NASA’s Space Shuttle Program may have ended but enthusiasm for space exploration continues to grow. To show their support, more than 80 astronauts have come together to launch a charity fundraiser that will give fans a chance to own a piece of America’s greatest adventure, all while raising money for scholarships. The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation’s (ASF) 9th Annual Auction of Astronaut Experiences & Memorabilia features rare artifacts and even the astronauts themselves.
The catalog preview and registration is online at AstronautScholarship.org/auction
The auction includes 50 lots, many from the astronauts’ personal collections and never before available to the public. Among the pieces of memorabilia are a vintage Beta cloth patch that flew to the Moon on the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission and signed by its commander James Lovell; a Hawaiian shirt that was worn in space by Space Shuttle astronaut Pinky Nelson; astronaut autographed prints, artifacts and more.
Also on the auction block are rare opportunities for bidders to spend time with legendary astronauts. Eight Astronaut Experiences are being auctioned, including the chance to join Mercury and Space Shuttle astronaut John Glenn for lunch and a tour of the Glenn Institute at Ohio State University; going on a trip to Tuscany with Skylab astronaut Jerry Carr; and mountain climbing with Space Shuttle astronaut Scott Parazynski.
“Now more than ever, it is vital to show our support for America’s space program and our future scientists and engineers,” said Apollo 16 moonwalker and ASF Chairman Charlie Duke. “This auction is a major source of funding for the foundation as we continue to put our support and confidence in America’s next generation of technological leaders.”
Bidding opens Oct. 28 at 9 a.m. EDT and concludes Nov. 5, at 10 p.m. EDT. Winning bids, over fair market value, should be considered a charitable donation.
Auction proceeds go directly to support the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established by the Mercury astronauts in 1984. Its goal is to aid the United States in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing scholarships for exceptional college students pursuing degrees in these fields. ASF funds 28 $10,000 scholarships annually and has awarded $3.2 million to students nationwide.
For more information: AstronautScholarship.org