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  Kansas Cosmosphere's space artifact arcrylics

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Author Topic:   Kansas Cosmosphere's space artifact arcrylics
Mercurypgm
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Posts: 230
From: Houston, Tx
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 11-19-2012 06:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mercurypgm   Click Here to Email Mercurypgm     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are two different sizes of Apollo 13 couch fabric lucites issued by the Kansas Cosmosphere. One comes packaged in about a 5x7 (est.) box and the other in an 8x8 box (est.). The smaller sized ones have small screws and small nuts, while the larger ones have larger misc pieces of the spacecraft up to two or three inches in length. Obviously prices vary depending on which type is for sale and what it contains.

Just thought I would make people who were not aware that their were two different offerings at two different prices. Does anyone know how many of each lucite sizes were issued?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30714
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-19-2012 06:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There were actually three different versions of acrylics produced: the initial run was of screws only and sold for $150 each. Then two larger sizes, for $250 and $400 were offered.

The quantities as reported by the Cosmosphere were 750 of the $150 acrylic; 50 of the $250 version; and 100 of the $400 display.

4allmankind
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Posts: 819
From: NJ
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 11-19-2012 07:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 4allmankind   Click Here to Email 4allmankind     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, yes, those numbers and prices are what I recall as well.

Do you know if there is an easy way to distinguish what the original issue price of a particular lucite was? I own one that I assumed was one of the "medium" sized $250 ones, but a friend with a nearly identical one recalls paying $400 as a premium display. Are there any identifiers to distinguish the issue price?

Mercurypgm
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Posts: 230
From: Houston, Tx
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 11-19-2012 10:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mercurypgm   Click Here to Email Mercurypgm     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I purchased 20 of the sets when they first became available. I still have 10 sets (NOT FOR SALE) and they are a mixture of nuts and screws (I just looked). This seems at first glance to be at odds with the stats the Kansas Cosmosphere released.

The only thing that would make sense (at least to me) is that I bought 20 of the $250 sets but I don't think that was the case as I bought them on the first day they were up for sale, unless I missed the first sale entirely and bought 20 of the $250 items.

Based on the numbers from the Cosmosphere, nuts would be very rare as they would have been released along with more screws in the second series. Does that make sense? Folks don't like the nuts but they may be the rare pieces! Totally confused...

I later bought 10 of the large piece sets in the 8x8 (est.) sized boxes when they were later offered and still have those (NOT FOR SALE). The high priced sets have awesome pieces in them.

Anyway, something doesn't jive. My best guess is that the first sets were screws and nuts, not just screws. Logically there should be a nut for every screw but I will leave that alone...

In any event will someone please buy James' screw before I go nuts trying to figure out what I bought 15 or so years ago. I am sure someone will now ask for the three release dates... AAAAHHHH!!

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30714
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-19-2012 10:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
By "screws only," I meant no significantly larger pieces. I didn't mean to rule out nuts as well. So Richard, it appears you bought 10 of the $150 original offering...

Mercurypgm
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Posts: 230
From: Houston, Tx
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 11-19-2012 11:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mercurypgm   Click Here to Email Mercurypgm     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, thanks for explaining that nuts and screws were in the first issue. That makes my comment that nuts might be rarer invalid...

Also, as I wrote, I bought 20. Now I have 10, just to clarify your last post.

I sold 10 to former members of a Yahoo group that I formerly ran at cost as I figured many would not be able to order any before they ran out. I kept the remainder that didn't sell to members at that time. I haven't thought about them for years and will now forget I have them once again.

Perhaps some folks might post what the actual size of the lucite block is. Length, width, height. It could be there is no difference in the $150 and $250 lucites but simply they were able to find a few more pieces and increased the price.

For some reason in the back of my mind that seems to ring a bell. But I am really not sure... old age! Will measure my nuts and screws in the morning as well as the $400 sized lucites as I am heading to sleep.

Mercurypgm
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Posts: 230
From: Houston, Tx
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 11-20-2012 07:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mercurypgm   Click Here to Email Mercurypgm     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I measured my nuts and screws and the lucite is: 4 by 5 by 1 and 5/8. I believe these are from the first batch.

The large size with 3 inch or so sized pieces is: 5 by 7 by 1 and 7/8. I believe these are from the third batch.

Anyone have any different sized lucites for the MR-4? If a third size exists that may help resolve if the second batch was "truly" a separate issue or if there were just extra nuts and screws found and sold at a higher price. After a night's sleep, I think that might be the case. Also I do recall that the nuts and screws arrived in two differing sized boxes. That always confused me as to why.

Was there more than one Apollo 13 sized products sold? I only have one piece of a "seat" and it measures 4 inches high with a diameter of 2 and 1/2 at the bottom and comes to a "point on top" for lack of a better description.

