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Collecting Space
Part 2

Credits: NASA History Office - Mercury Patches


Hunting, collecting, buying and selling meteorites are growing in poplurity. A scan of the web reveals upwards of 100 web sites devoted to meteorites.

While not directly related to space exploration, the growing market for meteorite collection gives an indication of the possible value of materials returned to earth from the moon, asteroids and planets.

See, for example, the Lunar and Martian meteorite materials for sale at the Meteorite Market.

Selling extraterrestrial materials in small quantities to the general public has been proposed as a possible source of revenue for private space ventures.

Remember that meteors are the streaks in the night sky caused by bits of rock and comet debris, most of which are burned up in the atmosphere. Meteorites refer to the pieces that actually make it intact to the ground.

There are many different kinds of meteorites and they are classified according to their composition. See MeteoriteMan's collection of images of various types of meteorites and check out his meteorite glossary for explanations of meteorite names and terms.

After the Mars meteorites were reported to contain possible indications of ancient Martian bacterial life, interest in meteorite collecting has exploded. The number of meteorite sites on the web reflects this growth.

The Meteoroids and Meteorites section at Planetscape - Views of the Solar System has pictures of various types of meteorites and other information about meteorites.

Meteorites and Their Properties by David A. Kring of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona gives this extensive but very readable introduction to meterorites.

HobbySpace only lists a few links here for you to get started. For a really enormous link list, see Meteorite Exchange's Links .

Before buying particularly rare and expensive meteorites, be sure to get some verification. See the advice at Meteorite Identification at Meteors.com. Also, check the prices for similar meteorites at other dealers such as those listed below. This article discusses the risks of meteorite purchases: Meteorites: Risky Investments From Space - ABC News - Feb.19.13

See the Future Public Space: Space Rocks for a discussion of how the meteorite market offers a model for a future business built around selling lunar rock samples.

The Meteoritical Society
The Meteoritical Society is an

".. international, nonprofit organization devoted to the study of extraterrestrial materials and history, including asteroids, impact craters, interplanetary dust, lunar samples, meteors, meteorites, tektites, and the origin of the solar system. Our 925 members from 32 countries include scientists specializing in aspects of geology, chemistry, physics, and astronomy, as well as amateurs interested in meteorites and impact craters." - Meteroritical Society home website.

International Meteorite Collectors Association
This organization is"an international group of meteorite collectors consisting of amateurs and professionals from twenty countries. Our mission can be summed up in one word, "Authenticity." If members wish to sell or trade meteoritic specimens, those items must be 'actually and exactly what is claimed.' (Merriam-Webster-Dictionary) Our members adhere to the highest standards of meteorite identification and proper labeling practices. The membership maintains this high standard by monitoring each other's activities for accuracy."


Meteorite Magazine
"The International Quarterly of METEORITES AND METEORITE SCIENCE magazine. Publication featuring articles related to meteors, meteorites, asteroids and comets, the origins of space and life, as well as Morasko, The Milton Pallasite, Permian-Triassic Extraterrestrial Extinction, the Tunguska Mystery, Tucson Meteorite Show 2002, The Caperr Meteorite and The Taza Plessitic Octahedrite."

UA Team Will Edit Popular Magazine About Meteorites - UA News - Dec.20.05

Sells meteorites of all kinds. The site also provides lots of info on this meteorite collecting.
The Meteorite Exchange
This site covers most aspects of Meteorite collecting including Links.
Meteorite Man
Robert A. Haag provides this site devoted to his latest adventures in search of meteorites around the world. He offers a large catalog of various meteorite types for sale. He also provides a nice collection of images of various types of meteorites and a meteorite glossary.
PSF: All About Meteorites
The Planetary Studies Foundation provides this set of pages with lots of info about meteorites. Includes theAdopt-A-Meteorite Program.

Mars Meteorites
The origin of meteorites can be determined by their composition and isotopic signatures.

The most precious meteorites are those determined to have originated on Mars. They were thrown into space by the impact of a large comet or asteroid on Mars and eventually came to hit earth. Using data from the Viking and Mars Pathfinder landers, the origin of the meteorites can be definitely linked to Mars.

