Mercury

Mercury and
Gemini-series
[un-manned] satellites

Gemini-1
MercuryGemini-1

This page contains philatelic information on the Mercury and Gemini-series [un-manned] satellites. Catalog numbers, years of issue, and notes on the satellites featured are given when available. If readers know of additional information or images, please contact the authors using the e-mail addresses at the bottom of this page.

This page includes only those Mercury and Gemini-series missions which resulted in an orbited payload AND which were un-manned missions. Sub-orbital Mercury and Gemini-series [un-manned] launches are included in the research rockets page.

Launch information
(found elsewhere)
Launch covers
(including anniversary-of-launch covers, and launch-related event covers)
(farther below)
Other postal items
(stamps, souvenir sheets, aerogrammes, postal cards, etc.)
(immediately below)
Mercury and Gemini
[un-manned]
Mercury [un-manned] Mercury and Gemini
[un-manned]
Gemini [un-manned]


Below is a list of Mercury and Gemini-series [un-manned] satellite postal items (stamps, souvenir sheets, aerogrammes, postal cards, etc.).

CountryCatalog NumberType of ItemYear of IssueNotes on Content
Mercury and Gemini [un-manned, but often involved in manned missions]
Bhutan118C (Mi415)Simulated-3D plastic-overlay1970Atlas-ATDA (Augmented Target Docking Adapter) with the conical protective fairing at the front of the vehicle in the closed (for launch) position
Bhutan118Cm (BL41)On one of MS4 (118-118C) (Mi412-415), simulated-3D plastic-overlay
Bhutan1249 (BL402)On stamp of SS1 (Mi1989)1999GATV (docked with a Gemini capsule)
Central African RepublicBL1505On stamp of SS1 (Mi6419)2016GATV docked with Gemini-8 capsule
Central African RepublicUnknown b (Mi?)One of MS4 (a-d)2019GATV and Gemini-11 capsule
Guinea-BissauMi8743-8746_ms4MS4 (Mi8743-8746)2016Gemini-8 rendezvous with GATV
Guinea-BissauBL1513On stamp of SS1 (Mi8747)
Hungary1806 (Mi2302)
i1806

Imperforate
1966GATV and Gemini-9A capsule (but the depiction is incorrect since the ATDA, not the GATV, was the rendezvous target of the Gemini-9A mission)
Hungary1810 (Mi2306)
i1810

Imperforate
GATV docked with Gemini-11 capsule (but the year "1965" printed in the stamp is incorrect; it should be "1966")
Maldive IslandsUnknown ms (Mi?)In (left) margin of MS4 (a-d)2019GATV tethered to Gemini 11 (the design comes from this photograph)
Maldive IslandsUnknown ss (BL?)In (left) margin of SS1
ManamaMiD973A
MiD973B

Imperforate
1972The Atlas Automated Target Docking Adaptor (ATDA), about 20 m from the Gemini-9A capsule
ManamaMi1068A
Mi1068B
One of strip of 3 (Mi1067A-1069A)
One of imperforate strip of 3 (Mi1067B-1069B)
1972Gemini-11 (in the foreground) tethered to the GATV (Gemini-Agena Target Vehicle)
ManamaMi1067A-1069A_strip3 fdcOne of strip of three stamps on FDC
ManamaBL206A
BL206B
On stamp of SS1 (Mi1068A)
On stamp of imperforate SS1 (Mi1068B)
ManamaMi1090A
Mi1090B

Imperforate
1972The first of three EVAs (Extra-Vehicular Activities) by astronaut Buzz Aldrin in the Gemini-12 mission; the GATV (Gemini-Agena Target Vehicle) is partially visible behind him
ManamaBL218A
BL218B
On stamp of SS1 (Mi1090A)
On stamp of imperforate SS1 (Mi1090B)
ManamaMi1091A
Mi1091B
One of strip of 3 (Mi1091A-1093A)
One of imperforate strip of 3 (Mi1091B-1093B)
1972Astronaut Richard Gordon (astride the nose of the Gemini-11 capsule) in the process of attaching a 30 m tether from the GATV (Gemini-Agena Target Vehicle) to the capsule's docking bar; the GATV is partially visible behind Gordon)
MozambiqueUnknown dOne of MS4 (a-d)2020GATV and "Gemini-8"
MozambiqueUnknown dOne of MS4 (a-d)"Gemini-12 docked with GATV
Panama453A (Mi725)
i453A (Mi?)

