and Vanguard Satellite Cover Notes

  • This list is for launch & reentry covers for Explorer & Vanguard satellites only. Tracking stations will also be included in this list.
  • Most Explorer launches have a number like "Explorer 4", however when a launch is not successful it does not get a number but usually gets a letter designation.
  • In some cases an Explorer launch may be known by a different name such as the GEOS-2 satellite launch of Nov. 1, 1968, this name may be on some cachets but it is also known as Explorer 36.
  • A seperate list for Explorer & Vanguard satellite anniversaries and special cancels is also available, see bottom of this page for the link to that webpage.
  • General Notes

    • All items are covers unless otherwise noted.
    • All covers are the standard U.S. #6 size (approximately 6 1/2 x 3 3/4 inches), as collected in the USA, unless otherwise noted.
    • Foreign covers may be slightly smaller in size than the standard U.S. #6 size and if so, their size will NOT be noted. Any cover larger than a number 6 size will be noted or any item of an unordinary size will be so noted.
    • All covers are unaddressed unless otherwise noted.
    • All covers are cacheted unless otherwise noted. A brief description of the cachet is given of the event being commemorated.
    • If covers are autographed they are genuine, unless otherwise noted.
    • Where stamp(s) used on the item are of significance, such as being a space stamp or a flag stamp or related to the event or location, it will be described. Otherwise the stamp(s) used on the item may be a definitive issue or an unrelated commemorative issue, and will not be described.
    • Items listed here may not be listed in any particular order.
    • Please print out the ON-LINE ORDER FORM and use it to mark down the covers you need. When ordering, please mark the LIST ID as well as ITEM ID.

    Abbreviations

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    Price List

    LIST IDITEM IDPRICECANCEL DATECANCEL LOC
    EXVA2E006AA$35.0008/07/1959P
    EXPLORER 6 SATELLITE LAUNCH COVER, With a machine cancel from Patrick Air Foce Base FL, Aug. 7, 1959 on an airmail 7 cent postal envelope, with red and blue borders. With a red early all purpose space SWANSON rubber stamp cachet (unidentified) shows a rocket blasting off from Florida, with text: "Missile Fired from Cape Canaveral Florida", and with additional one line rubber stamp text: "Explorer VI". IMAGE

    EXVA2E008AA$18.0011/03/1960PC
    EXPLORER 8 SATELLITE LAUNCH COVER, With a hand cancel from Port Canaveral FL, Nov. 3, 1960. With a red all purpose space SWANSON rubber stamp cachet (unidentified) shows a rocket blasting off besides the launch tower, with one line rubber stamp text: "Explorer 8". small label address. IMAGE

    EXVA2E009AA$14.0002/16/1961WI
    (EXPLORER 9 SATELLITE) SCOUT ROCKET LAUNCH COVER, With a machine cancel from Wallops Island Va, Feb. 16, 1961. With a purple Wallops Island servicers regular text rubber stamp cachet (unidentified); the three lines of rubber stamp text: "Scout, 8:05 AM, Feb 16, 1961", plus a boxed word text cachet: "Rocket Fired From Wallops Island, VA". Small rubber stamp address.

    EXVA2E013ZZ$14.0006/30/1961WI
    EXPLORER SATELLITE LAUNCH/FAILURE COVER, With a machine cancel from Wallops Island VA, June 30, 1961. With a purple all purpose space SWANSON rubber stamp cachet (unidentified) shows a rocket blasting off from a map of the eastern united states and text: "Rocket fired from Wallops Island Virginia" plus 3 lines of rubber stamp text: "Scout S-55 Satellite, un 30, 1961, 1206-1/2 PM". Rubber stamp address IMAGE

    EXVA2E017AA$7.0004/03/1963C
    EXPLORER 17 SATELLITE LAUNCH, with a Cape Canaveral FL hand cancel of April 03, 1963, on an 8 cent airmail stamp. With a purple all purpose space rubber stamp cachet (unidentified) of a rocket launched from Earth, with text "Rocket launched from Atlantic Missile Range, Cape Canaveral, Explorer 17, Thor, Apr. 2- 1963, 9 P.M.". Launch was on 04/02/1963, postoffice closed at launch time and cover cancelled next morning.

