Astronaut Scholarship Foundation to Host
Bi-Annual Online Auction of Space Memorabilia
Money raised from sale of 46 collectibles and astronaut experiences
to help fund STEM scholarships for outstanding college students
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – From unique collectibles and signed memorabilia to one-of-a-kind flown artifacts, the public will have its chance to bid on some of the hottest space keepsakes when the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) hosts its fall 2015 online auction beginning Sept. 19. Money raised from the auction will play a key role in funding college scholarships for outstanding science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students across the United States.
“The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation is very fortunate to have such strong relationships with so many astronauts who are willing to donate their personal space memorabilia in support of our mission,” said Tammy Knowles, ASF’s executive director. “Our bi-annual online auction is filled with collectible items from more than five decades of space travel, all personally donated by astronauts and patrons. These generous gifts help us raise significant dollars to help shape the next generation of science and technology leaders.”
The auction will take place beginning at 9 a.m. Eastern on Saturday, Sept. 19 and run through Friday, Sept. 25 at 10 p.m. Eastern. A special preview of this year’s auction will open on Friday, Sept. 18 at 9 a.m. Eastern. The preview allows the public to register, obtain their bidding numbers and get a sneak peek at the items. This season, there are a total of 46 lots up for bid, including:
- Official NASA Apollo Earth Orbit Chart signed by 13 Apollo astronauts, including four who walked on the Moon (Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr., Alan Bean, Eugene “Gene” Cernan and Charles “Charlie” Duke, Jr.). Entitled “Apollo Mission 12, For November 1969 Launch Dates,” this first edition chart measures approximately 13.5 inches by 42 inches.
- Skylab Astronaut Maneuvering Unit (AMU) checklist cover, which was flown during Skylab 4 and worn on the cuffs of astronauts Gerald “Jerry” Carr, Edward Gibson and William Pogue as they worked in space.
- Flown Apollo 14 beta cloth patch, silkscreened with the mission insignia and signed by astronaut Edgar Mitchell. The patch is made from the same material used to create fire-resistant space suits.
- Skylab-Flown, serial-numbered pen and pencil, which were launched with the Skylab workshop in May 1973 and returned to Earth with the final Skylab crew in February 1974.
In addition, the ASF will auction four of its signature “Astronaut Experiences,” which offer bidders the chance to win a one-on-one encounter with a space explorer. This year’s experiences include:
- A behind-the-scenes, VIP tour for two at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, donated by Jacobs Technology, Inc., the corporate sponsor of ASF’s Workforce Initiative.
- Two tickets, plus an astronaut special table guest, to the Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in May 2016.
- Two breathtaking hiking adventures (one of which to take place in Shenandoah National Park).
For a complete listing of items, visit www.astronautscholarship.org/auction on Sept. 18.
While ASF has hosted live and silent auctions during its fundraising events over the past 30 years, the organization branched into online auctions in the early 2000s to appeal to a broader audience.
“Our online auction allows us to reach collectors around the world, who might not be able to attend one of our fundraising events,” Knowles said. “Over the past 10 years, auctions such as this one have helped us raise in excess of $1.5 million for our scholarship program.”
People interested in participating in the fall 2015 online auction must register in advance, beginning Sept. 18. Once the auction opens, participants may submit bids as many times as desired during the bidding period using the forms located on each lot page.
Winning bidders will be notified via email. Items will be shipped at the bidder’s expense. Cash, checks and credit cards will be accepted for payment of items. The full list of rules and regulations will be posted online on Sept. 18.
About the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation: Founded in 1984 by the surviving Mercury 7 astronauts, the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) helps the United States retain its world leadership in science and technology. Through the garnered support of astronauts, industry leaders, educational institutions and patrons, ASF awards merit-based scholarships to the best and brightest university students who excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The prestigious Astronaut Scholarship is known nationwide for being among the highest scholarships awarded to undergraduate STEM students. Since its inception, ASF has awarded in excess of $4 million in scholarships to more than 470 of the nation’s top scholars.