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Out of this world.

The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries

"My name is David Ball, and I'm an astrophilatelist." "What's an astrophilatelist?" "An astrophilatelist tells the story of the exploration of space through postage stamps." :10

Well, not exactly. Astro-philatelists deal more with ENVELOPES that have significant dates and places in their postmarks. Often, collectors would send for special cancellations to mark a launch or landing.

"So if for example, I had an envelope and I wanted to tell the story of the first manned landing on the moon, you would have it canceled on the 16th of July, 1969, at the Kennedy Space Center, 'cause that's where the rocket went off." :12

You can still get these for space shuttle flights for the cost of two stamps and an envelope.

And picking up older space envelopes, or "covers" as they're called, isn't expensive either.

"When we go to the stamp shows, the stuff's in the dollar boxes, and you can learn about space history, and tell an interesting story, just by picking up a couple of envelopes and having those postmarks" :10

Ball, a flight nurse with the AIr Force who has brought wounded soldiers out of Iraq, has written a book, American Astrophilately.

I'm Lloyd de Vries of The Virtual Stamp Club. For more on stamps and stamp collecting, and a link to the book, visit virtual-stamp-club-dot-com.

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