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Author Topic:   Hardest through-the-mail shuttle signers
BMckay
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Posts: 2003
From: MA, USA
Registered: Sep 2002

posted 11-17-2006 04:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BMckay   Click Here to Email BMckay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anybody care to give their opinion for the top 10 hardest to acquire through the mail for the current corp of astronauts?

Bob M
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Posts: 1393
From: Atlanta-area, GA USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 11-17-2006 07:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a quick list:
  • Yvonne Cagle
  • Mike Fincke
  • "Gus" Loria (not active)
  • Jeff Williams
  • Leland Melvin
  • Alan Poindexter
  • Sunita Williams
  • Doug Hurley
  • Steve Bowen
  • Steve Robinson (signed OK for a while)
Dishonorable mention:
  • Lisa Nowak (has shown some positive signs)
  • Peggy Whitson (signed well at 1st)
  • Ken "Hock" Ham (signed early on)
  • Greg C. Johnson (has been known to sign)
  • Garrett Reisman (signed early)
  • Neil Woodward (signed early)
  • George Zamka (signed early)
  • Tony Antonelli (never very good)
  • Barry Wilmore (signed early)
  • Steve Swanson (signed early)
There are others...

RMH
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Posts: 563
From: Ohio
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 11-18-2006 11:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RMH   Click Here to Email RMH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with the above and would add:
  • Stephanie Wilson
  • Douglas Wheelock
  • Michael Gernhardt
  • Charles Hobaugh

Bob M
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Posts: 1393
From: Atlanta-area, GA USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 11-18-2006 11:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RMH:
I agree with the above and would add...
What's sad is that these four all used to be good signers, along with most of the ones I listed (Cagle, Loria, Fincke, Suni Williams, Bowen and Hurley being the main exceptions). But opportunists & those posing as space fans asking for their autographs just to sell on eBay and elsewhere, and the general overall commercialization of astronaut autographs, has made many previously good or fair signers into non-signers.

The large majority of these 24 listed signed okay or well for a while, especially just after being selected and announced as NASA Astronauts and for a while after reporting to NASA/JSC.

mjanovec
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Posts: 3622
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 11-18-2006 12:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A few I can think of:
  • Cady Coleman
  • Ken Bowersox (just left NASA)
  • Kay Hire
  • Mario Runco (not active, but I heard he can be tough in-person too)
The early successes with some of the people on Bob's list makes one wonder how much mail they receive after they are selected as astros. Are they just swamped with requests from collectors initially... leading some to retire early from signing? Or do they start seeing repeat mailings from certain people that turn them off?

Anyone have tough in-person encounters from the Shuttle astros?

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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Posts: 2365
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 11-18-2006 04:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mjanovec:
Anyone have tough in-person encounters from the Shuttle astros?
If you mean in-person encounters with shuttle astronauts that wouldn't sign, John Young comes to mind. If you mean in-person encounters with people on this list that are hard to obtain by mail, Leland Melvin signed for me (though strangely, he signed his photo with just his first name), and Cady Coleman also signed in-person. None of these latter two were recent, though.

rpb2
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Posts: 7
From: Willoughby, Ohio USA
Registered: Oct 2006

posted 11-18-2006 10:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rpb2   Click Here to Email rpb2     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had no problems with Mike Fincke, as he did an Astronaut Encounter today here in Cleveland and was more than happy to sign for everybody. Signed his NASA lithos and your own stuff, if you brought it with you. I didn't see anybody with anything other than photos, or the lithos he had. Nice guy.

sikotic19
Member

Posts: 79
From: Chattanooga, TN, USA
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 11-20-2006 11:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sikotic19   Click Here to Email sikotic19     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bob M:
Here's a quick list...
Of the top list, I've tried all of them through the mail and only had a success with Steve Bowen. He's a submarine engineer though, and my dad served on subs for 22 years, so I had something in common to talk about. From the other list, I had early successes from Whitson and Zamka as well, and have had successes from Reisman and Swanson within the last year or so, but that's all. I have Steve Robinson and Jeff Williams through other kind astronauts sending me completed crew photos. Oh, and managed to lose my one Zamka autograph after sending the photo to someone else.

