Orbit Covers

These colourful covers were produced by William (Bill) Ronson, but I can’t find out much information about them or him, and I don’t think there is a printed or online catalog available either.

→→→ WANTED ←←← click here for a list of Orbit Covers i’d like to buy.

Click here for pre-1966 ‘Orbit Covers’, and here for long ‘Orbit Covers’.

My ‘Orbit Covers’ Collection (1966 onwards)

1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982

1966  |  Back to Year choices

Tiros 11 – 3rd Feb 1966:


Apollo AS-201 – 26th Feb 1966:


Eldo F4 – 24th May 1966 (Australia):


Surveyor – 30th May 1966 (‘Plugged 9’ fake cancel):


Surveyor – 2nd June 1966 (‘Plugged 9’ fake cancel):


OGO 3 – 7th Jun 1966:


USAF OV 3/4 – 10th Jun 1966:


Titan 3C USAF 8 Satellites – 16th Jun 1966:


Lunar Explorer – 1st Jul 1966:


Apollo AS-203 – 5th Jul 1966:


Lunar Orbiter – 10th Aug 1966 (‘Plugged 9’ fake cancel):


Lunar Orbiter – 14th Aug 1966:


Pioneer 7 – 17th Aug 1966:


Apollo AS-202 – 25th Aug 1966:


Titan 3C USAF 8 Satellites – 26th Aug 1966:


Surveyor 2 – 20th Sep 1966:


Atlas Centaur – 26th Oct 1966:


COMSAT Lani Bird – 27th Oct 1966:


Project MOL (Manned Orbiting Laboratory) – 3rd Nov 1966:


Lunar Orbiter 2 – 7th Nov 1966:


ATS 1 ‘Everybody’s Satellite’ – 7th Dec 1966:


Biosatellite 1 – 14th Dec 1966:


1967  |  Back to Year choices

Comsat Lani Bird II – 11th Jan 1967:


ESSA 4 – 26th Jan 1967:


Lunar Orbiter 3 – 5th Feb 1967:


OSO 3 – 8th Mar 1967:


Comsat Canary Bird III – 23rd Mar 1967:


ATS 2 ‘Everybody’s Satellite’ – 6th Apr 1967:


Surveyor 3 – 17th Apr 1967:


Surveyor 3 – 19th Apr 1967:


ESSA 5 – 20th Apr 1967:


Surveyor 3 – 22nd Apr 1967:


Titan 3C USAF – 28th Apr 1967:


Lunar Orbiter 4 – 4th May 1967:


Ariel 3 – 5th May 1967:


Lunar Orbiter 4 – 8th May 1967:


Explorer 34 – 24th May 1967:


ESRO II – 29th May 1967:


Titan 3C USAF 8 Satellites – 1st Jul 1967:


Mariner 5 – 14th Jun 1967:


Surveyor 4 – 14th Jul 1967:


Surveyor 4 – 16th Jul 1967:


Lunar Explorer – 19th Jul 1967:


Lunar Explorer – 22th Jul 1967:


OGO IV – 28th Jul 1967:


Lunar Orbiter 5 – 2nd Aug 1967:


Lunar Orbiter Series – 2nd Aug 1967:


Lunar Orbiter 5 – 5th Aug 1967:


Biosatellite 2 – 7th Sep 1967:


Surveyor 5 – 8th Sep 1967:


Surveyor 5 – 11th Sep 1967:


Comsat Lani Bird IV – 28th Sep 1967:


Astronaut Medallions – 29th Sep 1967:


OSO 4 – 18th Oct 1967:


Mariner 5 – 19th Oct 1967:


Apollo / RAM C – 19th Oct 1967:


ATS 3 – 6th Nov 1967:


Surveyor 6 – 7th Nov 1967:


Surveyor 6 – 9th Nov 1967:


Essa 6 – 10th Nov 1967:


Apollo / Pioneer 8 – 13th Dec 1967:


1968  |  Back to Year choices

Surveyor 7 – 7th Jan 1968:


Surveyor Series – 7th Jan 1968:


Surveyor 7 – 9th Jan 1968:


Explorer 36 / Geos 2 – 11th Jan 1968:


OGO V – 4th Mar 1968:


