USA 1969 First Man On The Moon Stamp Issue

Back in 1968, Paul Calle was asked to design a stamp to commemorate the FIRST MAN ON THE MOON. The assignment was kept in secret.
Stamp block signed by Paul Calle.

KSC Apollo 11 launch cover double cancelled with FIRST MAN ON THE MOON stamp signed by Paul Calle.

The master die for this stamp was carried to the surface of the Moon by the Apollo 11 crew. Only one "moon letter" was carried by the crew and it would be hand-cancelled with a "MOON LANDING JUL 20 1969 USA" postmark by Armstrong and Aldrin while they were on the Moon. However, the two astronauts' schedule were packed with scientific tasks to be carried out on the moon, leaving them no time to frank the moon letter. The letter was later "back-dated" by the crew on their way back to Earth which took place on July 22, 1969.

Specimen cover no. 35 of 150, with a "MOON LANDING JUL 20 1969 USA" postmark applied by Dr. Matthew I. Radnofsky for philatelic reference before the actual flight of Apollo 11.
A "Webster Aug 11, 1969" machine postmark and a "Delayed in Quarantine at Lunar Receiving Laboratory, M.S.C - Houston, Texas" handstamp cancelled on the back of the cover. These were later applied on the 214 covers that were flown to the moon, carried by Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins in their Personal Preference Kits.

Limited edition FDC with hand-drawn sketch by Paul Calle, only 11 were produced.

When the die returned to Earth, it was used to make the printing plates for the postage stamps that were issued by the Post Office. These postage stamps were not ready to be released to the public until September 9, 1969. A second postmark, the reproduce cancel "MOON LANDING JUL 20 1969 USA", was also applied on the first day covers.

Apollo 11 maximum card with the First Man On The Moon stamp, postmarked on the first day of issue.

Signed photos by the Apollo 11 crew - Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, the first men to the moon.

Photos: Apollo 11 crew in their quarantine station.