US Stamps

Inside Linn’s: SpaceShipTwo puts first fully crewed commercial flight into space

Sep 14, 2023, 12 PM
In Exploring Astrophilately in the Oct. 2 issue of Linn’s Stamp News, Charles J. Vukotich Jr. recounts the epic journey to commercial space flight by Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. This cover celebrates the first powered flight of SpaceShipTwo in 2013.

By Charles Snee

The Oct. 2 digital-only issue of Linn’s Stamp News will be available to subscribers Saturday, Sept. 16. While you wait for your issue to arrive in your in box, enjoy these three quick glimpses of exclusive content available only to subscribers. 

SpaceShipTwo puts first fully crewed commercial flight into space

The journey of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo into space began with a tragic explosion in 2007 that killed three people. But as Charles J. Vukotich Jr. explains in Exploring Astrophilately, the end result of that journey was nothing short of amazing. To tell this story, Vukotich uses six cacheted covers that he created to mark significant events in the development of SpaceShipTwo. For example, the cover pictured here commemorates the first powered flight of SpaceShipTwo on April 29, 2013. It would be 10 more years before SpaceShipTwo made its historic first commercial flight into space on June 29 of this year. Vukotich has all the details.

New program and more information on the Stamp Web

In Computers and Stamps, William F. Sharpe provides a detailed review of changes made by Clive Levinson to his Stamp Web philatelic website. One of the more substantial changes is the addition of a new program called ImageSleuth, which replaces a similar program, RetroReveal, that works by separating an image into its component colors to make it easier to see hidden elements. The program can be useful when trying to analyze postmarks, cancellations and other markings on stamps and covers. Be sure to read the entire column to learn more about the improved Stamp Web.

Word search puzzle: stamps with an unlucky catalog number

Linn’s regularly publishes three games to entertain readers: Trickies, a word scramble puzzle by Joe Kennedy; a word search puzzle by D.E. Rubin; and Philatelic Lexicon, a crossword puzzle by David Saks. In this week’s issue, Rubin highlights 22 stamps listed as Scott 13. “Thirteen often is thought to be an unlucky number, and Friday the 13th is considered especially unlucky,” Rubin explains. But you can test your luck (and puzzle solving skills) by seeing how quickly you can locate the 22 clues hidden in the grid.

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