TITUSVULLE, Fla. – If you want to own a piece of space history, here’s your chance.
An auction is underway for hundreds of rare collectibles, autographed photos and NASA gear.
The money raised will go toward keeping the museum open and funding community educational programs.
The museum’s CEO, Chuck Jeffery, showed off some of the items, including a vintage photo autographed by one of the first astronauts to walk the surface of the moon, Buzz Aldrin.
“Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first two men to ever walk the surface of the moon. In this photo you can see both of them. This is Buzz in the white space suit and if you look at the gold visor you can see a man standing there. That’s Neil Armstrong taking the picture. This is known as the ‘visor shot,’ hand signed by Buzz Aldrin,” Jeffery said.
The iconic photo estimated to sell for about $600 in auction. It also comes with a certificate of authenticity from Buzz Aldrin’s daughter.
Many of the items up for auction include a recognizable cartoon character, Snoopy.
“Charles Schulz was a huge supporter of the space program and early on in the Apollo program, he authorized the use of Snoopy and all the Peanuts characters in the space program. Snoopy became the mascot of NASA,” Jeffery said.
One poster shows Snoopy in space hanging from a capsule that reads, “Confidence is workmanship you can count on!”
“These [posters] were done for the employees. Put up in the work areas to let you know these astronauts’ lives depended on your workmanship. This was the first time that we know of that Snoopy was on an Apollo employee poster,” Jeffery said.
This poster is up for auction starting at $100. But the most rare item part of the space auction underway is a small Snoopy pin, representing one of the most prestigious honors.
“If you work for NASA, they want to recognize the people who accel. The truly outstanding individuals in the space program. They have an award and it’s called ‘Silver Snoopy Award.’ It’s the highest honor. Any space worker can receive it from NASA. They’ve awarded thousands and thousands of these, but this one is the very first one ever awarded back in 1967 to Grumman test astronaut Glennon Kingsley,” Jeffery said.
Jeffery is a living space encyclopedia and has been interested in all things space for as long as he can remember and has his own space memorabilia collection.
“I started as a kid about 11 years old. I loved the space program and I’ve been collecting ever since,” Jeffery said. “It makes me patriotic, it makes me feel good.”
He’s sharing his patriotic hobby, encouraging others to take part in the auction benefitting the American Space Museum in Titusville.
“Especially since COVID, these are the main fundraisers that keep the museum open. Without these auctions, there would be no American Space Museum left. We would’ve closed years ago. We didn’t have events or people coming into the museum,” Jeffery said.
The money raised is going toward the expansion of the museum and educational programs.
This estimated $35,000 Silver Snoopy Award pin may not be something you’re after, but there are dozens of out-of-this-world memorabilia part of the auction $200 and under, including signed vintage photographs, training manuals, NASA badges and even keychains made from rocket parts that took flight. Some items with a starting bid of just $20.
The auction is virtual and you can start bidding now. Click HERE to view the catalogue of items up for auction.
The live auction will be held Oct. 7 at 12 p.m.