The potential for striking gold at an op shop can be very much dependent on where that store is located. Given NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is just an hour away, a pair of university students in Orlando were lucky enough to find six vintage flight suits buried in a box at a Salvation Army store that was going out of business.
Because the Salvation Army store was shutting down, Talia Rappa and Skyer Ashworth were able to snag the uniforms, which included a white suit worn by ground crew, and five blue suits worn by actual astronauts, for just $US0.20 ($0.25) each.
The blue flight suits have since been verified by experts at the American Space Museum to have belonged to astronauts George Nelson, Robert A. Parker and Charles D. Walker, who flew on shuttle missions between 1983 and 1985.
Rappa, who’s studying astrophysics, and Ashworth, who will soon be starting a university aerospace program, plan to auction the suits with the help of the American Space Museum in November. Each of the blue flight suits is expected to sell for upwards of $US5000 ($6338). The two students will donate some of the proceeds to the museum, and use the rest to pay for university.