NGC has expanded its collaboration with the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) to create limited-edition labels individually hand-signed by American astronauts.
The special NGC labels pair the autographs of 20 NASA veterans with the logo of the ASF, a nonprofit organization that annually provides more than 50 scholarships to the brightest and most talented college students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The ASF was created in 1984 by the six Mercury program astronauts then alive and the widow of the seventh.
The astronauts signing these labels include four who flew with the Apollo program, which put the first men on the moon 50 years ago. The other 16 astronauts, including two women, were part of the space shuttle program, which flew missions from 1981 to 2011.
The Apollo program astronauts signing NGC ASF labels are:
- Walt Cunningham, lunar module pilot for Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission
- Jim Lovell, commander of Apollo 13, which suffered a critical failure en route to the moon but managed a safe return. (Lovell was portrayed by Tom Hanks in the 1995 movie version of that dramatic tale of survival.)
- Al Worden, command module pilot for Apollo 15 in 1971 and one of only 24 people to have flown to the moon
- Charlie Duke, who, as lunar module pilot for Apollo 16 in 1972, was the 10th and youngest person to walk on the moon