    EXVA2E019AA$8.0012/19/1963V
    EXPLORER 19 SATELLITE LAUNCH COVER, With a machine cancel from Vandenberg A.F.B. CA Dec. 19, 1963, on 4 cent Project Mercury space capsule stamp (#1193). With a green CENTENNIAL printed cachet (unidentified) shows satellite atop a rocket being launched, with text: "Explorer 19 Satellite, Placed into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. December 19, 1963".

    EXVA2E019AC$7.0012/19/1963V
    EXPLORER 19 SATELLITE LAUNCH COVER, With a machine cancel from Vandenberg A.F.B. CA Dec. 19, 1963, on 5 cent flag stamp. With a blue RUBBER STAMP cachet (unidentified, which looks like a partial Swanson satellite design) shows a satellite, with text: "Explorer 19, Polar Orbit from Vandenberg AFB".

    EXVA2E019ZY$7.0003/19/1964C
    BEACON EXPLORER SATELLITE LAUNCH/FAILURE COVER, With a machine cancel of Cape Canaveral FL March 19, 1964 on a 5 cent flag stamp. With a 2 color all purpose space SWANSON rubber stamp cachet of a rocket launch by the launch tower, with text "Beacon Explorer Satellite. N.A.S.A. lost contact with satellite 22 seconds after 3rd stage ignition, first Delta failure in 23 firings". Erased pencil address.

    EXVA2E020AA$7.0008/25/1964V
    EXPLORER 20 SATELLITE LAUNCH COVER, With a machine cancel from Vandenberg AFB CA Aug. 25, 1964. With a black printed cachet (unidentified, probably a SARZIN or ZASO cachet) of the Explorer 20 satellite, with text "Explorer 20, Major Space Achievement, Satellite TOPSI, Reseach satellite Ionosphere Explorer A....exploring the topside of the ionosphere, the layer of gasses that surrounds the earth and acts as on electrified mirror in reflecting long range radio communications". Label address.

    EXVA2E022AA$8.0010/09/1964V
    EXPLORER 22 SATELLITE LAUNCH COVER, With a machine cancel from Vandenberg A.F.B. CA Oct. 9, 1964. With a black PRINTED cachet (unidentified, I would guess it is a SARZIN) shows a satellite in space, with text: "Explorer 22, S-66 Ionosphere Laser Ray Beacon Satellite, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, October 9, 1964". Small address label.

    EXVA2E023AA$7.0011/06/1964WI
    EXPLORER 23 SATELLITE LAUNCH COVER, With a machine cancel from Wallops Island VA, Nov. 6, 1964 on a flag stamp. With a red & blue all purpose space SWANSON rubber stamp cachet (unidentified) shows a rocket blasting off from a map of the eastern united states and text: "Rocket fired from Wallops Island" plus 3 lines of rubber stamp text: "Explorer 23, Nov. 6, 1964, 702 AM, Scout S55C".

    EXVA2E024AA$7.0011/21/1964V
    EXPLORER 24 AND 25 SATELLITES LAUNCH COVER, With a machine cancel from Vandenberg AFB CA, Nov. 21, 1964. With a black Printed Cachet (unidentified, but could be a Sarzin) shows the two satellites, with text that reads: "Explorer 24 and Explorer 25, Launched with single booster. Vandenberg Air Force Base. First time two satellites sent into orbit at the same time". IMAGE

    EXVA2E026AA$6.0012/21/1964C
    EXPLORER 26 SATELLITE LAUNCH COVER, With a hand cancel from Cape Canaveral FL, Dec. 21, 1964, on 4 cent New York Worlds Fair Unisphere/Rocket Thrower stamp (#1244). With a black & orange CENTENNIAL printed cachet (unidentified) shows various satellites orbiting earth, with text: "The United States in Space. A Windmill-shaped radiation detection satellite, Explorer 26, launched by a delta rocket from Cape Kennedy, Florida-Dec. 21, 1964".

    EXVA2E027AA$6.0004/29/1965WI
    (EXPLORER 27) SCOUT BEACON SATELLITE LAUNCH COVER, With a machine cancel from Wallops Island VA, April 29, 1965 on a Amateur Radio stamp (#1260). With a red & blue all purpose space SWANSON rubber stamp cachet (unidentified) shows a rocket blasting off from a map of the eastern united states and text: "Rocket fired from Wallops Island Virginia" plus 3 lines of rubber stamp text: "Scout Beacon Satellite, Apr 29'65, 1017 AM".

