Houston may have missed out on getting a retired shuttle but there's still a chance to score some other things, such as Neil Armstrong's EKG from the moon. RR Auction is putting more than 800 space memorabilia items on the block for an out of this world auction. It's a space keepsake collector's dream come true. Bids for an Apollo 11 Command Module Hand Controller Grip start at $10,000. Astronaut Neil Armstrong's EKG from the moon is expected to sell for about $3,000. "I have some Neil Armstrong autographs so that would be an interesting thing to have. That wouldn't necessarily be my favorite thing to have. I would love to have the flown flag from Apollo 11," explains space souvenir collector Dan Mangieri who has a home space collection that would put many museums to shame. "People refer to this as my space room. I guess other people would call it a man cave," smiles Mangieri as he shows off his "man cave" that's more like a deep space 9 museum.
"It's been a real fun hobby for me," says Mangieri and he's not the only one. Houston is called the Space City after all. Many Houstonians have this hobby.
"I would like to buy the EKG from the auction, if my wife would let me," smiles space collector Anthony Pizzitola. Pizzitola's space souvenir collection is on loan right now in the museum gallery of The Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park in Downtown Houston on 1100 Bagby. Pizzitola has been collecting cool space stuff for decades. He followed Neil Armstrong to many golf outings to secure autographs. "It took guts to do what he did. He was the first man on the moon," says Pizzitola.
Mangieri has been stocking up on space souvenirs since he was a kid. "My dad worked at NASA. Now I work at NASA. My brother works at NASA. My wife works at NASA," Mangieri explains. His all in the family hobby has really grown over the years. He found his favorite piece in his parents home. "I was going through their house one day and in the back of a coat closet I found this award he had gotten with a flown flag that went to the moon. That's probably my favorite thing," says Mangieri.
You can check out the exhibit at Houston's Heritage Society Museum free of charge Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. www.heritagesociety.org. Here's a link to preview the Space and Aviation Auction which begins May 16, 2013 http://www.rrauction.com/preview_gallery.cfm?Category=0. The starting big on autographed pictures is about a hundred bucks. What's the most Mangieri has spent on a space souvenir? "I'd rather not say," he laughs.