"America's Astronauts"

 Masonic First Day Covers

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Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin - Apollo 11 - First Mason on the Moon

On July 20th, 1969 Aldrin followed Armstrong down the ladder to be the second man on the moon because he was farthest from the door of the Lunar Module "Eagle".  Aldrin was a member of Montclair Lodge No. 144 of New Jersey   EDSEL

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"Buzz"  Aldrin -   The First Mason on the Moon

The first Mason on the moon he was a Master Mason in Montclair Lodge No. 144, 32nd Degree A.A.S.R., R.A.M. & K.T. in Authven Commandery, Houston, Texas.  Recipient of the Knight Templar Cross of Honor in 1969.   Member of the Shrine of North America.   EDSEL

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Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr.

Man on the Moon - Apollo 11 - USA

Sponsored by the Masonic Stamp Club of New York, Inc. this FDC commemorates the dates of Brother Aldrin's three degrees and other Masonic memberships.  Double cancels for July 20, 1969 and September 9, 1969.

 

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Masons on the Moon

Led by Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Montclair Lodge No. 144 New Jersey, in Apollo 11 on July 20, 1969, Brother Edgar D. Mitchell of Artesta No. 29 New Mexico (Order of Demolay) followed in Apollo 14 on February, 1971 and the last moon landing in Apollo 15 on July 26, 1971 allowed James B. Irwin of Tejon Lodge No. 104 Colorado Springs. Co. to introduce vehicular traffic to the indelible surface of the Moon.

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Edgar D. Mitchell  -   Apollo 14

On February 5th, 1971 Lunar Module pilot Mitchell and Shepard spent 10 hours conducting a $25,000,000.00 package of experiments, including the use of an elaborate hand cart equipped to facilitate their scientific studies of the moon's surface.  Mitchell was a Demolay Chevalier and member of Artesta No. 29 in New Mexico.    EDSEL

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James B. Irwin  -   Apollo 15

On July 26, 1971 Irwin and Scott spent 67 hours on the Moon's surface employing the new Lunar Roving vehicle conducting experiments and collecting trocks that included a chunk of Anerthosize which proved to be more than 4 billion years old, older than any rock found on Earth, it was dubbed the Genesis Rock.   Irwin was a member of Tajon Lodge No. 104 Colorado Springs, Co.              EDSEL

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Brother Virgil I. Grissom   -  Apollo 1

These First Day Covers commemorate another great Masonic Astronaut.  Brother Grissom initially flew in both the Mercury and Gemini programs and narrowly escaped death when the cabin door bolts on his "Liberty Bell 7" prematurely exploded allowing the Atlantic Ocean to pour into his Mercury capsule.   He climbed out just before it sank to the bottom.  Years later on January 27, 1967 while training as Commander on the launch pad for his first Apollo mission a spark ignited a fire inside the oxygen rich Apollo capsule and Brother Grissom along with two fellow Astronauts Edward White and Roger lost their lives.  A seven-member board, under the direction of the NASA Langley Research Center Director, Dr. Floyd L. Thompson, conducted a comprehensive investigation to pinpoint the cause of the fire. The final report, completed in April 1967 was subsequently submitted to NASA. The report presented the results of the investigation and made specific recommendations that led to major design and engineering modifications, and revisions to test planning, test discipline, manufacturing processes and procedures, and quality control. With these changes, the overall safety of the command and service module and the lunar module was increased substantially. The AS-204 mission was re-designated Apollo I in honor of the crew.

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The Final Leg - Project Apollo

After the unfortunate death of Virgil "Gus" Grissom in an oxygen fire on the launch pad aboard Apollo 1, Donn F. Eisele, Luther B. Turner Lodge No. 732, Ohio, joined Apollo by completing eleven days in Apollo 7 orbiting earth 163 times.  Apollo 11 landed Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin on the moon July 1969.  Apollo 14 placed Edgar D. Mitchell on the lunar surface in February 1971.  He later became a member of Tejon Lodge No. 104 Colorado in September 1975.  EDSEL

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Brother Leroy Gordon Cooper

Was an Astronaut in the Mercury Space Program and was "raised" a Master Mason in Carbondale Lodge No. 82 in Colorado, April - 1960.  This FDC was sponsored by the Masonic Stamp Club of New York and cancelled at Cape Canaveral, Florida on May 16, 1963.

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