Imperforate
1964"Gemini" capsule docking with "Agena" (i.e. with the GATV)
Panama453A pair453A pair (2x 453A)
Paraguay806 (Mi1295)
i806 (Mi1303)

Imperforate, different color
1964"'Gemini' program [capsule] docking with 'Agena' [Target Vehicle] in space" (in Spanish text)
Paraguay807 (Mi1296)
i807 (Mi1304)

Imperforate, different color
Paraguay808 (Mi1297)
i808 (Mi1305)

Imperforate, different color
Senegal719 (Mi913)
i719

Imperforate
1987"Rendezvous of Gemini-8 and the Agena Target Rocket" (i.e. the GATV) (in French text); (but the 20th anniversary, not the 10th as written in the stamps and the SS1 margin)
Senegal720 (BL48)On stamp (Mi914) of SS1
Sierra LeoneUnknown bOne of MS2 (a-b)2020The first of three EVAs (Extra-Vehicular Activities) by astronaut Buzz Aldrin in the Gemini-12 mission; the GATV (Gemini-Agena Target Vehicle) is partially visible behind him
United States1193 fdc (Mi822 fdc)(Multi-color printed) cachet on FDC1962"Project Mercury MA-5 first chimpanzee in orbit"
United States1332b fdc (Mi930-931 fdc)(Freemason?) cachet on cover1967The first of three EVAs (Extra-Vehicular Activities) by astronaut Buzz Aldrin in the Gemini-12 mission; the GATV (Gemini-Agena Target Vehicle) is partially visible behind him
United States1435b fdc (Mi1046-1047 fdc)(Sarzin) cachet on FDC1971GATV (Gemini-Agena Target Vehicle)
United States (FMF Local Post)None(FMF) local post stamp1975GATV
United States (FMF Local Post)None(FMF) local post stamp1976ATDA


Below is a list of Mercury and Gemini-series [un-manned] satellite launch covers (including anniversary-of-launch covers, and launch-related event covers).

