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FIFTY YEARS OF NASA SPACE COLLECTIBLES
Happy Birthday, NASA! The agency has created or inspired a number of numismatic collectibles over the years. This new page pictures a number of them. -EditorThe National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA as it is more commonly referred to today, began operations 50 years ago on Oct. 1, 1958. Charged with leading the nation's civilian research into air travel and space exploration, it was the latter that caught the public's imagination, which in turn led to a wide desire for commemorative and actual pieces of NASA's exploits in outer space.
In honor of NASA's anniversary, collectSPACE offers the following colorful tour through the agency's first 50 years as guided by the space collectibles it inspired.
1961: The first NASA astronaut to fly was Alan Shepard but his carry-on luggage was limited to little more than a U.S. flag. Gus Grissom, who followed Shepard, packed his pockets with miniature Mercury capsules and dimes (like this one; Liberty Bell 7 was the name he bestowed his spacecraft, which sank after splashdown and wasn't recovered until July 1999).
This coin (or more appropriately, medal) flew on Gemini 12, the last mission of the program that taught astronauts how to walk and meet each other in space (a.k.a. "EVA" and "rendezvous"). They were "go" for the Moon, or so they thought...
To read the complete article, see: NASA@50: Fifty years of space collectibles (http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-100108a.html)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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