Astronauts Memorial Foundation notes NASA's return to the moon with new collectible

Astronaut Winston Scott (at right) and Bob Mellor, strategic numismatic advisor for the Astronauts Memorial Foundation, hold an oversized print of the Artemis I collectible note.
Astronaut Winston Scott (at right) and Bob Mellor, strategic numismatic advisor for the Astronauts Memorial Foundation, hold an oversized print of the Artemis I collectible note. (Image credit: Elite Coinage)

The Astronauts Memorial Foundation (AMF) has taken note of NASA's recent return to the moon with a new collectible note.

The foundation, which honors those who have given their lives for the U.S. space program, has partnered with Elite Coinage and Rex3 Printing to create a note highlighting the space agency's Artemis 1 mission. Planned as the first in a series, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the limited edition notes will be donated to the AMF.

Similar in size and style to a banknote but without being legal tender, the AMF Artemis 1 commemorative notes feature a two-sided full-color design that both recognizes the work of the organization to memorialize the fallen and details the 25-day NASA mission to the moon and back.

"This limited-edition, one-of-a-kind collectible, honors the exceptional dedication, bravery and the ultimate sacrifice of our fallen astronauts, and celebrates the milestone achievement of the NASA's Artemis 1 mission of returning to the moon," Elite Coinage describes on its website.

The Astronauts Memorial Foundation's (AMF) new Artemis 1 collectible note is limited to a total of 3,661 pieces. (Image credit: Elite Coinage)

The obverse, or front side, of the note prominently displays the AMF logo set against a field of stars, with one star for each astronaut honored on the Space Mirror Memorial at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The note is dated for 2023 and each is serialized in a format styled after NASA Kennedy's iconic countdown clock.

The reverse of the note includes renderings of both the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft that flew on the Artemis 1 mission. The latter is shown making a close pass to the moon on its way to a lunar distant retrograde orbit. The uncrewed capsule flew father away from Earth than any prior human-rated vehicle in history.

The back of the note has a list summarizing the details of the Artemis 1 flight.

The collectible also includes features that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Similar to government-level security precautions, the Artemis 1 note is printed on a substrate paper with anti-alteration properties and entirely random thread patterns, which can only be seen under the proper illumination. The notes are finished with a gold metallic intaglio border and 24 karat gold-infused holographic foil to protect against counterfeiting.

Likewise, the notes have a face-wide illustration of an astronaut's gloved hand reaching out to an outstretched finger — a design inspired by Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam" — that can only be seen under ultraviolet (UV) light.

Lastly, the notes are registered on a blockchain using Elite Coinage's patent-pending Non-Fungible Physical ("NFP") technology, ensuring their authenticity.

"We recognized early on the advanced technology being brought to bear on the development and design of the collectible note and its far-reaching implications from both a physical and digital perspective in the non-fungible collectible arena," said Bob Mellor, strategic numismatic advisor for the AMF, in a statement.

Each of the Astronauts Memorial Foundation (AMF) Artemis 1 notes comes in an acrylic holder or graded encapsulation. (Image credit: Elite Coinage)

Limited to 3,661 pieces, each AMF Artemis 1 commemorative note is presented in an acrylic display holder for $75, or for a select graded subset, in a Collectibles Authentication Guaranty (CAG) museum-quality holder for $150. An oversized, suitable-for-framing prototype note is also available for $2,500.

AMF and Elite launched sales of the AMF Artemis 1 commemorative notes at the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) convention, which this year had the theme of "Exploring Space: Next Stop FUN." To celebrate the event, collectors ordering through the Elite website can use the code "Launch" to receive a $25 discount on the acrylic-encased notes through Saturday (Jan. 14). 

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Robert Z. Pearlman Editor, Contributor

Robert Pearlman is a space historian, journalist and the founder and editor of, an online publication and community devoted to space history with a particular focus on how and where space exploration intersects with pop culture. Pearlman is also a contributing writer for and co-author of "Space Stations: The Art, Science, and Reality of Working in Space” published by Smithsonian Books in 2018. He previously developed online content for the National Space Society and Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, helped establish the space tourism company Space Adventures and currently serves on the History Committee of the American Astronautical Society, the advisory committee for The Mars Generation and leadership board of For All Moonkind. In 2009, he was inducted into the U.S. Space Camp Hall of Fame in Huntsville, Alabama. In 2021, he was honored by the American Astronautical Society with the Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History.