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Lot #3594
Ernst Messerschmid's Collection of Space Shuttle Covers

Over 1200 different covers and postcards for the Space Shuttle program, deriving from collection of a German astronaut

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Estimate: $1000+
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Over 1200 different covers and postcards for the Space Shuttle program, deriving from collection of a German astronaut

Extensive archive of 1,280 different covers and postcards from the personal collection of German astronaut Ernst Messerschmid, which commemorates the full breadth of NASA’s historic Space Shuttle program from missions STS-1 through STS-135, in addition to forerunners and events like the Approach and Landing Tests. The collection includes unusual double and hard-to-find triple cancellation postmarks from the appropriate post offices at the Kennedy Space Center, Johnson Space Center, and Edwards Air Force Base, in addition to other operating and tracking stations. The covers display excellent cachet quality, with the majority printed and some stamped, and the reverse of each cover and postcard features Messerschmid’s “emc2” collection stamp. The collection represents space philately at its highest level, with the majority acquired in person by a philatelic consultant of Messerschmid, who visited all the major space centers for the respective launch, inflight and landing phases for more than 80 Space Shuttle missions. The covers are housed in chronological order in four two-ring binders; despite their attractive appearance, the binders are not in ideal working order and should be either replaced or repaired. In overall fine condition, with wear and bends to binders, with the inner metal clasps to the third volume detached from binder. An astoundingly comprehensive assemblage of covers that detail the rich and important history of the Space Shuttle program. Accompanied by a signed letter of authenticity from Messerschmid.

From 1978 to 1982, Ernst Messerschmid worked on space-borne communications at the German Aerospace Center. The following year, he was selected as one of the astronauts for the first German Spacelab mission, Deutschland 1, which was the non-NASA designation for the STS-61-A mission. Messerschmid accrued over 168 hours in space as a payload specialist during STS-61-A, which proved to be the ninth and last successful flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger. The mission also holds the current record for the largest crew—eight people—aboard any single spacecraft for the entire period from launch to landing.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Space
  • Dates: #607 - Ended April 22, 2021