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Moon prints: Bureau of Engraving and Printing marks Apollo 11 50th

December 27, 2018

— The government agency that designs and prints the United States' money is producing a new set of paper to mark the 50 years since the first moon landing.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing has launched sales of the "Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Engraved Print Collection," a trio of engraved and embossed cards celebrating the July 1969 mission that landed the first humans on the surface of another celestial body.

"Since the beginning of time, mankind has looked to the heavens for inspiration and discovery," the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, stated in a release. "These three commemorative prints celebrate an optimistic and inspirational event that secured our nation's leadership in space for generations to come and cherishes the triumph of the human spirit in the face of formidable odds."

The Apollo 11 crew of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins flew to the moon and back between July 16 and July 24, 1969. Armstrong and Aldrin made history on July 20, 1969, as the first people to land a spacecraft on the moon and then walk on its surface.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing's new Apollo 11 prints are created using the same processes that are employed in the production of currency. Each print represents a different aspect of the historic moon mission. The three cards can be placed side by side to create a mosaic of the lunar surface.

The first print, "Mission," set for release in January, features an embossing of the Saturn V rocket launch that began the Apollo 11 mission and an engraving of President John F. Kennedy. The card is also inscribed with Kennedy's words, "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard."

The second print will be issued in the spring of 2019. "The Eagle has Landed" will feature the Apollo 11 lunar module on the embossed surface of the moon. The card will also include engraved images of Aldrin and President Richard Nixon, and an inscription based on the phone call from Nixon to Aldrin and Armstrong on the moon: "Because of what you have done, the heavens have become a part of man's world. As you talk to us from the Sea of Tranquility, it inspires us to redouble our efforts to bring peace and tranquility to Earth."

"Giant Leap," the third and final print in the collection, will follow in the summer of 2019. According to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the design features an engraving of Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong saluting the United States flag (an image that is based on a photo of Aldrin) and an embossed boot print on the lunar surface. The card is also inscribed with an excerpt from Armstrong's famous first words after he first set foot on the moon, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

The Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Engraved Print Collection is offered as an enrollment program. Subscribers will receive all three cards at $17 per print, for a total price of $51. The prints are a limited edition of 8,000 sets.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing print collection is the second moon landing commemorative to come from the Department of the Treasury. Another of its bureaus, the United States Mint, is set to release Apollo 11 50th anniversary gold, silver and clad curved coins on Jan. 24. 2019.


"Mission" (at top), "The Eagle has Landed" and "Giant Leap," the cards in the Bureau of Engraving and Printing's Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Engraved Print Collection. (Bureau of Engraving and Printing)

(Bureau of Engraving and Printing)

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