Vintage Space Art Christmas Cards

Card #1 Missileland

Card #1 Missileland

Card #2 Spaceport and Moon

Card #2 Spaceport and Moon

Card #3 Spaceport and Capsule

Card #3 Spaceport and Capsule

Card #4 Capsule on Moon

Card #4 Capsule on Moon

Card #5 Martians Singing on Moon

These vintage Christmas cards were created by NASA space artist Don Mackey in the 1960s and 1970s. I got the cards on eBay. Click on them and look closely for some really fun details.

Card #1 Missileland features a houseboat called the Indian River Queen.  The flying saucer is powered by Florida swamp gas. The artist himself is on the porch beside the pelican, and he is painting the missile launch. A Christmas tree is inside. Santa is on the roof in his long underwear playing cards with the aliens, and his outfit is hanging on the clothesline. On the lower right are leprechauns and an alligator in a Santa hat!

Card #2 Spaceport and Moon shows Santa with two aliens in a Model T sleigh with a surfboard on back. A sign on the Moon says “Snoopy was Here”! Running away from the reindeer is a little dog in a space helmet. The two aliens are digging up gold. The astronaut on the right has a box of Moon gold, and the astronaut on the left is filming the scene with a TV camera.  Perched on his back is a parrot in a space helmet.

Card #3 Spaceport and Capsule shows three aliens wearing Santa hats in a sleigh that says “Wide Load”. The astronauts in the capsule are waving, and one of them is filming the scene with a TV camera. At the back of the capsule is an antennae with an owl perched on it! 

Card #4 Capsule on Moon shows lots of happy green aliens greeting a capsule that has landed on the Moon. The capsule sits on a lunar landscape filled with craters and mountains, with the Earth and a bright shining star in the background. Coming out of the capsule is Santa Claus carrying a bag of toys and a Christmas tree. Ruldolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is peaking his head out the capsule door. The greeting on the card says “Merry Christmas from Cape Canaveral”.

Card #5 Martians Singing on Moon shows four aliens singing Christmas carols, one playing a trumpet, three reaching out of a moon crater for their guitar, plus one alien and one astronaut directing the choir.  In the background Santa and his reindeer are flying into the lunar landscape with a banner that reads “Merry Christmas from Cape Kennedy, Fla and Happy New Year” and Earth is in the background.

Another post that contains Christmas card art by Don Mackey is at:

About Pam
Richard and Pam lived in the San Francisco Bay Area 14 years (1987-1999 and 2008-2011). They lived in Florida 13 years previously, until returning in July 2011 to present. They hope their photography will encourage you to get out and discover nature's beauty in your own backyard, parks, and wild places. Click on any pictures on this blog to see them full size with additional details.

26 Responses to Vintage Space Art Christmas Cards

  1. elisaruland says:

    I love these, Pam.

    Merry Christmas!!

  2. FeyGirl says:

    i have NEVER seen these!!! wow. thanks for sharing… these would have been a wonderful gift for my father — nasa scientist, my brother and i were both born near the cape. 🙂 wow!!!

    • Pam says:

      Oh, I am sorry you missed these! Just checked and they are all gone. But they DO come back up for sale every year. Every time you go on eBay search for Don Mackey space art and it will come up if there are any available. I’ve been searching for a year and finally got these. Have a great holiday!

  3. Pam, I just got back from Cocoa Beach and found this card at my mom’s condo. It’s in perfect shape. How many different ones were made and why is there scant info on the artist?

  4. I found a 1965 NASA publication introducing the nation to recently then-named Cape Kennedy. It is comprehensive and illustrated by Donald Mackey. Apparently, he was a NASA illustrator who created all those depictions of spacecraft in various stages of flight. It is a digital document, but I would love to get my hands on a hard copy.

  5. Pam says:

    Oh this is a real GEM! Thank you so much for sending the link. I am going to look at the brochure in detail. I remember the rocket garden in front of the building along A1A. I love all of this stuff – it is so fascinating. Another really fun thing out there are the old Snoopy posters promoting safety at NASA during the Moon program. I saw one at the Schulz Museum in California. Don’t have a picture – none allowed. I am hoping to run across one for sale one day.

  6. G. Cook says:

    I have the originals. They are wonderful. I brought these to the antiques roadshow in Des Moines, Iowa. I have a rather large collection of Donald Mackey artwork. If interested in seeing collection, look up Donald Mackey in photobucket. There are fantastic examples of his whole career.

    • Pam says:

      I saw that Roadshow! That inspired me to see if I could find some copies. I’ve googled Donald Mackey, but didn’t find much information – will try photobucket as you suggested. Absolutely fantastic to hear from you!

      • G.cook says:

        I have been offered some outrages amounts of money since these were on the roadshow. I do think when I decide to part with them, I would like to have them displayed at the space center museum, since they are truly a part of our space race history.

        • G.cook says:

          You will have to search Don Mackey instead of Donald when on the photobucket website. Thanks!

        • Pam says:

          Oh that is a wonderful idea! I am so enthusiastic about space and am so happy when other people get excited by it too. Every time I go to Kennedy Space Center I am thrilled to see families with their children having a great time viewing the exhibits. People especially enjoy the new Space Shuttle Atlantis display. I’ve enjoyed all the space center museums – every single one has so much to offer. This is history and our special heritage!

  7. John says:

    Hi Pam! I’ve had #1 in our family since they were made available in the 60’s. It was sent to my parents from my mothers’ brother (my Uncle Bill Baumann) who hailed from Merritt Is. and Coco Beach, FL. We lived across the State in St. Petersburg, all having migrated there from Pittsburgh, PA. in the early 60’s. It’s been a delight to have an original, and often take it out to view the interesting details and colors. Mackey was a great talented artist!

    • Pam says:

      That is so cool! My parents live in Merritt Island, so I know it well. We are just a bit south in Palm Bay. Thank you so much for writing. It is a delight to hear from you. You have a real treasure!

  8. Pingback: Vintage Space Art Christmas Cards at the Air Force Space and Missile Museum | naturetime

  9. cindy knoke says:

    these are so cool!

  10. Michael macki says:

    Donald was a friend of my parents lived with them for a time in the 1940sthey remained friends through out their lives he would send these Christmas cards every year even have two pencil drawings of my brother done by him

    • Pam says:

      I am so happy you told me that story! I really treasure his cards. He was a very gifted artist. You are so fortunate to have the pencil drawings. There was a display one year of his work at the Air Force Space and Missile Museum near Kennedy Space Center/Port Canaveral. What a treasure!

  11. Pingback: Reindeer In Sleigh | UTS PRO KIDS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: