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  Astronaut autographs through the mail

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Author Topic:   Astronaut autographs through the mail
Murph
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posted 01-23-2009 09:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Murph   Click Here to Email Murph     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have found the doubling of some astronaut signing fees, as of late, to make it hard for me to continue to enjoy attending signings. It's not entirely a matter of the money, per se, but of value. Just my opinion.

So, after years of collecting, I thought I would try a little of the "thru the mail" routine. I have sent letters, photos and SASE to a number of astronauts and have received positive responses from Mike Mullane (wonderful inscription), Bob Crippen, who included a spacesuit photo signed, and John Glenn. All were returned in less than 30 days.

All of them hang on my office wall, where I can enjoy seeing them every day.

Next I hope to try Joe Kittinger and maybe Story Musgrave, and perhaps a little outside of the astronaut field but I think I found an address for my USAF survival school instructor who was a recipient of the Medal of Honor, and former Vietnam POW. He was a hero to me and a photo would be great to have on my wall.

Thanks to each man for taking the time to respond to a humble fan.

mjanovec
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posted 01-23-2009 11:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Guys like Glenn, Crippen, Mullane, and Kittinger have been wonderful assets to the hobby. Their continued dedication to giving free autographs to admirers is remarkable.

Story Musgrave doesn't often sign through the mail, though I have heard he is nice about autographs when you meet him in person. I'm not going to say he won't sign for you via mail (especially if you write a letter that stands out), but don't get your hopes up too high either.

Good luck!

KSCartist
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posted 01-23-2009 12:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Murph:
All of them hang on my office wall, where I can enjoy seeing them every day.
You may want to adopt this excellent suggestion that was offered on a different thread here on cS.

Make photocopies of the pictures hanging on your wall. Place the originals in a book or archive safe sleeve where they can be stored safely.

This way you can enjoy looking at the photos without worrying that the signatures will fade or (God forbid) someone takes them off the wall.

AstroAutos
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posted 03-23-2009 04:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AstroAutos   Click Here to Email AstroAutos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would just like to say how I am amazed and thankful for the continued kindness and generosity of John Glenn!

Sometime last year I sent him a nice letter and self-addressed envelope from Ireland and he sent me an autographed photo and in December I decided to write to him again, and he returned my book to me (John Glenn: A Memoir) signed in blue marker and personalized to me in one of the opening pages!

With Mr. Glenn being one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, as well as the oldest man in space, he could quite easily charge outrageous fees for his signature, and many people would definitely pay whatever fee he came up with.

However, even though he is now 87 years of age and still an extremely busy man, he still takes time out from his schedule to please his many fans all over the world with autographs!

He truly is an inspiration to me, and he sure knows how to treat his fans well! Thank you to Mr. John Glenn!

AstroAutos
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posted 03-23-2009 06:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AstroAutos   Click Here to Email AstroAutos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I know that autographs of current astronauts can be received by sending to Johnson Space Center, but will the astronauts sign any items I send?

And is it able to receive crew-signed photos of upcoming missions etc on request?

mjanovec
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posted 03-23-2009 07:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AstroAutos:
I know that autographs of current astronauts can be received by sending to Johnson Space Center, but will the astronauts sign any items I send?
Each astronaut is different. Some will sign just about anything you send, while others rarely sign anything at all (through the mail, at least). Also, individual preferences will vary. Some will sign covers, while others won't (for example). Most will personalize whatever they autograph, but that's fine with most genuine collectors who only collect for their own personal enjoyment.

You need to approach anything you want to get signed on an astronaut-by-astronaut basis...finding out if they are good signers and what they are willing to sign. If I had to guess, I would say 50% of the current astronauts are good about signing through the mail, with the other 50% either signing infrequently or not at all. The percentages seem to be getting worse over the years...

You always run the risk of getting an autopen, but it seems like autopens on individual astronaut photos aren't as common as they once were. My experience is that I'll either get a genuine signature or I'll get nothing at all. I've only received one autopen to date (which came only a couple weeks ago...after a 3 year wait)

quote:
Originally posted by AstroAutos:
And is it able to receive crew-signed photos of upcoming missions etc on request?
You can certainly request such a photo, but there is no guarantee you'll get one. And if you do get one, you may end up receiving one with autopen signatures. But there are people who do get lucky, so it doesn't hurt to try. A nice, genuine letter written to one of the crew members (perhaps the one you identify with the most and who has a good track record of signing) is probably the best way to go.

I don't collect shuttle crew signatures (only individual signed portraits), so I don't have any other tips to getting full crew signatures. Maybe someone else can weigh in with opinions.

East-Frisian
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posted 03-24-2009 12:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for East-Frisian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have sent several letters to the JSC but didn't receive any autographs (and, yes it was the right adress). How long takes it, for sending autographs to Europe? My longest was more than a year by one astronaut (and it was only a copy).

