The American Space Museum in Titusville will hold an online auction Saturday at noon as the nonprofit restarts events to finance the popular teaching museum.
Charles Jeffrey the museum’s collections analyst told News 6 the pandemic forced a sweeping cancellation of events that normally help fund operations.
“Our goal is $20,000,” Jeffrey said. “We fell far short of that last year but I have high hopes for this one.”
Jeffrey’s optimism is built on an impressive line-up of rare collectibles and signed photographs including item No. 127, a lunar surface black and white autographed by Buzz Aldrin.
That collectible is expected to get $600-$800. By Friday the highest bid was $300.
“Buzz Aldrin second man on the moon is always a favorite,” an energized Jeffrey said. “We have Mercury astronauts a great, collection of autographs.”
The list of 379 items which includes everything from patches to quirky collectibles including space shuttle foods like turkey salad spread will be offered online not in person.
“My Favorite is kind of a weird one,” Jeffrey said. ”I like the Frangible Nut this was used to hold the space shuttle down to the launch platform, I get goosebumps just thinking about it.”
That space hardware, item No. 365, has created a lot of interest with 13 bids already submitted and a high offer of $800.
The final bid on the frangible nut which is clearly engraved with name and manufactured date is expected to hit $1,000-$1,500.
The most expensive collectible on the auction block is item 200 the white beta cloth flight jacket worn and signed by Apollo 9 Lunar Module Pilot Rusty Schweickart.
Jeffrey told News 6 It was worn during the pilot’s training for the Apollo Mission and is expected to fetch $4,000 to $5,000.
One of the surprise offerings for the auction is autographed flight cards by Hollywood legends Jimmy Stewart and Kirk Douglas.
The two-screen stars were among a list of VIPs attending that launch along with singer Robert Goulet.
The autographed first-day covers and photographs include signatures from John Glenn and John Young.
Lot 177, is a multi-signed “achievements in space” cover with a cancellation date of September 29, 1967. It has been signed by astronauts Joseph Allen, William Lenoir, Don Lind, Frank Borman, Vance Brand and Jack Lousma. It also has the autopen signatures of Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean and Joe Kerwin.