Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®) has expanded its collaboration with the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) to create limited edition labels individually hand-signed by American astronauts.
The special NGC labels pair the autographs of 20 NASA veterans with the logo of the ASF, a nonprofit organization that annually provides more than 50 scholarships to the brightest and most talented college students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The ASF was created in 1984 by the six Mercury program astronauts then alive and the widow of the seventh.
The astronauts signing these labels include four who flew with the Apollo program, which put the first men on the moon 50 years ago. The other 16 astronauts, including two women, were part of the Space Shuttle program, which flew missions from 1981 to 2011.
The Apollo program astronauts signing NGC ASF labels are:
- Walt Cunningham, the Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission
- Jim Lovell, Commander of Apollo 13, which suffered a critical failure en route to the moon but managed a safe return (Lovell was portrayed by Tom Hanks in the 1995 movie version of that dramatic tale of survival)
- Al Worden, Command Module Pilot for Apollo 15 in 1971 and one of only 24 people to have flown to the moon
- Charlie Duke, who as Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 16 in 1972 was the 10th and youngest person to walk on the moon
The Space Shuttle program astronauts signing NGC ASF labels are:
- Scott Altman
- Bruce Melnick
- Karol “Bo” Bobko
- Jeff Hoffman
- Dan Brandenstein
- Charlie Precourt
- Curt Brown
- Brewster Shaw
- Kevin Chilton
- Nicole Stott
- Dick Covey
- Joe Tanner
- Christopher Ferguson
- Kathy Thornton
- Steve Hawley
- Jim Wetherbee
A royalty will be paid by NGC to the ASF for each NGC ASF Astronaut Autograph Label used.
“NGC is proud to honor these American heroes and support the ASF’s contributions to tomorrow’s scientists,” said Mark Salzberg, NGC Chairman. “The NGC ASF Astronaut Autograph Labels are the perfect way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 mission and the 2019 Apollo 11 Commemorative Coins.”
NGC began its collaboration with the ASF in January when the grading service announced that it had officially licensed the foundation’s logo for special NGC certification labels to be encapsulated with the US Mint’s Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative coins.
The legislation that authorized the Apollo 11 coins designated ASF as one of three organizations to benefit from a surcharge applied to the sale of the coins. The additional beneficiaries are the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum and the Astronaut Memorial Foundation.
NGC has certified more than 50,000 Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coins since the US Mint began selling them on Jan. 24.
NGC ASF Astronaut Autograph Labels are available from select retailers.