Explorer 37 / Solrad – 5th Mar 1968:


ESRO II – 16th May 1968:


Titan 3C USAF 8 Satellites – 13th Jun 1968:


NEBPEX 68 – 23rd Jun 1968:


Radio Astronomy Explorer 38 – 4th Jul 1968:


Spy in the Sky – 6th Aug 1968:


Explorer 39 / 40 – 8th Aug 1968:


ATS 4 – 21st Aug 1968:


Project Apollo RAM-C – 22nd Aug 1968:


MIT LES 6 – 26th Sep 1968:


ESRO I – 3rd Oct 1968:


ATS 3 Mexico Olympics – 12th Oct 1968:


Apollo / Pioneer 9 – 8th Nov 1968:


HEOS-I ESRO – 5th Dec 1968:


Orbiting Astronomical Observatory – 7th Dec 1968:


Apollo 8 / ESSA 8- 15th Dec 1968:


Apollo 8 / Intelsat 3 F2- 19th Dec 1968:


Apollo 8 Christmas Moon Orbit – 24th Dec 1968:


1969  |  Back to Year choices

OSO 5 – 22nd Jan 1969:


ISIS 1 / Explorer 41- 29th Jan 1969:


Intelsat 3 (F3) / Apollo 9 – 6th Feb 1969:


Taccomsat 1 USAF – 9th Feb 1969:


Mariner 6 – 25th Feb 1969:


ESSA 9 / Apollo 9 – 26th Feb 1969:


Apollo 9 – 13th Mar 1969:


Mariner 7 – 27th Mar 1969:


Spy in the Sky (Canyon 2) – 13th Apr 1969:


Nimbus 3 – 14th Apr 1969:


USS Grayback Missile Mail – 9th May 1969:


Apollo 10 – 21st May 1969:


Intelsat 3 (F4) / Apollo 10 – 22nd May 1969:


Twin Vela Radiation Detector Satellites – 23rd May 1969:


Apollo 10 – 26th May 1969:


OGO VI – 5th Jun 1969:


Explorer 41 / IMP 7 – 21st Jun 1969:


Biosatellite 3 – 29th Jun 1969:


Biosatellite 3 – 8th Jul 1969:


Apollo 11 – 19th Jul 1969:


Apollo 11 Tranquility – 20th Jul 1969:


Apollo 11 – 24th Jul 1969 (‘Plugged 9’ fake cancel):


Intelsat 3 (F5) – 26th Jul 1969:


Mariner 6 – 31st Jul 1969:


Mariner 7 – 5th Aug 1969:


OSO 6 – 9th Aug 1969:


ATS 5 – 12th Aug 1969:


ESRO 1B – 1st Oct 1969:


GRS-AZUR – 7th Nov 1969:


Apollo 12 – 17th Nov 1969:


Apollo 12 ‘Pete’s Parking Lot’ – 20th Nov 1969:


British Skynet – 22nd Nov 1969:


Apollo 12 – 24th Nov 1969:


1970  |  Back to Year choices

Intelsat 3 (F6) – 15th Jan 1970:


ITOS I – 23rd Jan 1970:


SERT II – 3rd Feb 1970:


NATO 1 OTAN – 21st Mar 1970:


Nimbus 4 – 4th Apr 1970:


Radiation Detector Satellite – 6th Apr 1970:


Apollo 13 – 13th Apr 1970:


Apollo 13 “Houston we’ve had a problem here” – 14th Apr 1970:


Apollo 13 Re-entry – 17th Apr 1970:


Intelsat 3 (F7) – 22nd Apr 1970:


Spy in the Sky (Rhyolite 1 / Aquacade 1 / OPS 5346) – 19th Jun 1970:


1 Year Anniversary of Apollo 11- 20th Jul 1970:


Intelsat 3 (F8) – 24th Jul 1970:


20th Anniversary 1st Cape Canaveral Rocket Launch – 24th Jul 1970:


British Skynet II – 19th Aug 1970:


Spy in the Sky (Canyon 3 / OPS 7329) – 1st Sep 1970:


Project Apollo RAM-C – 30th Sep 1970:


Spy in the Sky / Satellite 647 – 6th Nov 1970:


