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Website to launch personal memorabilia

November 22, 1999 — In a reversal of roles, a Germany based space artifact dealer is now offering collectors the opportunity to convert their personal items to space flown memorabilia. Orders are currently being taken to launch customer's mementos to the Mir or International stations.

The flights are being arranged by Spaceflori.com, a space memorabilia website operated by Florian Noller. Noller is also the Vice President of the Weltraum-Philatelie e.V., a European space philately club.

While it is common for astronauts and cosmonauts to fly personal items into space, Spaceflori's sale is thought to be the first time that individuals who are not associated with the flight crew can do the same through a third party company.

In addition, Spaceflori's "exclusive" offer is also "probably the last chance to carry anything on Mir," Noller wrote on his website. The thirteen-year old station is set to deorbit sometime during 2000 unless the Russian Space Agency can raise emergency funds. Before then however, a final crew is scheduled to visit the station to assist prepare the station for reentry.

"It is possible to fly your choice of items," says Noller. "But due to weight restrictions, priority will be given to flat paper items such as business cards, letters, envelopes, [and] photos." Customers' items that are selected will be "postmarked and signed on-board" and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by a crew member.

All items bound for Mir must be received by Noller by no later than December 12, 1999 for the scheduled February 2000 flight. Although no specific fee is stated, a "small deposit" is required for each item, fully refundable should the mission be cancelled.

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