Project Mercury
First Day Covers

FIRST DAY COVERS

Mercury 3 - First American in space
Alan Shepard was the first American in space on board Freedom 7 on 5-May-1961.
This was a 16 minute suborbital flight and was described as a "flea hop compared to Vostok 1" by Soviet Premier Khruschev.
The Redstone rockets used to launch this and the Mercury 4 mission (pictured left) were not powerful enough to put a man in orbit and was later superseded by the Atlas rockets (see MA-6 later on this page) used from John Glenn's 1962 Mercury 6 flight.
This is a Sarzin presentation first day cancelled pamphlet commemorating the event. It has a matching Mercury 4 issue below.
cancelled for the launch this cover was hard to find.
Another attractive Sarzin cachet cancelled 28-June-1961 after the event.
Mercury 4
Virgil Grissom's suborbital flight 21-July-1961 on board Liberty-Bell 7.

This is the matching Sarzin presentation first day cancelled pamphlet commemorating the event.
This Mercury 4 first day cover was cancelled for the 21-July-1961 launch and features an Echo 1 communications satellite stamp.
Mercury 6 - First American Earth Orbit
Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth which was made possible by the new Atlas launch vehicle.
This card shows the launch of John Glenn on board the Mercury 6 orbiter Friendship 7.
This cover features a Project Mercury stamp and was cancelled on the day of the flight 20-February-1962 at Cape Canaveral.
A second First Day cover commemorating this flight. Features a Project Mercury stamp and is cancelled on 20-February-1962 Cape Canaveral.
Another first day cover featuring a Project Mercury stamp and is cancelled on 20-February-1962 Cape Canaveral.
Another first day cover featuring a Project Mercury stamp and is cancelled on 20-February-1962 Cape Canaveral.
A further first day cover with the aforementioned Project Mercury stamp and cancellation.
And another first day cover featuring a Project Mercury stamp and is cancelled on the day.
Two more Swanson covers featuring the same cachet but in different colours.
Finally we have this Mercury 6 first day cover with the same stamp and cancellations as above.
Mercury 7
Scott Carpenter's flight 24-May-1962 on board Aurora 7. This card uses his first name Malcolm.
First day cover cancelled on 29-May.
Another first day cover commemorating Carpenter's Mercury 7 mission cancelled on 28-May.
And another Sarzin cover for Carpenter's Mercury 7 mission, this one cancelled on the day of the flight.
Mercury 8
Walter Schirra on board Sigma 7, orbited the Earth 6 times. This was the third orbital mission of the Mercury program and occurred on 3-October-1962.
A first day cover commemorating Walter Schirra's Mercury 8 orbital mission.
This is another October 3rd first day cover commemorating Schirra's flight.
And another cover commemorating Schirra's MA-8 flight.
Mercury 9
Gordon Cooper's flight 15-May-1963 on board Faith 7. This was the final Mercury flight and Cooper stayed in orbit for over a day (22 orbits).
Here is another cover issued for Cooper's Mercury 9 flight and cancelled 22-May-1963.
Here is a second cover issued for Cooper's Mercury 9 flight.
And another cover issued for Cooper's Mercury 9 flight, this one cancelled on the day of the flight, 15-May-1963.
This cover salutes all seven Mercury 7 astronauts and is cancelled on 15-May-1963 for Cooper's flight.
Commemorative
This is an attractive Colorano silks commemorative cover for Project Mercury, created in 1977.
On 4-May-2011 for the 50th anniversary of Alan Shepard becoming the first American in space, the US postal service issued this stamp. These five covers are all examples of first day covers celebrating 50 years of America's manned space achievements.

Two photos of the seven astronauts of Project Mercury.


HOME