H.L. Hacker, a long time investor in space memorabilia out of Dallas Texas, said he hasn't seen this much interest in the field for over 30 years. "Basically, what we're witnessing is a rebirth of interest by a younger generation," said Hacker. Much of what appeals to this new and burgeoning crowd of space-crazed buyers, according to Hacker, can be attributed directly to the influence of tech giants Elon Musk and Amazons Jeff Beso's, and their respective companies entry into the modern space race. "It's people like this who have fueled the resurgent interest in this field, and the inevitable spin-off products that come with it," said Hacker.
However, it's not just the new age of space travel that's gaining popularity with collectors, but also the old. In a recent announcement out of Texas, The "Space Center Houston," a nonprofit group responsible for organizing public tours of the Johnson Space Center, announced that it intended to restore the Apollo operations center back to it's historic 1960's appearance within the next few months.
This past November, Heritage Auctions out of Dallas put up for sale a number of items connected to the Apollo moon missions that comprised a variety of unusual and diverse objects; including a moon brush for cleaning and examining lunar rocks which fetched $37,000, and an engineers' logbook from the Johnson Space Center control room which sold for $4,500. Other "paper" items on the block included autographed photos of the control room staff at work selling for up to $2,750 - which would have been unheard of only a few years ago - according to collector H.L. Hacker. "Photos of anyone not directly in the astronaut program, were virtually give-aways in the past. Simply put, nobody really cared or wanted them - but that's obviously not the case anymore."
Even the recent passing of John Glenn has spurned additional interest said Hacker. "In the last three days, we've had a five-fold increase on our companies web site search traffic related to Glenn - It's just great to see people taking such an interest in a true American hero."
For those interested in learning more about space-related memorabilia and collectibles, here are a couple of web sites to start with:
- A.I.A. Staff Writers