CountryCancel DateCancel LocationType of ItemNotes on Content
Mercury [un-manned]
1961-09-13: Mercury-MA-4
United States1961-09-13Port Canaveral FL(Sarzin) cachet on coverMercury-MA-4 launch
Mercury-MA-4 (events)
United States1962-08-20USS Decatur(Magenta rubber-stamp) cachet on coverMercury-MA-4 recovery
1961-11-29: Mercury-MA-5
United States1961-11-29Port Canaveral FL(Black and magenta rubber-stamp) cachet on coverMercury-MA-5 launch
United States1961-11-29Patrick AFB, FL(SpaceCraft) cachet on coverMercury-MA-5 launch
United States1961-11-29Patrick AFB, FL(C. Swanson magenta rubber-stamp and black typed) cachet on coverMercury-MA-5 launch
Mercury-MA-5 (anniversaries)
United States2016-11-29Sagamore Beach MA(Coverscape) cachet on cover55th anniv. Mercury-MA-5 launch
1961-11-01: Mercury-MS-1
United States1961-11-01Patrick AFB, FL(C. Swanson magenta rubber-stamp) cachet on coverMercury-MS-1 launch
Gemini [un-manned, but often involved in manned missions]
1964-04-08: Gemini-Titan-GT-1
United States1964-04-08Cape Canaveral FL(SpaceCraft) cachet on coverTitan-2 mission GT-1 to test the structural integrity of the GLV (the Titan rocket, or Gemini Launch Vehicle) and the un-manned Gemini capsule, and also to demonstrate the GLV's ability to place the capsule into a prescribed orbit
United States1964-04-08Cape Canaveral FL(SpaceCraft) cachet (and signature) on cover
United States1964-04-08Cape Canaveral FL(C. Swanson purple rubber-stamp) cachet on cover
1965-01-19: Gemini-Titan-GT-2 [sub-orbital]
United States1965-01-19Patrick AFB, FL(SpaceCraft) cachet on coverGemini-GT-2 launch
United States1965-01-19Cape Canaveral FL(C. Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on (airmail) cover
1966-06-01: Atlas-ATDA
United States1966-06-01Cape Canaveral FL(Orbit Covers) cachet on cover"Wild alligator target launch" (ATDA)
United States1966-06-01Cape Canaveral FL(Blue and black printed) cachet on cover"Augmented Target Docking Adapter" (ATDA)
Atlas-ATDA (events)
United States1966-06-03Cape Canaveral FL(Sarzin) cachet on Gemini-9A launch cover"Space Meeting GT9" (with the ATDA)
United States1976-06-03Houston TXLocal post stamp and (cyan and black rubber-stamp) cachet on Gemini-9A anniversary cover10th anniv. "Gemini-9 rendezvous in space with ATDA".
United States1966-11-11Cape Canaveral FL(Orbit Covers) cachet on Gemini-12 launch and event cover, also detailATDA
1965-10-25: GATV-6
United States1965-10-25Cape Canaveral FL(Sokolsky black) cachet on coverGATV-6 launch
United States1965-10-25Cape Canaveral FL(Centennial-like) cachet on coverGATV-6 launch
1966-03-16: GATV-8 (and Gemini-8)
United States1963-03-16Cape Canaveral FL(SpaceCraft/Swanson) cachet on coverGATV-8 (and Gemini-8) separate launches, later docking in orbit
GATV (events)
United States1965-08-21Cape Canaveral FL(Astro Covers) cachet on Gemini-5 launch cover"maneuvers with [a virtual2] Agena target" (GATV)
Antigua1965-12-07St. John's(Round black rubber-stamp) cachet on Gemini-7 event coverPosigrade maneuver1 after failed GATV launch on 25 Oct 1965
United States1966-07-18Cape Canaveral FL(Astro Covers, no logo) cachet on Gemini-10 launch cover"Rendezvous with Agena Target" (i.e. the GATV) and "Space walk between 2 spacecraft" (i.e. between the Gemini capsule and the GATV)
United States1966-07-18Cape Canaveral FL(Astro Covers) cachet (different) on Gemini-10 launch cover"Rendezvous with Agena" (i.e. the GATV) and "Space walk between 2 spacecraft" (i.e. between the Gemini capsule and the GATV)
United States1966-07-18Cape Canaveral FL(Orbit Covers) cachet on Gemini-10 launch cover, also detaildocking with the GATV
United States1966-07-19Cape Canaveral FL(Orbit Covers) cachet on Gemini-10 event cover, also detaildocking with the GATV
United States1966-11-11Cape Canaveral FL(Orbit Covers) cachet on Gemini-12 launch and event cover, also detailGATV
United States1966-11-11Cape Canaveral FL (hand cancel)(Astro Covers, no logo) cachet on Gemini-12 launch and event cover"Rendezvous [with the GATV] and space walk mission"
United States1966-11-11Cape Canaveral FL (machine cancel)(Astro Covers, no logo) cachet (different) on Gemini-12 launch and event cover"Rendezvous and docking with Agena" (i.e. with the GATV); the tethered GATV is seen in the cachet; here is another view
United States1966-11-11Cape Canaveral FL(Orbit Covers) cachet on Gemini-12 launch and event coverGemini capsule docked with the GATV; also tethered to the GATV; also Gemini-11 astronaut Richard Gordon astride the nose of the Gemini-11 capsule and attaching the GATV tether (design based on this Gemini-11 mission photograph; the GATV is partially visible just beyond Gordon's body; see also Manama Mi1091A)
United States1975-08-21Cape Canaveral FLLocal post stamp and (cyan and black rubber-stamp) cachet on Gemini-5 anniversary coverGATV and Gemini-5 (but the docking maneuvers in this mission were virtual2; no GATV was in orbit during the Gemini-5 mission)
United States2016-03-17Sagamore Beach MA(Coverscape) cachet on Gemini-8 event cover40th anniversary "rendezvous and docking - Gemini-VIII" and "Aegina target vehicle" (GATV)

1A posigrade maneuver is the use of an auxiliary rocket motor to impart additional thrust to a spacecraft in its direction of motion. On 7 Dec 1965, Gemini-7 performed a posigrade maneuver using the aft-firing thrusters for 16.5 seconds. The result was an increase in speed of 12.6 ft/sec. This was done to adjust the orbital altitude of the Gemini-7 capsule in preparation for its planned rendezvous with Gemini-6A, which took place on 15 Dec 1965.
2One of the goals of the Gemini-5 mission was to test techniques to rendezvous with a given point in space. This was done on the third day of the flight. Four different rendezvous maneuvers were successfully tested, using the Orbit, Attitude and Maneuvering System (OAMS). Such precision maneuvers had never before been attempted in an American spaceflight. Subsequent Gemini missions would rendezvous in space with real objects such as the Agena Target Vehicles.


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Updated: 2021-01-21