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Presented here is an assortment of various autographed space material - From Yuri Gagarin to the International Space Station

Apollo 13 flown material from Aquarius and Odyssey
As mementos of the spacecraft that saved their lives, the Apollo 13 crew removed netting material from doomed Lunar Module Aquarius. After safely returning to Earth, couch material was removed from Command Module Odyssey, that they returned to Earth in, and this flown material was later affixed to specially prepared cards that were presented to various personnel involved in the successful rescue of the Apollo 13 crew from their near-fatal lunar mission.

The two cards shown on the left are two of the many that were specially prepared to be presented as a way of thanking the many NASA and contractor personnel who were involved in the rescue of the Apollo 13 crew. The top card has netting attached that was a part of LM Aquarius and the bottom card has couch material that was removed from Odyssey. Both cards are personally signed by the crew of Lovell, Haise & Swigert, plus the KSC launch Director, Walter Kapryan.

These cards generally had the name of the individual applied that they were presented to, but these failed to be used in that manner. Instead, they were probably excess cards not used and then stored away & even probably forgotten about by a NASA official who was probably involved in their distribution. He was Tony Broadway and his widow contacted space collector-dealer Ken Havekotte in the late 1980's inviting him to go through her late husband's space belongings stored in her garage in Florida. There Ken discovered a number of these Apollo 13 "flown" cards, which is the origin of these two particular cards shown here.
Letter from Fred Haise concerning the Apollo 13 flown material
This excellent handwriten letter from Fred Haise resulted from my inquiry to him about the two cards I owned that had Apollo 13 spacecraft material attached. Mr. Haise kindly took time to inform me in this 2000 letter about the material and, significantly, it came from one of the Apollo 13 astronauts & who was also involved in the creation of the cards.

Contained in this fascinating & informative letter, is the comment that Mr. Haise was actually the one who personally removed the protective netting from LM Aquarius, stating: "I pulled it loose from the restraining straps or snaps before we abandoned Aquarius."

There exists a relatively large number of these Apollo 13 cards with flown material affixed from Aquarius & Odyssey & they are seen occasionally. The most significant thing about these cards is that they have attached actual pieces of the two spacecraft, unlike most collector-owned space flown material that was usually carried aboard & stored away to serve as souvenirs & gifts.

Apollo 13 crew signed lithograph
I obtained the crew's autographs on this standard and official Apollo 13 crew litho TTM (Through the mail) in the late '70's or early '80's. Another crew photo, picturing the original Apollo 13 crew in Apollo white spacesuits & including original Apollo 13 crew member Ken Mattingly, also was taken. But because of his exposure to German Measles just days before the launch, Mattingly was replaced by back-up Command Module Pilot Jack Swigert, who flew in Mattingly's place with Mattingly later flying on Apollo 16.
Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin
On April 12, 1961, Russian Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. He led the way into space for the more than 500 people who have flown in space since his one orbit flight.

It's my opinion that one of the necessary parts of any space autograph collection would be a genuine Yuri Gagarin autograph. This is mine and it took me many years before I found one that I was confident was authentic. I bought it in 2001 from a dealer on eBay and his reputation and the autograph's provenance gave me confidence to finally add a Gagarin autograph to my collection.

I'm one of many who believe that the majority of Gagarin signatures in existance are bogus - either forgeries or officially sanctioned "secretarial" signatures that were applied by others to the bulk of autograph requests that Gagarin received for a while after his historic flight - a flight that made him the most famous person in the world for a time. (See "Yuri Gagarin-1" and "Yuri Gagarin-2" for much more information on Gagarin's autograph).

Mercury Redstone-3 "Freedom 7" Liftoff
This is one the most famous photographs from the US space program. It pictures the MR-3 Redstone rocket at liftoff, and carries astronaut Alan Shepard aboard Freedom 7. MR-3/Freedom 7 resulted in America's first manned spaceflight, but Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin had achieved man's first orbital spaceflight less than a month earlier. But Shepard's modest 15-minute sub-orbital spaceflight did signal America's entry and start into the space race to the moon.

Alan Shepard nicely and kindly autographed this glossy photo of the event and also added the name of his spacecraft and the date that America's manned space program began: "5/5/61."

NOTE TO COLLECTORS: Alan Shepard signed and personalized this glossy photo and added under his signature "Freedom 7/ 5/5/61." Many collectors and dealers prefer photos without any personalizations and this particular glossy would be much more desirable, and valuable, without the personalization. So, this being a slick paper glossy, it is possible, even easy, to remove the "To Mary" with a liquid chemical and end up with a much more desirable Alan Shepard signed MR-3 launch glossy with only the great "Freedom 7/ 5/5/61" inscription included.

