The Kennedy Space Center post office has been, well, cancelled.
The contract facility, which was established at NASA's Florida spaceport on July 1, 1965, will close permanently "near the end of the fiscal year," or sometime before Sept. 30. Since 2013, the post office has been operated for NASA by Post Masters Mail and Print Services, a division of the nonprofit Anthony Wayne Rehabilitation Center (AWRC).
The agency's mail will now go through Cocoa Beach to Orlando for processing. But with the closure of the office, the public will no longer be able to request that stamped envelopes (called philatelic "covers") be postmarked with a cancellation device displaying the location of Kennedy Space Center.
Collectors' requests will instead be directed to Titusville, the next closest office to the space center, according to a notice from AWRC. Submitted covers will receive a Titusville postmark.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will also not service covers using the Kennedy Space Center postmark through its fulfillment center in Kansas City, Missouri.
Philatelic covers are stamped envelopes postmarked on the dates of significant events. Since the first rocket left Florida's Space Coast more than 70 years ago, collectors have had covers serviced at the post office nearest the site of the launch. In addition to Titusville, there are post offices today in Merritt Island, Cape Canaveral and at the Patrick Space Force Station.
Thomas Spaur, supervisor of the Kennedy Space Center post office, told Linn's Stamp News that the office recently averaged about 5,000 postmark requests each year. Since the 1969 launch of Apollo 12 and the end of the space shuttle program in 2011, drop boxes had been available at the spaceport's visitor center (today, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex) for the public to have their envelopes submitted for servicing, but those bins are no more.
Collectors' requests for postmarks dated for the last day of service should be submitted to the Kennedy Space Center post office by Friday (Sept. 15). Self-addressed stamped envelopes (or stamped envelopes addressed to others of the sender's choice) should be placed into a larger envelope addressed to:
US Postal Service/CPU
KMSC-003/Clerk In Charge
Kennedy Space Center, FL 32815-9998
Collectors and the public can also send stamped envelopes and postcards without addresses for postmark, so long as they supply a larger self-addressed envelope with adequate postage. After applying the postmark, the post office will return the covers (with or without addresses) in the addressed larger envelope.
After the Kennedy office closes, cover requests should be addressed to: Titusville Post Office, Attn: Supervisor, 2503 S. Washington Ave., Titusville, FL 32780.