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You could probably find a coin, medallion, token, and/or doubloon to commemorate every flight, mission, or program to have ever had the goal of launching an object — human or otherwise — into space.

In fact, you could probably locate several for each.

With such a wide selection to choose from, one approach is to collect only flown medallions or those minted using metal that was carried into space.

Robbins medals

Considered by many collectors as the most desirable of all the flown medallions, the Robbins (named for the company responsible for their minting) are created for, purchased by, and only available to the astronauts.

Robbins Company - STS-107
Columbia • STS-107

To date, none of the 39 flown silver medallions have been recovered. This example, minted post flight, is number 242 of 515 produced for the families and friends of the crew. (Not actual size.)


Robbins Company - STS-114
Discovery • STS-114

Due to minting issues, delivery of the "Return To Flight" medals was delayed by over a year. This is number 54 of an unspecified number of unflown silver (Not actual size.)



Manned Flight Awareness medals

Referred to by the title of the NASA office tasked with their issuing, the Manned Flight Awareness medals mark one of the rare instances when the agency used flown hardware to create mementos.

Each medal was minted in part from metal flown aboard the mission for which it commemorates.

NASA presented these medals to their employees and contractors (typically accompanied by a certificate or card) whose work helped to make the mission a success.

Medals as pictured are not actual size.

 
Manned Flight Awareness - Apollo 8
Apollo 8

"In appreciation for your contribution to the Apollo Saturn project the Apollo 8 crew carried metal in this medallion on man's first flight to the Moon"

Year issued: 1968
Mint: Barco Mint of New Orleans
No. Minted: 200,000
Flown metal: half-inch sphere of aluminum


Manned Flight Awareness - Apollo 11
Apollo 11

"This Medallion contains metal from spacecrafts Columbia and Eagle, that took Astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins on their historic Apollo 11 mission that resulted in the first landing of man on the Moon."

Year issued: 1970
Mint: Barco Mint of New Orleans
No. Minted: 200,000
Flown metal: LM: pulley clamp; CM: heatshield bolt


Manned Flight Awareness - Skylab
Skylab

"This medallion contains metal that traveled through space on the world's first space station -- the U.S. Skylab -- on which astronauts Conrad, Kerwin, Weitz, Bean, Garriott, Lousma, Carr, Gibson and Pogue opened a new era in the uses of space"

Year issued: 1974
Mint: [unknown]
No. Minted: 100,000
Flown metal: 16mm film canister


Manned Flight Awareness - Apollo Soyuz
Apollo Soyuz

"This medallion contains metal from both Apollo and Soyuz that joined together in the first International manned space mission on July 15-24, 1975"

Year issued: 1975
Mint: [unknown]
No. Minted: [unknown]
Flown metal: [unknown]


Manned Flight Awareness - Approach & Landing Tests
Enterprise

"Thank you for your contribution toward making the Approach and Landing Tests of the Space Shuttle Orbiter successful. We would like you to have this memento made, in part, of metal taken from the Enterprise."

Year issued: [unknown]
Mint: [unknown]
No. Minted: [unknown]
Flown metal: [unknown]


Manned Flight Awareness - STS-1
STS-1

"Thank you for your contribution toward making the world's first orbital flight of the Space Shuttle STS-1 possible. We would like you to have this memento made, in part, of metal taken from the Columbia.

Year issued: [unknown]
Mint: [unknown]
No. Minted: [unknown]
Flown metal: [unknown]


Manned Flight Awareness - STS-3
STS-3

"This medallion was made in part from metal that was flown in space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia, March 22-30, 1982."

Year issued: [unknown]
Mint: [unknown]
No. Minted: [unknown]
Flown metal: [unknown]


Manned Flight Awareness - STS-5
STS-5

"This medallion includes metal that was flown in space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia, November 11-16, 1982."

Year issued: [unknown]
Mint: [unknown]
No. Minted: [unknown]
Flown metal: [unknown]


Manned Flight Awareness - STS-71
STS-71

"This medallion commemorating international cooperation in space contains metal from the U.S. Space Shuttle Atlantis and the Russian Space Station Mir."

