US Stamps

Inside Linn’s: OSIRIS-REx mission is returning asteroid samples to Earth

Jul 6, 2023, 10 AM
In the July 24 issue of Linn’s Stamp News, Exploring Astrophilately columnist Charles J. Vukotich Jr. brings readers up to speed on the exciting OSIRIS-Rex mission that launched Sept. 8, 2016, from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

By Charles Snee

The July 24 issue of Linn’s Stamp News just landed on the presses and goes in the mail to subscribers Monday, July 10. And if you subscribe to Linn’s digital edition, you’re at the head of the line with early access Saturday, July 8. While you wait for your issue to arrive in your mailbox, enjoy these three quick glimpses of exclusive content available only to subscribers. 

OSIRIS-REx mission is returning asteroid samples to Earth

A late addition to the 2023 United States stamp program is the commemorative forever stamp that will be issued Sept. 21 to celebrate the OSIRIS-Rex mission that traveled to the asteroid Bennu and is presently returning to Earth with a sample collected from that rocky body. In Exploring Astrophilately, Charles J. Vukotich traces the almost seven-year history of OSIRIS-Rex, from its Sept. 8, 2016, launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla., to its expected return on Sept. 24, 2023, at the Utah Test and Training Range. Shown above is a colorful Sept. 8, 2016, OSIRIS-REx launch cover with a cachet (decorative design) by Pete Sarmiento.

No. 5 FDCs created by Adam Bert, FDC miscue, Collins catalog

As Lloyd de Vries explains in First-Day Covers, the No. 6¾ envelope size (6½ inches long) preferred by most United States FDC collectors and cachetmakers today was just one of three different sizes that Linn’s Stamp News founder George W. Linn used to create the first “issue-specific first-day cover cachet.” That cachet, for the U.S. 1923 2¢ Warren G. Harding stamp, is celebrating its centennial this year. Adam Bert also launched his career as a cachetmaker with the 2¢ Harding stamp, but he used smaller No. 5 envelopes, which measure 5½ inches by 3⅛ inches. De Vries cites several sources for readers wanting learn more about Bert, who died at the age of 102 in 2007. In the same column, he also highlights an FDC miscue on the part of the U.S. Postal Service and provides information about a new online catalog for Collins cachets.

Kitchen Table Philately: worldwide off-paper stamps

In each weekly issue of Linn’s, either E. Rawolik VI or E. Rawolik VII dissects the contents of a stamp mixture offered to collectors. E. Rawolik is a pseudonym that is also the word “kiloware” (a stamp mixture) spelled backward. This week, E. Rawolik VII reviews a one-ninth sample (69 stamps) culled from a hefty assortment of 620 worldwide off-paper stamps from a dealer in Michigan. “These stamps had been advertised as ‘mostly large and medium,’ and they were,” Rawolik writes. “Not only were the stamps larger than those I usually receive, but more than 85 percent were commemoratives. I was impressed.” Enjoy the full review in this week’s issue of Linn’s.

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