NASA’s Space Shuttle Program may have ended but enthusiasm for space exploration continues to grow! To show their support for the continuation of the United States as leaders of Space exploration, more than 80 astronauts have come together to launch The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation’s (ASF) 9th Annual Auction of Astronaut Experiences & Memorabilia, a charity fundraiser featuring rare artifacts and even the astronauts themselves.
The catalog previewed and registration opened online Friday, October 21 at www.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, a tour of the Frontiers of Flight Museum Tour with Walt Cunningham; going on a trip to Tuscany with Skylab astronaut Jerry Carr; and mountain climbing with Space Shuttle astronaut Scott Parazynski.
Bidding opens October 28 at 9 a.m. EDT and concludes November 5, 2011 at 10:00 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 twenty-eight $10,000 scholarships annually and has awarded $3.2 million to students nationwide. For more information log on to: www.AstronautScholarship.org.