Year issued: 1996
Mint: Galaxy Medals, Inc.
No. Minted: [unknown]
Flown metal: [unknown]


Manned Flight Awareness - STS-88
STS-88

"This coin, containing medal from the Unity node flown on mission STS-88, commemorates the cooperation of nations and the deployment of the first U.S. element in building the International Space Station December 4-15, 1998."

Year issued: 1998
Mint: Galaxy Medals, Inc.
No. Minted: 60,000
Flown metal: two pieces of metal cut from the skin panel on "Unity" (Node 1); one piece measuring 6"x2" and the other measuring 6.75" x 2.25" and both 1/2" in thickness


Manned Flight Awareness - STS-98
STS-98

"This coin, containing medal from the U.S. Laboratory module flown on mission STS-98, commemorates the deployment of another element in building the International Space Station February 2001."

Year issued: [unknown]
Mint: Galaxy Medals, Inc.
No. Minted: [unknown]
Flown metal: [unknown]


Manned Flight Awareness - STS-114
STS-114

"This coin contains medal flown aboard Space Shuttle Discovery, STS-114, July 28-August 2, 2005"

Year issued: [unknown]
Mint: Winco International
No. Minted: [unknown]
Flown metal: two metal ingots carried in Official Flight Kit


Miscellaneous medals

Sometimes confused as a Manned Flight Awareness issue, the following medallions were also minted with flown metal or other source material.

NASA 50th Anniversary
NASA 50th

"This edition contains medal flown aboard a space shuttle mission."

Year issued: 2009
Mint: Winco International
No. Minted: 5,592
Flown metal: [unknown]


Frontiers of Flight Apollo 7 40th Anniversary
Apollo 7

"This medallion contains metal from the Apollo 7 spacecraft flown by Wally Schirra, Donn Eisele and Walt Cunningham. October 11-22, 1968."

Issued by: Frontiers of Flight Museum
Year issued: 2008
Mint: [unknown]
No. Minted: 500
Flown metal: fragments from Kapton polymide tape and 16mm data acquisition cable


Eastern Airlines 50 Years of Service
Apollo 8

"This 50th Anniversary medallion contains metal from most of the aircraft Eastern has flown since the Pitcairn Mailwing and from the Apollo 8 spacecraft as well."

Issued by: Eastern Airlines
Year issued: 1978
Mint: [unknown]
No. Minted: [unknown]
Flown metal: [unknown]


Apollo 11 (Die)
Apollo 11

"The die for this medallion was carried to the Moon and back by the crew of Apollo 11 in July 1969"

Issued by: [unknown]
Year issued: [unknown]
Mint: [unknown]
No. Minted: [unknown]
Flown metal: N/A


Manned Flight Awareness - Apollo 30th Anniv. (Alum.)

Manned Flight Awareness - Apollo 30th Anniv. (Bronze)

Manned Flight Awareness - Apollo 30th Anniv. (Silver)
Apollo 30th
(Aluminum, Bronze, Silver)

"This medallion commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Apollo Program contains metal from a Saturn V launch tower used to send Americans to the Moon."

Year issued: 1999
Mint: Galaxy Medals, Inc.
No. Minted: Al: 101,000; Bronze: 10,775; Silver: 750
Flown metal: n/a


NASA 50th Anniversary
Apollo 40th

"This medallion contains medal flown to the Moon on Apollo missions."