Orbiting Frog Otolith – 9th Nov 1970:


Orbiting Astronomical Observatory B – 30th Nov 1970 (note missing color error on second cover):


NOAA 1 – 11th Dec 1970:


1971 |  Back to Year choices

Intelsat 4 (F2) – 26th Jan 1971:


NATO 2 OTAN – 3rd Feb 1971:


Apollo 14 – 4th Feb 1971:


Apollo 14 – 6th Feb 1971:


Apollo 14 – 9th Feb 1971 (note text difference on second cover; note missing color error on third cover):


Explorer 43 – 13th Mar 1971:


ISIS 2 – 31st Mar 1971:


USAF Spy in the Sky – 5th May 1971:


Mariner H – 8th May 1971:


Mariner 9 – 30th May 1971:


Planetary Atmosphere Experiments Test – 21st Jun 1971:


Solrad 10 – 9th Jul 1971:


Apollo 15 Moon Orbit – 29th Jul 1971:


Apollo 15 Rover Expedition – 31st Jul 1971:


Apollo 15 Lunar Liftoff – 2nd Aug 1971:


Apollo 15 Sub-Satellite – 4th Aug 1971:


Apollo 15 Space Walks – 5th Aug 1971:


Apollo 15 Splashdown – 7th Aug 1971:


EOLE / CNES – 16th Aug 1971:


Barium Ion Experiment – 21st Sep 1971:


OSO 7 – 29th Sep 1971:


NOAA 2 – 21st Oct 1971:


DSCS Phase II – 3rd Nov 1971:


Mariner 9 – 13th Nov 1971:


Ariel 4 – 11th Dec 1971:


Intelsat 4 (F3) – 20th Dec 1971:


1972  |  Back to Year choices

Intelsat 4 (F4) – 23rd Jan 1972:


HEOS – 2 ESRO – 31st Jan 1972:


USAF Spy in the Sky Satellite 647 – 1st Mar 1972:


Pioneer 10 – 3rd Mar 1972:


ESRO – 11th Mar 1972:


Apollo 16 – 19th Apr 1972:


Apollo 16 Second Moon Rover – 21st Apr 1972:


Apollo 16 – 23rd Apr 1972:


Apollo 16 Sub-Satellite – 24th Apr 1972:


Apollo 16 – 25th Apr 1972:


Apollo 16 – 27th Apr 1972:


Intelsat 4 (F5) – 13th Jun 1972:


Pioneer 10 – 15th Jul 1972:


ERTS 1 – 23rd Jul 1972:


Viking Lander Test – 26th Jul 1972:


Explorer 46 – 14th Aug 1972:


Orbiting Astronomical Observatory / Copernicus – 21st Aug 1972:


Explorer 47 – 22nd Sep 1972:


ITOS – 15th Oct 1972:


ANIK 1- 10th Nov 1972:


ESRO IV – 21st Nov 1972:


Apollo 17 – 10th Dec 1972:


Apollo 17 – 12th Dec 1972:


Nimbus 5 – 12th Dec 1972:


Apollo 17 – 14th Dec 1972:


Apollo 17 – 17th Dec 1972:


Apollo 17 – 18th Dec 1972:


Apollo 17 – 19th Dec 1972:


USAF Spy in the Sky Satellite 647 – 21st Dec 1972:


1973 |  Back to Year choices

USAF Secret Satellite (Rhyolite 2 / Aquacade 2 / OPS 6063)- 6th Mar 1973:


Pioneer 11 – 6th Apr 1973:


ANIK 2 – 21st Apr 1973:


Skylab 1 – 14th May 1973:


Skylab 1-2 – 25th May 1973:


Skylab 1-2 – 26th May 1973:


Skylab 1-2 – 7th Jun May 1973:


Explorer 49 – 10th Jun 1973:


Skylab 1-2 – 19th Jun 1973:


Skylab 1-2 – 22nd Jun 1973:


ITOS E – 16th Jul 1973 (note missing color error on second cover):


Pioneer 11 – 16th Jul 1973:


Skylab 1-3 – 28th Jul 1973:


Skylab 1-3 – 6th Aug 1973:


Skylab 1-3 – 24th Aug 1973:


Intelsat 4 (F7) – 24th Aug 1973:


Skylab 1-3 – 22nd Sep 1973:


Skylab SL-3 Recovery – 25th Sep 1973:


Explorer 50 – 26th Oct 1973:


Mariner 10 – 3rd Nov 1973:


NOAA 3 – 6th Nov 1973:


Skylab 1-4 – 16th Nov 1973:


Skylab 1-4 – 22nd Nov 1973:


Pioneer 10 – 3rd Dec 1973:


DSCS Phase II – 13th Dec 1973:


Explorer 51 – 15th Dec 1973:


Skylab 1-4 – 25th Dec 1973:


Skylab 1-4 – 29th Dec 1973:


1974  |  Back to Year choices

Skylab 1-4 – 3rd Feb 1974:


Mariner 10 – 5th Feb 1974:


Skylab 1-4 – 8th Feb 1974:


Voyager Planetary Vehicle Mars – 11th Feb 1974:


UK ‘Miranda’ (X 4) – 8th Mar 1974:


Mariner 10 – 29th Mar 1974:


WESTAR 1 – 13th Apr 1974:


Skylab – 14th May 1974:


ATS 6 – 30th May 1974:


Hawkeye 1 / Explorer 52 – 3rd Jun 1974:


Aeros 2 – 16th Jul 1974:


President Ford Chief of Space Program – 9th Aug 1974:


Astronomical Netherlands Satellite – 30th Aug 1974:


Mariner 10 – 21st Sep 1974:


WESTAR 2 – 10th Oct 1974:


Intelsat 4 (F8) – 21st Nov 1974:


British Skynet 3 – 22nd Nov 1974:


Pioneer 11 – 2nd Dec 1974:


Helios 1 ‘Sun God Satellite’ – 10th Dec 1974:


Symphonie French-German Satellite – 18th Dec 1974:


1975  |  Back to Year choices

ERTS 2 – 22nd Jan 1975:


Synchronous Meteorological Satellite 2 / SMS 2 – 6th Feb 1975:


Pioneer Series – 28th Feb 1975:


Peaceful uses of Outer Space – 14th Mar 1975:


Mariner Series – 4th Apr 1975:


Geos 3 – 9th Apr 1975:


ANIK 3 – 7th May 1975:


Intelsat 4 (F1) – 22nd May 1975:


Nimbus 6 – 12th Jun 1975:


USAF Secret Satellite (Canyon 6) – 18th Jun 1975:


OSO 8 – 21st Jun 1975:


Apollo Soyuz – 19th Jul 1975:


Apollo Soyuz – 24th Jul 1975:


European Cosmic Satellite – 8th Aug 1975:


Mars Viking Lander – 20th Aug 1975:


Symphonie 2 – 26th Aug 1975:


Mars Viking Lander II – 9th Sep 1975:


Intelsat 4A (F1) – 25th Sep 1975:


Explorer 54 – 6th Oct 1975:


GEOS A – 16th Oct 1975:


Exlorer 55 – 19th Nov 1975:


DAD Explorer 56 & 57 – 5th Dec 1975:


SATCOM 1 – 12th Dec 1975:


USAF Secret Satellite (DSP 5 / OPS 3165) – 14th Dec 1975:


1976  |  Back to Year choices

Helios 2 ‘Sun God Satellite’ – 15th Jan 1976:


Communications Technology Satellite – 17th Jan 1976:


Intelsat 4A (F2) – 29th Jan 1976:


Marisat 1 – 19th Feb 1976:


MIT LES 8/9 – 14th Mar 1976:


SATCOM 2 – 26th Mar 1976:


NATO 3 – 22nd Apr 1976:


Laser Geodynamic Satellite – 4th May 1976:


Comstar 1 – 13th May 1976:


Marisat 2 – 9th Jun 1976:


Mars Viking 1 – 19th Jun 1976:


USAF Secret Satellite (DSP 6) – 26th Jun 1976:


Palapa 1 – 8th Jul 1976:


Mars Viking 1 – 20th Jul 1976:


Comstar 2 – 22nd Jul 1976:


NOAA 5 – 29th Jul 1976:


Mars Viking 2 – 7th Aug 1976:


Mars Viking 2 – 3rd Sep 1976:


Shuttle USS Enterprise Rollout (NASA Unveils 1st Space Shuttle) – 17th Sep 1976:


Marisat 3 – 14th Oct 1976:


1977  |  Back to Year choices

NATO 4 – 27th Jan 1977:


USAF Secret Satellite (DSP 7 / OPS 3151) – 6th Feb 1977:


Palapa 2 – 10th Mar 1977:


GEOS ESA 1 – 20th Apr 1977:


USAF Secret Satellite (DSCS-2 7/8) – 12th May 1977:


Intelsat 4A (F4) – 26th May 1977:


GEOS 2 NOAA – 16th Jun 1977:


Shuttle USS Enterprise (new slogan – ‘For Benefits on Earth’) – 1st Jul 1977:


HEAO 1 – 12th Aug 1977:


Sirio 1 Italy – 25th Aug 1977:


Voyager 1 – 5th Sep 1977:


ISEE 1/2 – 22nd Oct 1977:


Shuttle USS Enterprise (Final Space Shuttle Approach and Landing Test) – 26th Oct 1977:


Meteostat ESA 1 – 22nd Nov 1977:


Radio Astronomy Explorer Japan (CS 1 / Sakura 1) – 14th Dec 1977:


1978  |  Back to Year choices

Intelsat 4A (F3) – 6th Jan 1978:


IUV 1 (IUE 1) / Explorer 57 – 26th Jan 1978:


FLTSATCOM 1 – 9th Feb 1978:


Radio Astronomy Explorer Japan / BSE (Yuri 1) – 7th Apr 1978:


GEOS 3 NOAA – 16th Jun 1978:


Comstar 3 – 29th Jun 1978:


Pioneer Venus 2 – 8th Aug 1978:


ISEE 3 / Explorer 59 – 12th Aug 1978:


HEAO 2 – 13th Nov 1978:


NATO 4 – 16th Nov 1978:


ANIK 4 – 15th Dec 1978:


1979  |  Back to Year choices

Shuttle USS Columbia Arrives at Cape Canaveral – 24th Mar 1979:


FLTSATCOM 2 – 4th May 1979:


UK 6 – 2nd Jun 1979:

1980  |  Back to Year choices

Solar Maximum Mission – 14th Feb 1980:


Shuttle USS Columbia (External Tank mated to Rocket Boosters) – 3rd Nov 1980:


Voyager 1 / Saturn (Closest Approach) – 12th Nov 1980:


Shuttle USS Columbia (Rollout for STS-1) – 29th Dec 1980:


1981  |  Back to Year choices

Comstar 4 – 21st Feb 1981:


Shuttle USS Columbia (STS-1 Launch) – 12th Apr 1981:


Shuttle USS Columbia (STS-1 Launch) – 12th Apr 1981:


Shuttle USS Columbia (FDC) – 21st May 1981:


Shuttle USS Columbia (FDC) – 21st May 1981:


Shuttle USS Columbia (FDC) – 21st May 1981:


Intelsat V – 23rd May 1981:


Dynamics Explorer 1/2 – 3rd Aug 1981:


Shuttle USS Columbia (Rollout for STS-2) – 31st Aug 1981:


SBS 2 – 24th Sep 1981:


Shuttle USS Columbia (STS-2 Launch) – 12th Nov 1981:


Shuttle USS Columbia (STS-2 Flown back from Edwards AFB to KSC) – 25th Nov 1981:


1982  |  Back to Year choices

Shuttle USS Columbia (Rollout for STS-3) – 16th Feb 1982:


Pioneer Venus 2 – 10th Mar 1982:

Note: This cover is the same as the one issued on 8th August 1978 for the launch of Pioneer Venus 2, except the envelope here is pink. The stamps are not pink, so it has not been dyed/stained. I’m not sure but perhaps it is supposed to be like this ? The ‘Doomsday Jupiter Effect’ relates to the alignment of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto on 10th March 1982 – when this cover is dated. On that day, the planets were all on the same side of the Sun and within a very narrow field of view from Earth. The prediction was that this would cause major catastophes around the world including a massive earthquake in California, but none of this ever happened. Either way it’s a curious cover and the only one like it that i’ve seen.