WASHINGTON, D.C. – The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden regarding the ownership of early space exploration mementos and artifacts:
“Earlier today, I had a good meeting with former Apollo astronauts Jim Lovell, Gene Cernan, Charlie Duke, Rusty Schweickart and other representatives of former astronauts and agency personnel, where we discussed how to resolve the misunderstandings and ownership questions regarding flight mementos and other artifacts.
“These are American heroes, fellow astronauts, and personal friends who have acted in good faith, and we have committed to work together to find the right policy and legal paths forward to address outstanding ownership questions.
“I believe there have been fundamental misunderstandings and unclear policies regarding items from the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Skylab programs, and NASA appreciates the position of the astronauts, museums, learning institutions and others who have these historic artifacts in personal and private collections.
“We also appreciate their patience and will explore all policy, legislative and other legal means to resolve these questions expeditiously and clarify ownership of these mementos, and ensure that appropriate artifacts are preserved and available for display to the American people.”