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" (a plain white envelope with a die proof) 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.
|Cover no. 35 of 150, with a specimen "Moon Landing JUL 20 1969 USA" postmark for philatelic reference, prepared by Dr. Matthew I. Radnofsky before the actual flight of Apollo 11.|
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.
Signed photos by the Apollo 11 crew - Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, the first men to the moon.