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Sat, Mar 19, 2011

Astronauts Offer 'Space' In Charity Auction

Artifacts Up For Bid Benefit Astronaut Scholarship Foundation

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation's (ASF) online Spring Semi-Annual Auction of Astronaut Experiences & Memorabilia, which opened Friday, March 18, is offering bidders the chance to own rare relics that flew in outer-space and even to the Moon with hero astronauts like Buzz Aldrin, and autographed memorabilia from legends like astronaut John Glenn. The auction is being conducted online through March 26.

From astronaut apparel to genuine spacecraft equipment – such as segments from the Apollo 11 capsule – to astronaut autographed photos, maps and other treasures that traveled to the lunar surface, each artifact carries an astounding history. Making this auction even more unique are the eight "Astronaut Experiences" up for grabs, which give space fans the chance to live their dreams and spend one-on-one time with hero astronauts. Featured adventures include a Grand Cayman Scuba Diving Vacation with moonwalker Charlie Duke and Dinner with Apollo 13 astronaut Jim Lovell at his exclusive restaurant, Lovell's of Lake Forest.

"More than 50 of my astronaut peers have donated their personal mementos, autographs or time to raise money for the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation," said astronaut Al Worden , who donated a flag which he carried to the Moon in 1971 on his Apollo 15 flight. "We are all honored to support ASF's mission of launching the next generation to the forefront of science and technology in America."

In order to participate, bidders must register online for a virtual paddle number. Winning bids, over fair market value, should be considered a charitable donation.

Proceeds benefit the 501(c)(3), nonprofit Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, established in 1984 by the six surviving members of America's original Mercury astronauts. Its mission is to aid the United States in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing scholarships for college students who exhibit motivation, imagination, and exceptional performance in these fields. ASF funds 25 $10,000 scholarships annually and has awarded over $3 million to deserving students nationwide. Today, more than 80 astronauts from the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle programs have joined in this educational endeavor. 

FMI: www.AstronautScholarship.org

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