The drawing below reads "This insurance cover is from my personal space collection. Charles M. Duke Jr." What was an insurance cover?

Charlie Duke insurance cover

  • $\begingroup$ I guess the followup question is why did they call it a "cover" instead of an envelope? I never heard anyone refer to it as a "cover". $\endgroup$
    – JPhi1618
    Sep 19, 2019 at 19:33

1 Answer 1


It's an envelope (for letters, forms etc.) that was signed by one of the Apollo astronauts before their flight.

The Apollo insurance covers are autographed postal covers signed by the astronaut crews prior to their mission. The insurance covers began with Apollo 11 and ended with Apollo 16. The ability of astronauts to obtain much life insurance was limited, so they signed hundreds of postal covers before they left, on the presumption that they would become highly valuable in the event of their death.

  • $\begingroup$ @DrSheldon - Why "Nope"? It's rather clear from the quoted text that insurance companies had nothing to do with those "insurance covers". The "insurance" was that those covers (autographed postcards with canceled stamps) would become very valuable to stamp collectors should the astronaut died during the mission. $\endgroup$ Sep 18, 2019 at 9:35
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ that was a comment on an earlier, incorrect version of the answer. $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Sep 18, 2019 at 9:37
  • $\begingroup$ Correct! See also the explanation on the Apollo 16 image page where I got the image from. $\endgroup$
    – DrSheldon
    Sep 18, 2019 at 12:02
  • $\begingroup$ What a fascinating bit of historical trivia! $\endgroup$ Sep 19, 2019 at 16:12

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