Does anyone have any different size lucites for Apollo 13? What was the issue(s) number released. Thanks.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30714
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-20-2012 09:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's the brief history of the Liberty Bell 7 acrylics:
  • November 2000: Cosmosphere produces 250 "screws, nuts and washers" acrylic displays; their original intention was to sell only two-thirds of that batch and retain the others for dignitaries and gifts, but the demand resulted in them selling 230 of the original batch (the remaining 20 were gifted as planned).

    As a result of the demand, they identified 650 additional parts of varying sizes to be encapsulated and sold.

  • December 2000: Cosmosphere produces 500 more of the "screws, nuts and washers" and continues to offer them for $150; it also produces and sells 50 "small pressure fittings" acrylic displays for $250 each and 100 "larger pressure fittings and segments of the landing bag assembly" acrylic displays for $400 each. This brings the grand and final tally to 900 acrylics produced (not counting the later offered film strip acrylics).
It was the size and type of the item inside the acrylic, not the physical dimensions of the acrylic itself, that was used to determine the price.

As for Apollo 13 couch segments, the Cosmosphere produced two acrylic displays: a smaller edition of unknown quantity to sell to the public (offered for $500 each, of which only 15 initially sold), and 25 larger acrylics (with larger swatches of couch fabric) for the cast and crew of the movie "Apollo 13."

(The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation later produced a third Apollo 13 couch fabric acrylic as part of its Space Artifact Series using material donated by Fred Haise. Their edition was smaller in (physical) size than the Cosmosphere's acrylic offered for sale.)

Mercurypgm
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Posts: 230
From: Houston, Tx
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 11-20-2012 06:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mercurypgm   Click Here to Email Mercurypgm     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for clarification. I have two questions.

If the size of the acrylic varied, how many different sizes of acrylics are there for the MR-4 flight?

Also, on the Apollo 13 acrylics if only 15 sold originally out of an unknown quantity made, do you know how many were ultimately sold to the public by the Kansas Cosmosphere? The swatch in mine is about 1" square so I am assuming I probably bought one of the first 15 sold as I bought it when it first became available. At $500 that is probably why I bought only one. Would that be a reasonable assumption?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30714
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-20-2012 06:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't know how many different size acrylics were produced for Liberty Bell 7, nor do I know the full count of the Apollo 13 acrylics produced for sale.

The larger Apollo 13 acrylics have swatches considerably larger than 1-inch and are rectangular segments. You'd also know if you had one of the "Apollo 13" movie presentations as they are inscribed as such at the bottom:

This piece was among 25 similarly-sized swatches that were presented to the key crew members of Universal Studio's film "Apollo 13" as "a tribute to their participation in recreating one of the greatest human dramas ever to unfold in space."

randyc
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Posts: 637
From: Highlands Ranch, CO USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 11-20-2012 08:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for randyc   Click Here to Email randyc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have an Apollo 13 acrylic produced for the Kansas Cosmosphere that contains a segment of flown Apollo 13 parachute shroud line. The acrylic has the same shape with the Apollo 13 emblem on the bottom like the couchpiece acrylic, but it is larger than the standard couchpiece acrylics. The shroudline segment is approximately 3 inches long.

The Certificate of Authenticity, signed by Max Ary, reads in part:

I hereby certify that the Apollo 13 acrylic that you have acquired contains an actual piece of one of the parachutes' shroud line removed from the spacecraft... The Kansas Cosmosphere acquired several of the recovered parachute shroud lines from the former NASA engineer in charge of the Apollo parachutes. These lines were obtained by the recovery crews before the parachutes sank and were used to conduct post-flight engineering testing. The shroud lines that survived the testing were obtained by the lead engineer until they were donated to the Kansas Cosmosphere in 1994. In an effort to share some of the dramatic history of the Apollo 13 mission the Kansas Cosmosphere has encased in acrylic several sections of this shroud line in the form that you recently acquired.
I've only seen one of these acrylics, the one I have, in all of the years that I've been collecting. The letter refers to 'several sections' so it sounds like there are only a few of these acrylics. Has anyone seen this acrylic before and/or does anyone know how many were made?

Mercurypgm
Member

Posts: 230
From: Houston, Tx
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 11-21-2012 06:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mercurypgm   Click Here to Email Mercurypgm     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Found this on the net, thought it might be relevant and something I was unaware of...
Acrylic, Lucite, Plexiglass, Perspex: What's the difference?

Other names, such as Lucite (Perspex) or Plexiglass(Acrylite) have all been used when referring to high grade Acrylic. They are all trademarked brand names of acrylic basically like "Kleenex" is to facial tissue or "Scotch" is to adhesive tape.

Since some of us have used the different terms on describing items, I just wanted to clarify. Learned something new. Oh, all the items I got from the Kansas Cosmosphere are described as lucite.

DSeuss5490
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Posts: 262
From: Columbus, Ohio USA
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 11-21-2012 07:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DSeuss5490   Click Here to Email DSeuss5490     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I bought several of these at the time of issue as well. The larger ones I have measure 6" across X 4.5 inches high X about 2" wide at the base. They contain an interesting variety of switches, large nut/bolt combinations, etc. that measure at least 2" in size.

All times are CT (US)

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