SPACE SHUTTLE CHALLENGER - STS - 41B CREW - COMMEMORATIVE ENVELOPE SIGNED CO-SIGNED BY: CAPTAIN ROBERT L. "HOOT" GIBSON, BRIGADIER GENERAL ROBERT L. "BOB" STEWART, CAPTAIN BRUCE MCCANDLESS II, RONALD E. McNAIR, VANCE BRAND - HFSID 50125
Sale Price $405.00
SPACE SHUTTLE CHALLENGER41B CREW: RONALD McNAIR, BRUCE McCANDLESS II, VANCE BRAND, ROBERT L. "HOOT" GIBSON and ROBERT L. "BOB" STEWARTThe crew of Challenger 41B signs this commemorative envelope honoring the Cape Kennedy Space Center Commemorative Envelope signed: "Ronald McNair", "Bruce McCandless II/ NASA astronaut", Vance Brand", "Robert L. Gibson" and "Bob Stewart" 6½x3½. Launch cover bears 18¢ "Understanding the Sun" stamp and 2¢ "Freedom to Speak Out" stamp. Postmarked Cape Canaveral, Florida, February 3, 1984. Space shuttle mission STS-41B, the tenth orbital flight and the fourth of 10 flights by Challenger, was launched from the Kennedy Space Center on February 3, 1984 and made the first runway landing at the same site on February 11. This mission deployed two communications satellites and conducted the first untethered space walks (by McCandless). Confusingly, NASA began a new numbering system with this launch, the previous flight having been STS-10. The mission Commander was VANCE BRAND (b.1931), already a veteran (command module pilot of the first joint U.S.-Soviet space flight (1975). Brand would make two more shuttle flights after this one. Shuttle pilot ROBERT L. "HOOT" GIBSON (b.1946) served on five space shuttle missions: Challenger (STS 41-B), Columbia (STS 61-C), January 12-18, 1986; Atlantis (STS-27), December 2-6, 1988; Endeavor (STS-47), September 12-20, 1992, the 50th space shuttle mission; and, Atlantis (STS-71), June 27-July 7, 1995, which was the first space shuttle to dock with the Russian space station Mir. Gibson also served as Chief of the Astronaut Office (1992-1994) and Deputy Director, Flight Crew Operations (1996) Mission Specialist 1 BRUCE McCANDLESS II (1937-2017) whose Navy flying experience included the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962), made the first untethered space walk on this mission. He would return to space in 1990 aboard Discovery. Mission Specialist 3 ROBERT L. "BOB" STEWART (b.1943)joined McCandless on his history-making DVA (although Stewart remained tethered to the spacecraft). Stewart returned to space on the maiden flight of the orbiter Atlantis in 1985. Mission Specialist 2 RONALD McNAIR(1950-1986) was killed with his six colleagues on his next mission, Challenger 51L, on January 28, 1986, when the shuttle exploded 73 seconds after launch. This envelope also bears a "Cape Canaveral FL, Jan 28, 1986" postmarkon the space launch cachet at left depicting a launch. Light ink stain at blank right margin. Otherwise, fine condition.
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