Year issued: 2009
Mint: Winco International
No. Minted: [unknown]
Flown metal: [unknown]


Franklin Mint - Apollo 13
Apollo 13

"This set of medals was struck on a special lot of sterling silver containing a small amount of metal returned from the epic Moon voyage of Apollo XIII"

Issued by: The Franklin Mint
Year issued: 1970
Mint: The Franklin Mint
No. Minted: [unknown]
Flown metal: an unspecified number of silver medallions minted by The Franklin Mint and carried aboard Apollo 13


Franklin Mint - Apollo 14
Apollo 14

"This mini-coin is made from a special melt containing silver that was carried to the Moon on the flight of Apollo 14"

Issued by: Franklin Mint Collector Society
Year issued: 1971
Mint: The Franklin Mint
No. Minted: 129,449
Flown metal: 24 of 200 sterling silver medallions carried to lunar orbit


Martin Marietta - Viking
Viking 1

"This medallion contains material from Viking which landed on Mars July 20, 1976"

Issued by: Martin Marietta
Year issued: 1976
Mint: [unknown]
No. Minted: [unknown]
Flown metal: N/A


Skylab
Skylab

"This medallion contains authentic material from Skylab - traveled one billion miles in outer space"

Issued by: [unknown]
Year issued: [unknown]
Mint: [unknown]
No. Minted: [unknown]
Flown metal: [unknown]


Spacelab 1
Spacelab 1

"First flight of an international laboratory developed in Europe and dedicated to space research for the benefit of mankind."

Issued by: NASA and European Space Agency
Year issued: 1983
Mint: [unknown]
No. Minted: [unknown]
Flown metal: Entire medal was flown in space
Note: Unflown medals also exist and were distributed


McDonnell Douglas - STS-41D
STS-41D

"This medallion contains metal flown aboard Space Shuttle Discovery Mission 41-D, August 1984, carrying industry's first representative in space, Charles Walker."

Issued by: McDonnell Douglas
Year issued: [unknown]
Mint: [unknown]
No. Minted: [unknown]
Flown metal: [unknown]


Space Shuttle Projects Office - STS-89
STS-89

"A portion of the metal used in the creation of this medallion was flown aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on the STS-89 mission which docked with the Russian Space Station Mir."

Issued by: MSFC Space Shuttle Project Office
Year issued: [unknown]
Mint: [unknown]
No. Minted: [unknown]
Flown metal: [unknown]


Port Canaveral Maiden Flights
Maiden Flight

"These medallions are made of metal blended with materials used in the first launch of Space Shuttle [Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, Endeavour]."

Issued by: Port Canaveral
Year issued: [unknown]
Mint: [unknown]
No. Minted: [unknown]
Flown metal: N/A - pieces of the launch pad


World Space Congress 1992
World Space Congress 1992

"This paper-weight contains material flown aboard Space Shuttle Discovery, STS-42; Soyuz TM-11; and a stony meteorite recovered near Forrest Australia."

Issued by: NASA, NPO Energia and SSI
Year issued: 1992
Mint: [unknown]
No. Minted: [unknown]
Flown metal: [unknown]


KSC Visitor's Complex 40th Anniversary of Americans in Orbit
40th Anniversary of
Americans in Orbit

"Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of Americans in orbit, this medallion contains metal from Mercury Atlas launch pad 14."

Issued by: Astronaut Scholarship Foundation
Year issued: 2002
Mint: [unknown]
No. Minted: 2500
Flown metal: n/a
40th Anniversary of First Rocket Engine Test
Moon Rocket Engine Tests

"This commemorative pin contains metal shavings from original J-2 and F-1 engines tests at NASA Stennis Space Center"

Issued by: NASA Stennis Space Center
Year issued: 2006
Mint: Winco Interational
No. Minted: [unknown]
Flown metal: n/a


30 Years of Space Shuttle Main Engine Tests
SSME Tests

"Stennis Space Center marks 30 years of testing Space Shuttle Main Engines. To commemorate this historic milestone, this coin contains metal shavings from a Space Shuttle Main Engine tested at SSC."

Issued by: NASA Stennis Space Center
Year issued: 2005
Mint: Winco Interational
No. Minted: [unknown]
Flown metal: n/a


Yuri's Night
Yuri's Night
(Aluminum, Bronze, Silver)

"This coin contains Soyuz and Space Shuttle flown metal."

Issued by: Yuri's Night
Year issued: 2006
Mint: Galaxy Medals, Inc.
No. Minted: [unknown]
Flown metal: STS-42 flown insulation; STS-94 flown insulation; Soyuz TM-32 flown washer

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