Hunting, collecting, buying and selling meteorites
are growing in poplurity. A scan of the web reveals
upwards of 100 web sites devoted to meteorites.
While not directly related to space exploration, the
growing market for meteorite collection gives an indication
of the possible value of materials returned to earth
from the moon, asteroids and planets.
See, for example, the Lunar and Martian meteorite materials
for sale at the Meteorite
Selling extraterrestrial materials in small quantities
to the general public has been proposed as a possible
source of revenue for private
Remember that meteors are the streaks in the
night sky caused by bits of rock and comet debris, most
of which are burned up in the atmosphere. Meteorites
refer to the pieces that actually make it intact to
There are many different kinds
of meteorites and they are classified according to their
composition. See MeteoriteMan's collection
of images of various types of meteorites and check
out his meteorite
glossary for explanations of meteorite names and
After the Mars meteorites were reported to contain
possible indications of ancient Martian bacterial life,
interest in meteorite collecting has exploded. The number
of meteorite sites on the web reflects this growth.
".. international, nonprofit organization devoted
to the study of extraterrestrial materials and history,
including asteroids, impact craters, interplanetary
dust, lunar samples, meteors, meteorites, tektites,
and the origin of the solar system. Our 925 members
from 32 countries include scientists specializing
in aspects of geology, chemistry, physics, and astronomy,
as well as amateurs interested in meteorites and impact
craters." - Meteroritical Society home website.
Meteorite Collectors Association
This organization is"an international group of
meteorite collectors consisting of amateurs and professionals
from twenty countries. Our mission can be summed up
in one word, "Authenticity." If members wish to sell
or trade meteoritic specimens, those items must be 'actually
and exactly what is claimed.' (Merriam-Webster-Dictionary)
Our members adhere to the highest standards of meteorite
identification and proper labeling practices. The membership
maintains this high standard by monitoring each other's
activities for accuracy."
"The International Quarterly of METEORITES AND
METEORITE SCIENCE magazine. Publication featuring articles
related to meteors, meteorites, asteroids and comets,
the origins of space and life, as well as Morasko, The
Milton Pallasite, Permian-Triassic Extraterrestrial
Extinction, the Tunguska Mystery, Tucson Meteorite Show
2002, The Caperr Meteorite and The Taza Plessitic Octahedrite."
Robert A. Haag provides this site devoted to his latest
adventures in search of meteorites around the world.
He offers a large catalog of various meteorite types for
sale. He also provides a nice collection of images
of various types of meteorites and a meteorite
The origin of meteorites can be determined by their
composition and isotopic signatures.
The most precious meteorites are those determined to
have originated on Mars. They were thrown into space
by the impact of a large comet or asteroid on Mars and
eventually came to hit earth. Using data from the Viking
and Mars Pathfinder landers, the origin of the meteorites
can be definitely linked to Mars.
The Mars meteorites became famous when a NASA group
believed they saw evidence of microbial life in one
of them. See the Space
Life section for more information on the
Mars life question and on how the meteorites are identified.
Hunting Instead of just buying meteorites, one can also
become a meteorite hunter in the "wild". Meteorites
continually fall all over the earth but most are lost
at sea or hidden by growth and sediment on land. While
exotic areas such as the Antarctic provide the richest
source of meteorites, they can nevertheless be found
in more acessible areas with enough time and effort.
These sites give some tips on recognizing and identifying
Toys in general are very popular
collectibles. Space toys, in particular, from the 1950s
and 1960s Moon Race era are especially dear to the baby
New space toys typically involve
various Sci-Fi themes such as Star Trek or Star Wars.
However, space toys related to current space exploration
efforts also appear occasionally such as the toy Mars
rovers that appeared after the Pathfinder landed in
the summer of 1997.
This extensive site is devoted to the early years (1949-1955)
of TV sci-fi. It includes info and images of toys related
to such Space Adventure shows like Captain Video and
His Video Rangers, Tom Corbett Space Cadet,
and Space Patrol.
There have been several
attempts to market space related cards similar to baseball
cards. While most have not been big successes, they
at least succeed in becoming collectibles after
they are discontinued!
SpaceMark Trading Cards
SpaceMark offered an unusual combination space trading
card and CDROM. The CDROMs provide videos and
information about particular astronauts. Series include
the Mercury astronauts and the Moonwalkers. While
more expensive than a typical set of collectible cards,
they were much cheaper than the typical space
Topps Space Them Cards Topps
has released space related cards over the years.
American Heritage cards released in 2009 includes
space themed cards "that include not just astronaut
autographs, but also embroidered space patches and
real space artifacts"
Medalions& Pins Occasionally, there are medallions, medals, pins,
etc are issued in commemoration of a space event. See
House - Soviet/Russia space pins, buttons, &
Apollo was in mint condition Coin idea helped moon
shot safety Oct.1999 Alabama
Live - by Mike Salinero - gives the history
of 200,000 NASA nickel-silver alloy medalians with bolts
from the Apollo 11 capsule melted in with the mix. The
medallians were distributed to the thousands of workers
at NASA contractors and sub-contractors who built the
lunar mission components.
Growing up in 1960s Soviet Union,
Mark Perelman's heroes were Yuri Gagarin, Valentina
Tereshkova and a dog named Laika. Today he boasts
a collection of more than 4,000 lapel pins commemorating
a half century of space exploration
- A general auction site that occasionally has space
related items: Collectibles, Scientific Instruments
, Toys - ScienceFiction, other Sci-fi.
- on line auctions in all areas of space memorabilia.
- Specializes in auctions of space related stamps
Galleries - Victoria Campbell, who previously
helped run the space memoribilia auctions at the Superior
Galleries, is now opening her own auction house that
will concentrate on space and aviation memorabilia