1961-05-05 USA Mercury MR-3

Space Craft Swanson cover, only 300 were produced and individually numbered at the back of the cover. This is a limited edition of the Project Mercury commemorative Space Craft cover with a Carl Swanson cachet honoring Freedom 7 and astronaut Alan Shepard as the first US astronaut in space. Postmarked at Patrick Air Force Base, May 5, 1961, and signed in black ink, "Alan Shepard, MR3 Pilot". This cover is number 30 of 300 (stated on the reverse). - RRAuction
Mercury-Redstone 3 (Freedom 7) Signed Launch Cover. A Space Craft printed cachet cover with a 7¢ Airmail stamp affixed, bearing a Patrick Air Force Base cancellation dated May 5, 1961, the day of this historic mission. It features a "Man-in-Space/ Mission of Project Mercury" illustrated cachet. Signed by Alan Shepard. From Steven R. Belasco Collection of Space Memorabilia. - Heritage Auctions
A Space Craft printed cachet cover, addressed and cancelled at Port Canaveral on May 5, 1961, signed by Alan Shepard in blue ink. From the Family Collection of Astronaut Richard Gordon. - Heritage Auction
A launch day Goldcraft cachet cover honoring the path of Shepard's historic flight aboard the Freedom 7, postmarked May 5, 1961, and signed by Alan Shepard in blue ballpoint. - RRAuction
Shepard's 15 minutes flight traveled more than 300 miles from Cape Canaveral, Florida, landed in the Atlantic Ocean near the Bahamas where he was picked up by the aircraft carrier Lake Champlain.
USS Lake Champlain was the prime recovery ship for America's first manned space flight. The "U.S.S. Lake Champlain" is a rare postmark variation. Signed by Alan Shepard and NASA Public Affairs Officer Alfred P. Alibrando.
Another rare "U.S.S. Lake Champlain" postmark variation cover sent by crew on the ship. The address on the cover was partially erased.