Then why not remove the personalization? Since I own it I am free to do whatever I wish with it, of course. But many collectors, me included, feel that artificially removing part of what Shepard intended would constitute tampering and be wrong. But this doesn't stop others who are more interested in the monetary side of astronaut autographed material. Removing personalizations from glossies is a common practice for dealers and for those with intentions to sell the item (Removing the "To Mary" personalization would increase its value about 50%). But often the ink is removed but a tell-tale impression is left in the tampered-with glossy. So collectors should use a magnifying glass to check for impressions left in glossies without a personalization but having an open area where a personalization may have been.
"God Speed, John Glenn"
Those famous words, spoken by CapCom Scott Carpenter at the moment of liftoff of Mercury-Atlas 6 with John Glenn inside the Friendship 7 Mercury capsule, are probably one of the 3 or 4 most historic and well-known quotes to come from the US manned space program. Those words were Carpenter's way of bidding John Glenn goodbye and good luck in his dangerous and historic attempt to accomplish America's first orbital spaceflight.
Letter flown and written aboard the International Space Station
Presented here is a letter flown and written aboard the International Space Station by ISS Expedition 9 Commander Gennady Padalka. Padalka and Mike Fincke were aboard during the 35th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moonlanding and Padalka quotes Neil Armstrong's famous words in his letter dated July 20, 2004. Three onboard cancels/cachets were applied to the letter, including the ISS postmark/cancel, and also applied to the letter was the Expedition 9 cancel/cachet and official ISS onboard cancel/cachet.

Of special note is the paper that Padalka used for this letter. He used the back of an EVA checklist page taken from an ISS onboard manual. The sheet is entitled "EVA Notes and Reminders" and concerns "Bolts 11/12 Alignment Features" and has three illustrations. Some of the printing and illustrations show through from the other side.

Gennady Padalka, Mike Fincke and this letter, and cover it was enclosed in, all returned to Earth onboard a Soyuz spacecraft after they were replaced by the Expedition 10 crew.
Apollo 14 launch litho autographed by ten moonwalkers
My biggest collecting regret is my failure to get all 12 moonwalkers' autographs on one item. I collected through the '70's and '80's when having one item signed by all 12 moonwalkers was possible, but for various reasons failed to try. One thing that discouraged and prevented me from trying was the extreme risk of sending something thru the mail as many as 12 times and have it return each time or everything would be lost.

But belatedly, in about 1991, I did start and this autographed Apollo 14 launch litho is the result. It started out with Alan Shepard's signature and I originally thought of having it signed only by the Apollo 14 crew, but then just started sending it TTM to other moonwalkers to get as-many-as-possible of the 12. It's nicely signed/inscribed by 10 moonwalkers and makes for an impressive item in my collection, but it's also somewhat of a sad reminder of what should or could have been.

I know of a few collectors who tried to get an item signed by all 12 moonwalkers and one collector had a very sad result. In the late-'80's, he sent two lithos previously signed by a number of moonwalkers to Dave Scott, who had been inconsistant about signing, and they never returned. One of his lithos had 8-9 moonwalkers signatures and could have probably been completed later by all 12 if it had returned.

My litho signed by 10 moonwalkers was mostly accomplished by TTM requests, but two autographs were acquired in person: Buzz Aldrin in 1996 while on his "Tiber" book tour and Gene Cernan in 1999 while on his "Last Man on the Moon" book tour.

So my moonwalker signed litho has signatures of 10 moonwalkers but it still lacks autographs of moonwalker #1, Neil Armstrong, and deceased moonwalker Jim Irwin.

"Full Moon" lithograph autographed by 14 of the 24 Apollo Lunar astronauts
I obtained this "Full Moon" lithograph from Galaxy Space Autographs in 1999 and it came with autographs of 12 of the 24 Apollo Lunar astronauts. Since then I have met Gene Cernan and had him add his autograph and recently Ken Mattingly added his. It now bears autographs of 14 of the 24 astronauts who took part in the eleven Apollo missions to the moon.

Those autographing include 7 of the 12 moonwalkers, plus two of the three Apollo 8 crew members, Frank Borman and Jim Lovell. Some enterprising collectors have had Buzz Aldrin, John Young, Dave Scott and Mike Collins add their autographs to their Galaxy "Full Moon" lithos. Some of these "Full Moon" lithos must have autographs of 19 or 20 of the 24. Of note, either Aldrin's or Collins' autograph added to the original 12 would result in an item autographed by at least one crew member from all 11 Apollo Lunar flights.


On Christmas Eve, December 24, 1968, after successfully achieving lunar orbit, the Apollo 8 crew of Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders witnessed man's first Earthrise from their Apollo 8 Command Module. The photo shown here of the earth and moon together, was taken by the crew and is possibly the most famous photograph from more than 45 years of humans exploring space.

After reading several verses from the book of Genesis from the Bible, and while millions (including me) watched the first live TV images of the lunar surface slowly passing by beneath, Frank Borman ended the broadcast with these famous words," And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you - all of you on the good earth."

The Earthrise lithograph shown here is autographed by Frank Borman and he added part of his famous quote.