FLOWN Apollo 15 Postal Cover taken to the lunar surface. A standard letter sized (6.5x3.5 inch) envelope featuring the Apollo 15 crew emblem, pilot wings, and dual postmarks from the Kennedy Space Center (26 July 1971, Launch) and U.S.S. Okinawa (7 Aug 1971, Splashdown). signed by alfred worden, david scott, and james irwin. 1971
This is one of the sets of postal covers not reported to NASA by the crew as flown on the mission, thus not authorized by NASA to be carried on the flight. This set of covers was postmarked the morning of 26 July 1971, vacuum-packed, stored in a fireproof Beta bag, then given to Commander David Scott, who stored them in one of his space suit pockets.
In the upper left corner a printed caption, "This envelope was carried to the moon aboard the Apollo 15. # 259 [in ink] of 300 to the lunar surface in L.M. 'Falcon.'"
Some of the unauthorized covers were sent to a European dealer and sold just after the Apollo 15 mission. In the summer of 1972 the story finally came to the attention of the world press and NASA launched an investigation and confiscated the remaining covers. An official NASA press release stated: "The Apollo 15 crew exercised poor judgment in their actions. Therefore, Astronauts Scott, Worden and Irwin will be reprimanded and their actions given due consideration in their selection for future assignment." This event essentially ended both their NASA and Air Force careers.
In the early 1980's, the Apollo 15 crew was able to get NASA to return the confiscated covers. The crew then signed a notarized affidavit dated 19 July 1983 telling the story and certifying that this cover was indeed flown to the lunar surface, is serial number 259, and has the NASA (confiscated) serial number 139 written under the flap. Signed by Worden, Scott, and Irwin. a rare change to obtain a lunar surface artifact with an extremely interesting history.
All items are offered for sale subject to Swann Galleries' standard terms and conditions of sale, which are published in our catalogues and are posted below.