    EXVA2E028AA$6.0005/29/1965C
    EXPLORER 28 SATELLITE LAUNCH COVER, With a machine cancel from Cape Canaveral FL, May 29, 1965, on 5 cent flag stamp. With a black CELESTIAL printed cachet shows satellite atop a rocket connected to the launch tower, with text: "(Imp-C) Explorer 28, orbited by a delta rocket".

    EXVA2E032AA$6.0005/25/1966C
    (EXPLORER 32) SATELLITE LAUNCH COVER, With a machine cancel from Cape Canaveral FL May 25, 1966. With a purple all purpose sapce SWANSON rubber stamp cachet (unidentified) shows a rocket seperating from its booster, with earth in the background, and text: "Rocket fired from Atlantic Missile Range, Cape Kennedy " plus 1 line of rubber stamp text: "Explorer". Boudwin label address.

    EXVA2E034AA$5.0005/24/1967V
    EXPLORER 34 SATELLITE LAUNCH COVER, With a machine cancel from Vandenberg AFB CA May 24, 1967. With a black all purpose space SWANSON rubber stamp cachet (unidentified) shows a rocket blasting off from a map of the western united states and text: "Satellite toward Polar Orbit From Vandenberg Air Force Base" plus 3 lines of rubber stamp text: "Explorer 34, NASA, IMP-F".

    EXVA2E035AA$9.0007/19/1967K
    EXPLORER 35 SATELLITE LAUNCH COVER (SCARCE), With a machine pictorial space cancel from Kennedy Space Centerl FL, July 19, 1967, on 5 cent flag stamp. With a blue all purpose space JJF Printed Cachet shows a saturn rocket on the pad, satellite and an Apollo capsule in orbit, with printed text: "Launched from Cape Kennedy". With additional rubber stamp word text: "Explorer 35, Lunar Explorer 38 satellite to measure magnetic fields, cosmic rays and solar winds between the earth and moon". (Note: there is some bleedthrough of the glue used to seal the backseams of the envelope). [SCARCE. Any cover with a Kennedy Space Center cancel on satellite launch covers in this time period, 1967-69 are scarce, as the KSC cancel was not available to dealers in quantity].

    EXVA2E035AC$6.0007/19/1967K
    EXPLORER 35 SATELLITE LAUNCH COVER (SCARCE), With a machine pictorial space cancel from Kennedy Space Centerl FL, July 19, 1967, on 4 cent Echo satellite stamp (#1173). NO CACHET on this cover, small rubber stamp address. Perfect for a do it yourself cachet. [SCARCE. Any cover with a Kennedy Space Center cancel on satellite launch covers in this time period, 1967-69 are scarce, as the KSC cancel was not available to dealers in quantity]. IMAGE

    EXVA2E035CC$4.0007/19/1967C
    EXPLORER 35 SATELLITE LAUNCH COVER, With a machine cancel from Cape Canaveral FL June 19, 1967 on a flag stamp. With a green RUBBER STAMP cachet (unidentified) shows a rocket launch and one line of black rubber stamp text: "Explorer 35". Typed address.

    EXVA2E037AA$4.0003/05/1968WI
    (EXPLORER 37) SCOUT SOLAR X-RAY SATELLITE LAUNCH COVER, With a machine cancel from Wallops Island VA, March 5, 1968 on a Gemini space walk stamp (#1331). With a red & green all purpose space SWANSON rubber stamp cachet (unidentified) shows a rocket blasting off from a map of the eastern united states and text: "Rocket fired from Wallops Island" plus 3 lines of rubber stamp text: "Scout Solar X-Ray Satellite, Mar 5, 1968, 128 PM". Small rubber stamp address. There is a one line postal marking also on the cover: "Postage Due 1 Cent". IMAGE