disglobes
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Posts: 565
From: Fort McCoy, WI USA
Registered: May 2000

posted 11-21-2006 05:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for disglobes   Click Here to Email disglobes     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have never had a problem with Jeff Williams, Alan Poindexter, Steve Bowen, Peggy Whitson, Greg C. Johnson, Garrett Reisman, George Zamka, Doug Wheelock or Michael Gernhardt.

capoetc
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Posts: 1729
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 11-23-2006 08:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bob M:
But opportunists and those posing as space fans asking for their autographs just to sell on eBay and elsewhere, and the general overall commercialization of astronaut autographs, has made many previously good or fair signers into non-signers...
As someone who has collected very few shuttle-era autographs (first four missions, Eileen Collins, John Glenn, and a couple guys I have flown with), I am curious: is there really a problem of "commercialization" of shuttle era astronaut autographs (other than Challenger/Columbia)?

Most of the shuttle autotographed photos I see on elsewhere have tepid bid responses and sell for such a low price that it hardly seems worth the bother. It would probably cost more in time and postage to get the free autograph than you would make selling it on eBay, at least at the moment.

Or, am I missing something? (And, no, I am NOT looking for a new business venture, thank you very much!)

I don't want to give the impression that I think the shuttle program is not worthy in some way... it is a fascinating program, and I follow each mission closely. It just doesn't seem that modern astronauts garner the interest (or attract the speculative buyers) of the early-era astronauts.

RMH
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Posts: 563
From: Ohio
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 11-23-2006 02:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RMH   Click Here to Email RMH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
John, I agree. There are very few shuttle astronaut autographs that sell beyond $10 it seems. The only autographs that do are from the astronauts that don't or have stopped signing through the mail. I have always wondered why astronauts stop signing because they see their autographs being on the market. It's one thing to see an autograph for sale but if it doesn't generate a buyer then it isn't being sold. I know that their are some who write to astronauts only to try to get a quick buck from selling, but if the astronaut signed, then no one would need to buy.

Some shuttle astronauts don't sign for other reasons but this is just for the ones that don't sign because of commercial reasons.

mjanovec
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Posts: 3622
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 11-23-2006 09:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RMH:
I know that their are some who write to astronauts only to try to get a quick buck from selling, but if the astronaut signed, then no one would need to buy.

To some people, the idea that someone would abuse or exploit their generosity (for even a modest profit) is very distasteful. And for certain astronauts, they find it so distasteful that they'd rather not continue to be eploited in that manner. So they quit signing altogether. Or, like the older astronauts, they decide to take the matter into their own hands and do the selling themselves...one can't really blame them for doing so.

I don't look at it as a situation of "if they would sign for everyone, nobody would need to buy it." I look at it as a situation where a few people have abused a good situation and ruined it for the rest of us. Let's lay the blame on those who deserve it.

Also, the astronauts (especially the active ones) have such busy schedules that they use up precious time to answer their mail. I suspect that once an astronaut feels they have been taken advantage of, suddenly spending hours answering autograph requests is no longer a priority to them. Once again, who can blame them?

We cannot help but be thankful for the kind souls who still answer their mail and still provide free autographs. They are truly a dying breed.

BMckay
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Posts: 2003
From: MA, USA
Registered: Sep 2002

posted 11-25-2006 10:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BMckay   Click Here to Email BMckay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wanted to find out what type of luck people had with the astronauts, not get into a thread about why they don't sign. It has been mentioned many times already.

Maybe I'll ask George Zamka on Monday when he is in Massachussetts.

thump
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Posts: 563
From: washington dc usa
Registered: May 2004

posted 11-28-2006 11:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for thump   Click Here to Email thump     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've had no trouble with Zamka and Resiman in the last year, with both adding very nice inscriptions...

