Story Musgrave Astronaut Memorabilia

Value (2008) | $6,500 Auction$8,500 Auction

GUEST:
When I was a junior in high school, one of our class projects was to write an essay for Johnson and Johnson. And I wrote an essay. I redid it probably three or four times, and finally, about 15 minutes before class, I wrote my final idea, and that was to bring really good guest speakers to the high schools in rural areas, because a lot of times, they don't have the funding to be able to bring good guest speakers. I did win. The school won $5,000, and I won $1,000. My senior year in high school, the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson had a magnet school called the Cosmosphere Academy that I went to. And then, that year, together, both Haven and the Cosmosphere were able to bring Dr. Musgrave to come speak to both the students at the Cosmosphere Academy, the students at Haven High School and also to the general public in Hutchinson.

APPRAISER:
And that's how you acquired all this material from Story Musgrave.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
Story Musgrave was... an astronaut who retired in the mid-1990s. He was from Boston. And he did quite a few missions. But before I get into the values of the things, let me just make a comment about preserving these pieces and creating what we call a provenance for them-- a history-- because, whereas you have them all together here and you have the story, which you've told us, one day, all this material is going to be separated from you, and it's very possible it might be separated from each other and no one's going to know what all this means. So, the first thing you have to do is write that story down.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
And the second thing you have to do is get these mounted in noninvasive plastic.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Now, as far as values go, we could start with the autograph. Now, one of the most common collectibles having to do with astronauts are autographs. Between missions, they would sit there and just sign. We see tons of astronaut autographs on Roadshow, so you're looking at maybe a $25 piece.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
The mission patches... this is from a Discovery mission that launched a satellite, and the patch was issued for the launching of the satellite. Every activity that had to do with a mission generated patches. They're... and they're highly collectible. And a piece like this for a very specific event like a satellite launching would sell for about $80 to $100.

GUEST:
That's wonderful.

APPRAISER:
Now, we come to this piece. This is an in-flight shirt that was worn actually by Mr. Musgrave?

GUEST:
Mm-hmm. Yes, he told me that he did wear it in space.

APPRAISER:
On a flight? And this particular Discovery flight, STS-33, took place in 1989. And he signed it.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
Now, we'll come back down here. There's a photograph here of Story Musgrave and another astronaut wearing this.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
So, obviously, this was sort of a uniform up in outer space. Now, I understand he told you this.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
Now, we get back to the provenance thing. You have to tie this in to the other stuff. Is there some way that you can verify that?

GUEST:
He-he did give me his personal address and told me to contact him if I ever needed anything.

APPRAISER:
Mm-hmm.

GUEST:
So I could most certainly probably write him and ask for something... That would be—

APPRAISER:
See, that is really the definition of "provenance."

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
You put that here together with that, and it's ironclad provenance. The highest range of space collectibles are things that went out into space and came back. I've talked to some of the other appraisers here-- they think I'm a little conservative in my estimate-- but if this were to go to auction, it would easily fetch between $6,000 and $8,000.

GUEST:
That's wonderful.

APPRAISER:
Yeah. If you were to sell these items as a lot

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
at an auction, there's a slight synergistic boost that something gets from the material being accumulated. So I would estimate that the items would go between $6,500 and $8,500.

GUEST:
Thank you so much.

APPRAISER:
Thank you for bringing it in.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Heritage Auctions
Los Angeles, CA
Appraised value (2008)
$6,500 Auction$8,500 Auction
Event
Wichita, KS (July 12, 2008)
Period
20th Century
Material
Cloth, Paper

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