AstroAutos
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posted 03-24-2009 02:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AstroAutos   Click Here to Email AstroAutos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you very much mjanovec for all your expert help! Very much appreciated!

Does anyone have a list of the active astronauts who they know sign for sure through JSC?

mjanovec
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From: Midwest, USA
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posted 03-25-2009 02:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Shane - Robert has information here about a list maintained by Jürgen Esders, which details astronaut addresses and denotes whether certain astronauts sign through the mail or not.

disglobes
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posted 03-25-2009 05:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for disglobes   Click Here to Email disglobes     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You should join the groups Astronauts and Astroaddies on Yahoo. People post recent successes from Jurgen's List on these groups.

AstroAutos
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posted 03-25-2009 12:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AstroAutos   Click Here to Email AstroAutos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the tips! I have joined both groups on Yahoo!

Dave Clow
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posted 03-26-2009 01:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dave Clow   Click Here to Email Dave Clow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AstroAutos:
I would just like to say how I am amazed and thankful for the continued kindness and generosity of John Glenn!
Second that. Senator Glenn has always been generous with his time. His wife's nice too!

BMckay
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posted 03-31-2009 09:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for BMckay   Click Here to Email BMckay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I thought I would pass along a few tibits about astronauts signings through the mail. My experience has been lately that they are all very busy - maxed out with travel, training,missions and thus really have little time to go through their mail request.

So be careful of what you send and don't expect responses quickly or even at all.

Be thankful and feel lucky when you see that brown envelope in the mail!

Fra Mauro
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posted 04-05-2009 03:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When writing to an astronuat like Lousma or Crippen, is it better to enclose a book (like I usually do) or ask them to send a photo?

AstroAutos
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posted 04-08-2009 07:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AstroAutos   Click Here to Email AstroAutos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, it depends which astronaut you send to. Jurgen Esders' astronaut address list is very helpful in this respect, as he gives codes as to which astronauts you must provide an item for signing, and who will provide their own photo.

Fra Mauro
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posted 04-18-2009 11:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I recently sent items to Chris Kraft and Mike Mullane and they responded quickly and personalized the books. It was such a great feeling to get those brown evenlopes in the mail from two fine men.

AstroAutos
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posted 04-20-2009 04:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AstroAutos   Click Here to Email AstroAutos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was just wondering can anyone tell me what the deceased astronauts were like at signing through the mail. I am starting an astronaut autograph collection and have already sent to many shuttle astronauts, and I just wanted to know what the deceased moonwalkers, etc., were like at replying through the mail (like Shepard, Irwin and Conrad), if anyone knows.

flight_plan
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posted 04-26-2009 09:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for flight_plan   Click Here to Email flight_plan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would like to send John Glenn my book for him to sign and will gladly pay return postage. How do I send American stamps/money from the UK for him to send it back to me form a UK post Office please?

Paul23
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posted 04-26-2009 01:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul23   Click Here to Email Paul23     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can't say for sure about books but I sent him a 10x8 about a year ago from the UK. To cover the return postage I bought some International Reply Coupons from the Post Office and included them with a self addressed envelope for the return.

This is where it gets a bit more tricky. The Post Office weren't able to give me any guidance on what the return postage costs would be so I included £5 worth of coupons. I think that was about double what it cost to send the picture out so I think that would have covered return postage. The way I saw it, the cost of the picture, postage and packing came to about £10 in total, given the costs of meeting any Astronauts of his standing in person I considered that to be quite a fair outlay.

When I received the picture I sent back, the International Reply Coupons were returned unused, I guess it was probably more hassle for whoever handles the admin at their end to use them than it was to send the picture back but I would still say it's worth the gesture of sending the IRCs.

Just while I'm in this thread anyway, the picture I sent was when I was very new to autograph collecting and I used a picture that I printed off the net which was OK quality but not great. Since then I've discovered Jeromes Apollo Mission Photo's website and would like to send a better picture to John Glenn for signing.

Is sending two requests pushing my luck or do other people do this?

AstroAutos
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posted 04-26-2009 02:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AstroAutos   Click Here to Email AstroAutos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Paul23:
Is sending two requests pushing my luck or do other people do this?
Well just to answer both of your questions - when I sent my copy of John Glenn's memoirs to him before Christmas, I did not send him return postage - I know that may seem cheeky but he usually covers the postage. And, true enough 3 months later I received my book back signed and personalized by Senator Glenn and he very kindly payed the $15 return postage (and I live in Ireland!), so going on past experience I'm almost certain that he will cover the postage if you wish to send him your book!