BMckay
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Posts: 2003
From: MA, USA
Registered: Sep 2002

posted 01-11-2008 10:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for BMckay   Click Here to Email BMckay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just wondering from people why some of the recent crews have been hard to get and why some of the prices for current crews seem to be going up?

mjanovec
Member

Posts: 3622
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 01-11-2008 11:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BMckay:
Just wondering from people why some of the recent crews have been hard to get and why some of the prices for current crews seem to be going up?

I suspect the reason is simply because the more recent classes of astronauts have more non-signing astronauts. So it's hard to find a crew today that doesn't have at least 2-3 tough signers among them.

In the past, one could likely assemble signed crew photos by sending the same photo to each crew member until the item was complete. Today, that is virtually impossible. Your best chance is to receive an already-signed crew photo from one of the crew members...or to meet the crew in person and obtain the signatures that way.

Flying Dutchman
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Posts: 138
From: Nieuw Vennep
Registered: Jan 2007

posted 12-29-2009 01:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Flying Dutchman   Click Here to Email Flying Dutchman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any updates for difficult signers now in 2009?

Daugherty
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Posts: 11
From: Romance, AR, USA
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 12-29-2009 07:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daugherty   Click Here to Email Daugherty     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have had a very quick response this year from Alan Poindexter with nice inscriptions, Garrett Reisman and Steve Swanson signed two each with inscriptions and Peggy Whitson scrawled a signature on one.

My hard ones have been John Grunsfeld - nothing except a signature on an agenda at a meeting where I actually spoke with him face to face. Pam Melroy has never responded nor has Steve Bowen.

Some of my very best responses have come from the older NASA test pilots and people like Joe Kittinger. They often sent letters and recommendations of sources for me to get more info. Bill Weaver, who survived a mach 3+ breakup of an SR-71 even sent a picture of himself with an SR-71 when I couldn't locate one on the web.

With that said I am very appreciative of those who will take the time to sign for those who truly want the autograph as memorabilia not as merchandise.

disglobes
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Posts: 565
From: Fort McCoy, WI USA
Registered: May 2000

posted 12-30-2009 05:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for disglobes   Click Here to Email disglobes     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have had Pam Melroy and Steve Bowen both sign for me through the mail.

Flying Dutchman
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Posts: 138
From: Nieuw Vennep
Registered: Jan 2007

posted 12-30-2009 11:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Flying Dutchman   Click Here to Email Flying Dutchman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay thanks so far, but who has positive reactions received in 2009 from:
  • Mike Fincke
  • Mario Runco
  • Ron Sega
  • Dave Wolf
  • Greg Harbaugh
  • Charles Hobaugh
  • Randy Bresnick
I am curious because I have to write these guys.

eurospace
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Posts: 2318
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 12-30-2009 12:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Flying Dutchman:
I am curious because I have to write these guys.
Nope on all accounts.

jrguined
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Posts: 4
From: Houston, TX, USA
Registered: Aug 2009

posted 01-22-2010 10:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jrguined   Click Here to Email jrguined     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have had positive responses from:
  • Mike Fincke
  • Dave Wolf
  • Charles Hobaugh
  • Randy Bresnik
Only caveat to this... they were obtained in person. Very nice, and very willing to sign though.

dogcrew5369
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Posts: 570
From: Statesville, NC
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 02-01-2010 12:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dogcrew5369   Click Here to Email dogcrew5369     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's been a while, but I received a nicely inscribed astronaut photo from Pam Melroy with a personal inscription of "Thanks for your support of our space station and our women pilots!"

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2365
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 09-13-2013 02:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A year after the last shuttle mission, has anything changed — who's the hardest shuttle signers, both through the mail and in-person, both career NASA and payload specialists, not counting the unflowns?

There are those, like Ken Bowersox, who will sign in-person but not through the mail. Who do you have to catch on a good day and who (like Bryan O'Connor) once signed and now will simply not sign — at all?

All times are CT (US)

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