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I Never Knew That 01: Astronauts and Autographs

Updated: Oct 20, 2020


What would you do if you were about to do one of the most dangerous things ever but had a family to think about? Most people would hope to have some sort of life insurance in place just in case something went wrong. But what if the thing you were about to do was so dangerous that insurance companies refused to insure you or you simply couldn’t afford the premium?

Well that is exactly the situation that the astronaut crew of the Apollo 11 space mission found themselves in before taking off to space. To get around this little conundrum they came up with a smart idea. Due to the fact that Neil Armstrong and the rest of the crew were already famous at this point, they knew people would be interested in buying their autographs. So they each signed around 100 autographs on envelopes known as covers that were stamped and postmarked by the post office. They gave these covers to their loved ones to hold on to in the unfortunate event that they didn’t return to earth safely. if something went tragically wrong their families would have been able to sell the autographs and receive some money.

Luckily on this occasion the astronauts did return home safely. however there are still some of these autographs circulating today in space memorabilia auctions fetching anywhere up to $30,000.