To answer the above question, I don't think you would be pushing your luck by sending two requests because two months before I sent my book for signing, I sent to him for the first time, and he provided a nice photo of him in his STS-95 suit signed. I can't be sure but it sure is worth a shot!

mjanovec
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posted 04-27-2009 11:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is a webpage that details John Glenn's autograph policy and it states:
If you would like to have your copy of Senator Glenn’s memoirs autographed, please include return packaging and postage.
While Glenn and his staff will probably return your signed book regardless (since they are generous in that regard), I think the least one can do is to follow the instructions and provide return packing/postage for books. Personally speaking, I think people should also provide return packing and postage for everything they send...not just books.

If you can't provide return postage on the return packaging because you live outside the USA, I would then suggest including a donation to the John Glenn School of Public Affairs that will cover the cost of the return postage (and then some, to compensate for their troubles). Maybe even consider an additional donation to the School as a "thank you" for Glenn's continued generosity towards autograph seekers. I'm sure the gesture would be greatly appreciated.

flight_plan
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posted 04-27-2009 11:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for flight_plan   Click Here to Email flight_plan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Many thanks to all for help.

machbusterman
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posted 04-28-2009 02:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for machbusterman   Click Here to Email machbusterman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mjanovec:
Maybe even consider an additional donation to the School as a "thank you" for Glenn's continued generosity towards autograph seekers. I'm sure the gesture would be greatly appreciated.
I can vouch for that... I recently sent two items and a donation and have received 2 different thank you letters from the University and also the School of Public Affairs.

dce4529
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posted 05-06-2009 08:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dce4529   Click Here to Email dce4529     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am new to this site, and I am looking for anyone who knows if Gene Kranz accepts autographs by mail. I have heard in the past that he did, but I wasn't sure if this was still true.

Fra Mauro
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posted 06-13-2009 01:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This year I have sent items to Chris Kraft, Mike Mullane and John Glenn. They are were reurned within a month or so with nice inscriptions. Just wanted to say a public word of thanks.

Fra Mauro
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posted 06-24-2009 07:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does Robert Crippen send a photo if you write to him for an autograph or is it better to send him something to sign? Just wanted to know what he prefers--don't want to ruin it for us autograph seekers!

AstroAutos
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posted 06-24-2009 07:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AstroAutos   Click Here to Email AstroAutos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I sent to Mr. Crippen two and a half months ago asking him to send me an autographed photo.

As of yet, I have got no reply but I'm pretty confident I will eventually get something back as he is very good through the mail and to the best of my knowledge he will provide a photo.

Will let you know when I get my reply!

mjanovec
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posted 06-24-2009 04:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fra Mauro:
Does Robert Crippen send a photo if you write to him for an autograph or is it better to send him something to sign?
While some astronauts will send photos on request, I often think it's better for collectors to mail their own photo instead (along with an appropriate return envelope with postage already paid)...just in case the astronaut's own supply of photos has run out. Many astronauts are still willing to sign your photos for free, but aren't willing to spend a bunch of money to print up their own stock of photos (especially if their stock of NASA-printed lithos has run out).

Having said that, Crippen did include a signed shuttle portrait litho along with the photo I sent to him, when I wrote to him a few years ago. So he seems willing to send his own photos/lithos when he has them. Still, I think the kind thing to do is to provide your own photo whenever possible.

Fra Mauro
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posted 06-27-2009 11:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, I agree and I sent him something in the mail to sign. I was just curious if he sent his own photos. The best we should do is be as respectful as possible to the former astronuats who sign for us!

Sarahnaut
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posted 07-30-2009 12:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sarahnaut   Click Here to Email Sarahnaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just sent off a page from my flight logbook/autograph book to John Glenn in the hopes he will sign it and return it to me with a quick turnaround. I included a letter as to why that particular item. Any thoughts/opinions as to him fulfilling this request or do you think he'll just send a picture back in my included SASE?

AstroAutos
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posted 07-30-2009 01:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AstroAutos   Click Here to Email AstroAutos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
More than likely he will return your item signed - I sent him his memoirs which he signed and inscribed to me, and he usually does sign almost any items people send to him.

Although don't expect too quick a turnaround as very often he takes a long time to reply (although it depends!)

xlsteve
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posted 07-30-2009 02:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for xlsteve   Click Here to Email xlsteve     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AstroAutos:
Although don't expect too quick a turnaround as very often he takes a long time to reply (although it depends!)
That's true, I sent him a litho to sign last year and got it back in like 10 days or so, but if he's traveling it may take longer.

Sarahnaut
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posted 07-30-2009 05:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sarahnaut   Click Here to Email Sarahnaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the responses! I've heard he can take up to 3 months or more, so here's to hoping it's quick.

rcnsgt
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posted 12-20-2009 07:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for rcnsgt   Click Here to Email rcnsgt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sent two 8x10's to Mr. Glenn a few weeks ago. Just received them back. Both were signed to my name. Very nice X-mas gift to myself.

capoetc
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posted 12-20-2009 06:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congrats, and welcome to the board!

Yes, Senator Glenn is a real hero, and he has been more than generous with his time and ink over the years!

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