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STS-51L Challenger
Launch/Explosion Covers
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STS-51L Challenger Space Shuttle Notes



  • These items below were issued for the launch of the STS-51L flight, which ended in disaster for this mission, the Astronauts lost their lives in the explosion at Kennedy Space Center Florida on January 28, 1986.
  • Other items listed include events that followed this disaster, such as the memorial service, special postmarks, and the Presidential Commission to investigate this tragedy, etc.
  • The Astronauts were................
    Francis R. Scobee, Commander
    Michael J. Smith, Pilot
    Judith A. Resnik, Mission Specialist
    Ellison S.Onizuka, Mission Specialist
    Ronald E. McNair, Mission Specialist
    Gregory B. Jarvis, Payload Specialist
    Christa McAuliffe (Teacher in Space)

  • The explosion 73 seconds after liftoff claimed the lives of all the crew and destroyed the vehicle. Shuttle flights were halted for more than two-and-a-half years while an extensive investigation into the accident and an assessment of the Space Shuttle Program as conducted.


Looking for STS-107 Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster Covers?


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
STS51LL10105Q$50.0001/28/1986K
SPACE SHUTTLE CHALLENGER STS-51L LAUNCH/EXPLOSION, with a 01/28/1986 pictorial Shuttle machine cancel from Kennedy Space Center FL on a 22 cent Public Education commemorative stamp. With black photo printed cachet (unidentified) that shows Sharon Christa McAuliffe, the 1st teacher in space, with her name and title beneath it plus word inscription in a black box that reads: "In Memorium to Challenger 7, STS-33 Challenger (OV-099) Mission 25 (51-L), Selected from over 11,000 applicants....Motto: 'Reach for the stars'". (The inscription refers to 11,000 teacher applicants who applied to be the 1st teacher in space with NASA, note that the 22 cent stamp commemorated Public Education, a direct tie in with teacher in space). Cover comes with a descriptive insert card that tells about the proposed flight.

STS51LL10120$35.0001/28/1986H
SPACE SHUTTLE CHALLENGER STS-51L LAUNCH/EXPLOSION, with a 01/28/1986 machine cancel from Houston TX (location of the Johnson Spacecraft Center, which is the control center for the Shuttle launches after liftoff). With multicolor SPACE VOYAGE printed cachet that shows the 7 Challenger Astronauts and identifies them by name; the STS-51L emblem patch etc. With additional printed text on the envelope: "STS 51L, Seven brave astronauts perish in the explosion of Shuttle Challenger - Jan. 28, 1986. Stunned Nation watches on T.V."

STS51LL10130$45.0001/28/1986 
SPACE SHUTTLE CHALLENGER STS-51L LAUNCH/EXPLOSION, with a 01/28/1986 machine space slogan cancel clearly readable with wording "Judy Resnik, Astronaut in Space, Spartan-Halley Flight" from Akron Ohio on a 22 cent flag stamp. (Akron is the hometown of Judy Resnik, one of the astronauts aboard the Challenger). With multicolor SPACE VOYAGE printed cachet that shows the 7 Challenger Astronauts and identifies them by name; the STS-51L emblem patch etc. With additional printed text on the envelope: "Jan. 28, 1986, The Shuttle Challenger Explodes After Launch and Seven Astronauts Perish. Spartan-Halley Satellite and TDRS falls into sea."

STS51LL10150$30.0001/28/1986 
USNS RANGE SENTINEL TRACKING SHIP COVER: SPACE SHUTTLE CHALLENGER STS- 51L LAUNCH/EXPLOSION, with a 01/28/1986 machine cancel from Cape Canaveral FL on a 22 cent Flag stamp With a black 3 line word rubber stamp cachet that reads: "Master, USNS Range Sentinel T-AGM 22, FPO Miami Fla. 34092-4049" and a black USNS Range Sentinel rubber stamp cachet showing their emblem, plus black Boudwin rubber stamp cachets (unidentified) that shows a small Challenger STS-51L emblem/patch, and a boxed text rubber stamp that reads: "All seven astronauts killed 75 seconds after lift off when 'Challenger' exploded over the atlantic." A red and blue airmail border envelope with label address.

STS51LL10160$30.0001/28/1986K
UTC FREEDOM STAR RECOVERY FORCE SHIP COVER: SPACE SHUTTLE CHALLENGER STS-51L LAUNCH/EXPLOSION, with a 01/28/1986 pictorial Shuttle machine cancel from Kennedy Space Center FL on a 22 cent Flag stamp. With these cachets: a black 1 line word rubber stamp cachet that reads: "UTC Freedom Star"; a black rubber stamp cachet showing a recovery force ship; a 2 line rubber stamp cachet inscribed "Recovery Force", plus black Boudwin rubber stamp cachet (unidentified) that shows a small Challenger STS-51L emblem/patch, and a 7 line black mimeographed word text cachet that reads: "Sent to area of any recovery of STS-51L 'Challenger' afte flight with submersible vehicle 'Scorpia' aboard". This is a red and blue airmail border envelope, the backside of the cover has a one line mimeographed word text that reads "Souvenir Cover".

STS51LL10162$30.0001/28/1986K
UTC LIBERTY STAR RECOVERY FORCE SHIP COVER: SPACE SHUTTLE CHALLENGER STS-51L LAUNCH/EXPLOSION, with a 01/28/1986 pictorial Shuttle machine cancel from Kennedy Space Center FL on a 22 cent Flag stamp. With these cachets: a black 1 line word rubber stamp cachet that reads: "UTC Liberty Star"; a black rubber stamp cachet showing a recovery force ship; a 2 line rubber stamp cachet inscribed "Recovery Force", plus black Boudwin rubber stamp cachet (unidentified) that shows a small Challenger STS-51L emblem/patch, and a 7 line black mimeographed word text cachet that reads: "Sent to area of any recovery of STS-51L 'Challenger' afte flight with submersible vehicle 'Sprint' aboard". This is a red and blue airmail border envelope, the backside of the cover has a one line mimeographed word text that reads "Souvenir Cover".

STS51LL10200$5.0001/31/1986DC
PRESIDENT REAGAN DEPARTS FOR MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR THE SPACE SHUTTLE CHALLENGER STS-51L ASTRONAUTS, with a 01/31/1986 hand cancel from Washington DC on an 22 cent Flag stamp. With a blue and black 15 cent FMF LOCAL POST stamp (label) affixed to the cover and locally cancelled, that shows the Seal of the President of the United States. With a four line word rubber stamp cachet: "President Reagan Departs for Houston Texas to Attend Memorial Service, 51L Space Shuttle Astronauts".

DB: stats: tusd(35,7,28,0)

See other Challenger Covers at
STS-51L Challenger Disaster Anniversary Space Shuttle Covers
STS-8 Challenger Cover FLOWN IN SPACE

You can find the STS-107 Columbia Disaster Covers at
General Space Covers (part 6)
They are at the top of the list.


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