American Astrophilately

About the Author
view in Klingon
David S. Ball
Philatelic Society Memberships

Fédération Internationale de Philatélie (FIP) Section on Astrophilately

United States Representative

American Air Mail Society

Board of Directors
Life Member

Space Unit
(American Topical Association)

American Society of Polar Philatelists

Society of Israel Philatelists

Royal Philatelic Society London

American Philatelic Society

The author vividly remembers thinking, at age 10, that his life would forever be divided between before and after Americans first set foot upon the moon. A stamp collector for 40 years Mr. Ball became a space event collector on joining Space Unit in 1987. He experienced an epiphany in 2006 after hearing Beatrice Bachmann speak about Astrophilately at a Washington stamp show. A Clinical Analyst at the Medical University of SC and an Air Force Flight Nurse, Mr. Ball collects classic US manned and unmanned space covers with a special interest in experimental flight. In 1993 he led an expedition that reexamined the 1967 crash of X-15 #3. The findings were published in Quest Magazine in 1994 and videotaped interviews were included in the Space Craft Films X-15 DVD set released in 2006.


In Their Prime, an astrophilatelic study of Prime Recovery Ships, was one of about two dozen Digital Philatelic Study (DPS) exhibits at the American Stamp Dealers Association (ASDA) Fall Mega Show, held in New York in October 2006. In the long history of postal exhibitions, this was the first virtual exhibit. In Their Prime was awarded the Viewers Choice Award for best exhibit at the show.


Mr. Ball married into the NASA family. His wife Anne remembers Neil Armstrong coming over to shake her hand at the National Cathedral, following the service that placed a moon rock in a stain glass window. Her father, William J. O’Donnell, was the PAO at NASA Headquarters at the time. His career spanned from Schirra’s Mercury flight to the first flights of the Space Shuttle. Anne’s sister, Janet, was a NASA educator and her mother, Linn, had been a “computer” at Langley.