    EXVA2E037AB$4.0003/05/1968WI
    (EXPLORER 37) SCOUT SOLAR X-RAY SATELLITE LAUNCH COVER, With a machine cancel from Wallops Island VA, March 5, 1968 on a Gemini space capsule stamp (#1332). With a red & green all purpose space SWANSON rubber stamp cachet (unidentified) shows a rocket blasting off from a map of the eastern united states and text: "Rocket fired from Wallops Island" plus 3 lines of rubber stamp text: "Scout Solar X-Ray Satellite, Mar 5, 1968, 128 PM". Small rubber stamp address. There is a one line postal marking also on the cover: "Postage Due 1 Cent". IMAGE

    EXVA2E043AA$4.0003/13/1971C
    EXPLORER 43/IMP - I SATELLITE LAUNCH, with a Cape Canaveral FL machine cancel of March 13, 1971, with a black SARZIN printed cachet showing this satellite, with text "Explorer 43, IMP-I, 12 experiments-monitor cosmic rays, solar winds, radio waves and magnetic fields in space, heaviest Explorer, Elliptical orbit. Launched by Delta 11:15 a.m. EST". Sarzin printed address. (this Sarzin cachet is different from his other cachets as this one is very much like a Space Voyage cachet in appearance).

    EXVA2E047AA$3.5009/22/1972C
    EXPLORER 47 SATELLITE LAUNCH COVER, With a machine cancel from Cape Canaveral FL, Sept. 22, 1972. With a black SARZIN printed cachet (unidentified, but is addressed to Sarzin) shows a satellite in orbit with clouds in the background, with text: "Interplanetary Monitoring Platform Explorer 47 nearly a quarter of a million pound of thrust lifted this 860 pound physics laboratory into orbit half way betweeen the earth and the moon". printed address.

    EXVA2E049AA$3.0006/10/1973C
    EXPLORER 49 SATELLITE LAUNCH COVER, With a machine cancel of Cape Canaveral FL, June 10, 1973. With a brown Rubber Stamp Cachet (unidentified) of the Explorer 49 launch, with text "Explorer 49/RAE-B, Launched from AFETR June 10, 1973, 10:13 AM, on a Thrust Augmented Delta, Last planned U.S. Lunar Mission. IMAGE

    EXVA2E049BB$3.0006/10/1973C
    EXPLORER 49 SATELLITE LAUNCH, with a Cape Canaveral FL machine cancel of June 10, 1973, on an 8 cent commemorative stamp. With a orange & blue ORBIT printed cachet of the satellite, the launch rocket & diagram of the geomagnetic field around earth, with text that reads in part: "Explorer 49, Radio Astronomy Explorer....... to learn about physics of the universe... sudy low frequency radio signals from this galaxy".

    EXVA2E049BF$3.5006/11/1973K
    EXPLORER 49 SATELLITE LAUNCH COVER, With a Skylab space pictorial machine cancel of Kennedy Space Center FL, June 11, 1973, on an 8 cent flag stamp. With a two color INTER SPACE COVER Printed Cachet of the Explorer 49 Satellite with the Moon in the background, with text that reads in part: "Explorer 49, circular lunar orbit of 680 mi. used as shield from Earth's radio signals, study of low freguency radio signals emitted by the Milky Way, the Sun, Earth and Jupiter" (This cover looks to be produced by Robert Rank as it is very similar to his Space Voyage cachet series). IMAGE

    EXVA2E051CC$3.0012/17/1973F
    (EXPLORER 51) AE-C (ATMOSPHERE EXPLORER) SATELLITE TRACKING STATION COVER, With a machine cancel of Ascot-Berks (UK). With a black oval Tracking Station Rubber Stamp Cachet, with text "Winkfield Field Station, 16 Dec 1973, No......." and hand written text: "AE-C Launch". (This is a "printed matter" cover, the dated postal cancel is on the stamp so it is hard to read, however the date is in the cachet. The cancel is a pictorial horse racing cancel for the Blue Circle Day, Ascot Races). IMAGE

    DB: stats: tusd(44,28,16,0)

    Click below for additional EXPLORER Covers
    which are included in these lists:

    Satellite Covers with 'Space Craft Covers' Printed Cachets 1961-65
    Satellite Covers with 'Space Craft Covers' Printed Cachets 1966-70
    Satellite Covers with 'Space Voyage' Printed Cachets 1970-74
    Satellite Covers with 'Space Voyage' Printed Cachets 1975-77
    Explorer & Vanguard covers for anniversaries & special cancels


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