The Mars meteorites became famous when a NASA group believed they saw evidence of microbial life in one of them. See the Space Life section for more information on the Mars life question and on how the meteorites are identified.

Lunar Meteorites
Meteorites from the Moon also land on earth.


A New Scientist video on how to verify that a meteorite came from the Moon.


Artistic Meteorites
This refers to meteorites that possess exceptional esthetic qualities and are suitable for display as sculptures.

Meteorite Hunting
Instead of just buying meteorites, one can also become a meteorite hunter in the "wild". Meteorites continually fall all over the earth but most are lost at sea or hidden by growth and sediment on land. While exotic areas such as the Antarctic provide the richest source of meteorites, they can nevertheless be found in more acessible areas with enough time and effort.

These sites give some tips on recognizing and identifying meteorites:

Meteorite Products
Meteorite material is now used to make articles such as jewelry, watches, knives, artwork, etc.

More Meteorite sites:
News &Articles

Space Toys & Figures

Toys in general are very popular collectibles. Space toys, in particular, from the 1950s and 1960s Moon Race era are especially dear to the baby boomer collector.

New space toys typically involve various Sci-Fi themes such as Star Trek or Star Wars. However, space toys related to current space exploration efforts also appear occasionally such as the toy Mars rovers that appeared after the Pathfinder landed in the summer of 1997.

Note that many of the sites in the General Space Collectibles section deal in space toys as well.

Major Matt Masson
Matt Masson was a popular astronaut toy line from Mattel in the 1960's and early 70's. There are several sites dedicated to him:

Space Voyagers Action Figures
Action Products offers a set of astronaut figures. They come with background information and history, and make nice toys for kids and collectibles for adults.

Roaring Rockets
This extensive site is devoted to the early years (1949-1955) of TV sci-fi. It includes info and images of toys related to such Space Adventure shows like Captain Video and His Video Rangers, Tom Corbett Space Cadet, and Space Patrol.

Space Collectibles at Solar Guard
Solar Guard is dedicated to the early TV sci-fi drama's like Tom Corbett and Space Patrol. The collectibles page deals with toys, posters and other memorabilia of these programs.

See also the Resources - Toys page.

More resources:

Trading Cards

There have been several attempts to market space related cards similar to baseball cards. While most have not been big successes, they at least succeed in becoming collectibles after they are discontinued!

NASA Phone Cards
Capital Communications Group occasionally offers special, limited edition sets of phone cards with space themes.

SpaceMark Trading Cards
SpaceMark offered an unusual combination space trading card and CDROM. The CDROMs provide videos and information about particular astronauts. Series include the Mercury astronauts and the Moonwalkers. While more expensive than a typical set of collectible cards, they were much cheaper than the typical space CDROM.

Topps Space Them Cards
Topps has released space related cards over the years.

United Space Alliance Space Shuttle Cards
The United Space Alliance offered thes cards as a promotional and educational items.

Other resources:

Miscellaneous Collectibles

Here are various other space items that are of interest to collectors.

China Space Souvenirs
This site offers access to collectibles from the powerful Chinese space program, which has been developing rockets for several decades. It is soon expected that China will launch its first manned mission.
Asian Star Subsidary Launches Marketing of China Space Souvenir Products - SpaceRef

Medalions& Pins
Occasionally, there are medallions, medals, pins, etc are issued in commemoration of a space event. See Russia House - Soviet/Russia space pins, buttons, & medalions.

Apollo was in mint condition Coin idea helped moon shot safety Oct.1999 Alabama Live - by Mike Salinero - gives the history of 200,000 NASA nickel-silver alloy medalians with bolts from the Apollo 11 capsule melted in with the mix. The medallians were distributed to the thousands of workers at NASA contractors and sub-contractors who built the lunar mission components.

Strange New Worlds - specialists in media and science fiction collectibles
This online magazine offers some information on space related collectibles like rocket model kits:


Auctions of all types are becoming more and more popular on the Internet. The auctioning of space related items is no exception.

Items on the blocks will change frequently so keep checking the catalogs of these trading sites to see if they have something of interest to you.

See the collectSpace Auction Calendar for upcoming space auctions.


Here is a small selection of space collections as examples of the hobby.


The Art of C. Sergent Lindsey






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