Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

Posts tagged "space"

Some weeks ago, the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first humans walking on the moon. Reliving the experience of the Apollo 11 mission was an emotional event all around the world, not just for the millions of people who remember watching the live broadcast on TV with bated breath, but also for the younger generations of dreamers that those astronauts have inspired.

As you can imagine, landing on the Sea of Tranquility is a risky adventure, requiring all sorts of preparations. There’s physical and scientific training to go through, and checklists for all sorts of procedures, but there’s also a more down-to-earth side of things, like life insurance. Can you imagine the price of the insurance for such a perilous and unique mission though? Yup, it’s pretty much astronomical! So how were astronauts supposed to make sure their families were looked after in the event they didn’t make it back to Earth?

When faced with this situation, Apollo 11 astronauts Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong came up with a cunning secret plan: postal covers! Apollo Mission covers

They were famous and their autographs were greatly prized, so they decided to sign dozens of special envelopes in advance, featuring space-themed stamps and motives. These were to be hand-cancelled by friends at the post office on the day that they landed on the moon, and later delivered to their families. In case something happened to them, they hoped these autographed covers could be sold to collectors, in order to give their families some financial security.

Thankfully, they all came back safe and sound from this grand adventure, and didn’t need to use the postal covers as insurance. 😅 But it was still a brilliant plan! And as expected, these special philatelic items became collectibles, and are highly sought after by astrophilatelists, the branch of philately that focus on space-themed stamps. They continued to be made by astronauts until the 16th Apollo mission, and you can discover more of them on this page. Neat! 🌔

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Have you ever imagined what it would be like to live on Mars? Maybe the question brings to mind flashbacks of Matt Damon cultivating his crop of potatoes on The Martian… but what about other important stuff, like mail? Who will deliver our postcards from Mars to our friends back on Earth? And how will mailboxes on the red planet look like? 🤔

We might not be able to send postcards to space just yet, but with the help of Matthew (aka COSmatthew), some families in Colorado Springs, USA enjoyed a fun space & postcard-themed afternoon this month! He organized a workshop at the Space Foundation Discovery Center that helped everyone sign up for Postcrossing, and send their own space-themed cards to people all around the world. How cool is that?!

Here is Matthew’s report of this event:

Greetings from the beautiful city of Colorado Springs in the United States of America! Our City is a large hub for the space industry in our country, so it’s no surprise that we have the Space Foundation Discovery Center, a top-notch space museum here for which I oversee Guest Relations.

Postcrossing workshop at the Space Foundation Discovery Center!

This Summer, the Space Foundation Discovery Center is exploring the topic of what it will be like to live and work on Mars. One of our activities is a station where you can create your own postcards to send to others to let them know what you’ve been learning. This station has been so popular that I knew adding in Postcrossing would be a natural fit.

Postcrossing workshop at the Space Foundation Discovery Center!

With the help of the Postcrossing staff, our Programs Team went to work learning how to use the Postcrossing platform and how we could best teach our guests how to get the most out of the experience. By the time the “Postcrossing to Mars” workshop came and went, we had a lot of smiling faces and kids (along with adults) who were positively giddy at the prospect of receiving postcards from around the world.

And who knows? One of our custom postcards that was made in the workshop might be coming soon to a mailbox near you!

Postcrossing workshop at the Space Foundation Discovery Center! Postcrossing workshop at the Space Foundation Discovery Center!

Well done Matthew for this very cool workshop, and for bringing Postcrossing to the Discovery Center. Those big monitors make it look like a command center, and it’s really neat to see the website up there! Who would have thought that putting two cool things together would make something even cooler?!

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