It's all about the Moon... and don't forget it.
Every space collection ought to start with a lunar globe. There must be a hundred different moon globes out there, but this is one of my favorites. I really like the color and the base with it's "Moon surface". If you look on eBay, and you're patient, you ought to be able to find a globe that your really like for around $20.
And while you're on eBay...
For another 20 dollars you can pick up one of these cards with a small piece of pencil lead that was once on the surface of the Moon. Sure, it's just a little bit of graphite... but for the price it's a bargain. Dennis put out a lot of effort in creating these attractive items that are very affordable, quite attractive, and unquestionably flown to the surface of the Moon. One day I'm going to be tempted to take this little piece of lunar lead and draw me a real Moonman. :)
As cheap as it gets
For as little as a couple of dollars you can get something that has been on the surface of the Moon. Sure a letter "X" made with a pencil that's been to the Moon is a very small amount of flown material, but it is authentic and very interesting. I personaly believe that there is a lot more flown mass here than you would ever find in one of the "melt coins" commonly found for the Apollo 8 and 11 missions.
Send out a couple signature requests
It's time now to get a serious piece...
Here's a piece of Liberty Bell 7 which took only a few minutes to rise into space but took nearly an hour and half to sink 16,000 feet to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. This will set you back a couple hundred dollars, but you'll own a piece of the second American spacecraft in a beautiful presentation.
Join the crowdVisit the website where all space collectors gather. Here you'll find links to resources that will keep you busy for years. Check out the "Sightings" section where you will find where you might go to meet an astronaut in person. But, most of all read the message boards where you will learn a great deal... and maybe make a few new friends.
Just GO!Once a year there is gathering of astronauts... lots of astronauts... and many other figures associated with space. I'm afraid in order to stay within our 1k budget though you'll have to hitch a ride and sleep in the lobby of the hotel (but it will be worth it). For details go to...
So, now you're at the show... and first up is...
An incredible man, who will fill you up with stories of his service to the space program, from the time we were launching monkeys into space, all the way up to the Space Shuttle Era. $25
Carpenter and Schirra
That's right get a signature from two of the original Mercury 7 astronauts. $100
Now go meet someone who has walked on the Moon.
How about Edgar Mitchell of Apollo 14. $50
Maybe another man who walked on the Moon?
Charlie Duke is just as kind and friendly of a man as you've ever meet. $50
Well, OK... let's go for one more Moonwalker.
Alan Bean. Now you've got the signatures of three men, from three different missions, who have walked on the Moon. $50
Our budget is getting tight... so let's go get Buzz Aldrin to sign his book. Yep, meet Buzz Aldrin and get his autograph for $15. Not bad. Head around and meet the rest of the crowd... but save your money for...
Neil Armstrong Stamp
What is a space collection without an autograph of Neil Armstrong? Forgeries abound, so be careful. These Sieger stamps are foolproof, attractive, and much, much cheaper than any other Neil Armstrong signed item. Look hard and you can get one of these for less than 400 dollars. Yeah, that's a major chunk out of our budget... but it is the choice item of this collection... you've now got the signatures of the first two men to walk on the Moon... and so much more.
Spring for a great art print... this one from Ed Hengeveld is gorgeous and well worth $25
Gulf Oil Lunar Module
These were freebies that were handed out at Gulf service stations during the time of Apollo 11. They are terrific, fun to assemble, and great for the imagination. I landed one of these on the Moon many times as a youth in 1969. You can find them on eBay... $10
Try putting a model together
Explore your inner child. $30
Men of Iron
Or just pick up one of these pewter or brass figures. Alongside your Moon globe they will look great. $20
OK, now you've blown your budget...But, wasn't it great? Don't you have some cool stuff? Didn't you meet some real heroes? Maybe, learn a few things? Create some unforgettable memories?
Now go visit some museums... the National Air and Space Museum or the Cosmosphere in Kansas. Go see the next Shuttle launch.
You're invited to see the complete collection that these items are taken from at Lunararchive.blogspot.com
Editor's noteA lot has changed in the world of space collecting since I first created this site.
Opportunities to encounter the heroes of the space race have increased thanks in great part to a second "gathering"... SpaceFest.
Sadly an opportunity to meet one of the "true greats" is now gone with the passing of Wally Schirra. If you have yet to attend any of the gatherings and meet these legends, don't delay.
There has also been some price increases. If you put together a collection like this one at the time of this posting, congratulations... you not only have a great set... but you made a wise investment. If you procrastinated, keep in mind that there are still plenty of great items out there that offer tremendous value, so get started today!
Some price increases that I've seen on this set are... One of the Apollo 15 pencil lead displays sold at auction for $750, up from $20 (wow), the Liberty Bell lucites now routinely sell for around $500 (up from $200), the Neil Armstrong signed Sieger stamp now brings $700 (up from $400).... So, our collection has, in just a short time, doubled in value. Not bad.