Apollo insurance covers are postal envelopes
that were usually printed with a mission emblem cachet, stamped, signed by the
crew and postmarked on the day of launch. The astronauts' families then
retained these special covers as a type of insurance against the possibility
of an accident in space that would not allow the crew to safely return to
This procedure was carried out for six Apollo
flights, including my Apollo 15 flight to the moon. Now, some 40 years after
the fact, and with the crews all returning safely, the concept and
identification of insurance covers has become cloudy and very complicated due to
assumptions about what constitutes and defines an actual Apollo
insurance cover. Much misinformation and errors abound and I hope my
attempt here will help in clearing up the matter.
Just because a cover has the proper cachet,
stamps, postmarks and crew autographs does not make it automatically
an actual insurance cover. Many such covers were autographed after the
flight and, as such, do not qualify as actual insurance covers.
Unfortunately, many post-flight autographed covers do appear virtually identical
to authentic insurance covers and this has been a problem concerning
insurance covers. But the best and ideal way to know 100% for sure is to
acquire an Apollo insurance cover from an astronaut crewmember that has been
signed and verified, as I have done with my Apollo 15 insurance covers.
The only insurance covers that the crew of
Apollo 15 used were those provided by the NASA Manned Spacecraft Stamp
Club. These MSCSC covers were signed by the crew prior to the
flight, had stamps applied, canceled and held by our families during the
flight. After Apollo 15 had safely returned, the insurance covers had served
their original purpose and as time went by, have become treasured and valuable
collector items. There were other types of covers that were used on some
flights as insurance covers, including those provided by Alvin Bishop.
However, for Apollo 15 he provided covers that were carried on our flight
and were therefore not insurance covers. I did not possess any of these
covers before the flight.
The insurance covers I am offering are authentic
and I am providing a written and signed inscription, "From my
personal collection, Al Worden Apollo 15 CMP," on the back of each cover, and a
written and signed certificate of authenticity for each numbered cover to verify