Godspeed Edgar Mitchell, 1930-2016

Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14, searching for Cone Crater on the moon.

Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14, searching for Cone Crater on the moon.

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Edgar Mitchell on February 4, 2016. 

I met Dr. Mitchell several times over the years and actually spent 2 days with him when my company retained him to appear at a trade show in 2002. He shared some fascinating insights and I felt privileged to have a drink or two with a man that walked on the moon.

Steve Zarelli with Edgar Mitchell, 2004.

Steve Zarelli with Edgar Mitchell, 2004.

He was a kind, humble and brilliant man. A very unique view and a free thinker.

Once again he is among the stars.

Edgar Mitchell, NASA portrait

Edgar Mitchell, NASA portrait

Super Bowl 50 Audi Commercial: "Commander"...The retired astronaut

This Sunday, Super Bowl 50 will have an Audi commercial featuring a fictional retired astronaut... re-living his glory days in an Audi. Space fans will like this and the David Bowie track "Starman" is an especially nice touch.

Surrounded by memories of the Space Age's golden years, a retired astronaut has lost his zeal for life. But when his son shows up and hands over the keys to the new 205-mph Audi R8 V10 plus, a rocket ride under the stars stirs newfound life within the Commander.

Apollo 13's Jack Swigert

John Leonard "Jack" Swigert, Jr. died way too young 33 years ago today. It was only 12 years after his heroic return on Apollo 13 and seven weeks after he had been elected to Colorado's new 6th congressional district.

Jack Swigert signed photo to Claudia Thames of the John M. King company.

Jack Swigert signed photo to Claudia Thames of the John M. King company.

While Swigert wasn't an especially difficult signer, his autograph is exceedingly uncommon on his NASA white space suit portrait. It seems that -- at best -- two or three come to market in any given year. In my estimation, Swigert space suit pose is just as rare if not rarer than James Irwin and John Young signed white space suit portraits.

Jack Swigert's signature can typically be obtained on postal covers, programs and the like for $300 - $400. His NASA business suit pose signed fetches around $600 - $700, and one can expect to pay $1,000 and up for a signed white space suit pose... likely much more for an unpersonalized example.

Due to his untimely death in 1982 -- before widespread commercial signings -- demand outweighs supply and forgeries abound. Be especially wary of Apollo 13 items that started with a bad Swigert, and an unwitting collector added authentic Lovell and Haise signatures.

USAF Band Holiday Flash Mob 2015

The annual United States Air Force Band holiday flash mob has become something I look forward to every December. This year's flash mob is at Washington, DC's Union Station and commemorates the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Enjoy!

A special holiday musical presentation from Union Station in Washington, DC celebrating the service and sacrifices of our nation's World War II veterans and commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of the war. Featuring The USAF Band, Washington DC, an extraordinary dance troup from NYC (choreographed by Jessica Hartman), and a cameo appearance by Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James.

Apollo 15 Dave Scott moon worn watch to hit auction block

The only privately owned watch that was worn on the moon will be going to live auction at RR Auction on Thursday October 22, 2015. As of writing this entry, the watch is at almost $130,000 in online pre-bidding. 

Some flown item experts are predicting it may hit $1 million due to the crossover appeal between space collectors and watch collectors.

Live auction on Thursday October 22nd at 7:00 pm ET, at RR Auction's Boston Gallery. More details can be found at www.rrauction.com.

They both can't be right: Apollo 11 Reproduction Signed Photo

Here is a common reproduction signed photo of the Apollo 11 crew. The signatures are not live ink -- they are part of the photo. This was distributed in mass quantities by NASA to schools, libraries and other public institutions around the time of the mission. It exists in 8 x 10 and approximately 16 x 20 sizes.

This eBay seller is offering the reproduction signed photo for a $1,000 Buy It Now and states that he has had "a few experts check it out and verify it is authentic." 

Common Apollo 11 reproduction signed photo being advertised as authentic on eBay

Common Apollo 11 reproduction signed photo being advertised as authentic on eBay

This seller has another print of the same item with identical signatures, and he assures potential buyers that "his uncle got the signatures at a show in Florida."

Another Apollo 11 reproduction signed photo being advertised as authentic on eBay

Another Apollo 11 reproduction signed photo being advertised as authentic on eBay

YF-12 Legends: Robert Stephens and Daniel Andre

Here is one you don't see every day... an official Air Force photo signed by Robert "The Silver Fox" Stephens and Daniel Andre. 

Robert stephens + daniel andre signed photo

On May 1, 1965, at Edwards Air Force Base, Colonel Stephens and fire control officer Colonel Daniel Andre, set a speed record of 2,070.101 mph and altitude record of 80,257.86 ft. These records stood until 1977 when they were surpassed by an SR-71.