US Mint Reveals Design of First Moon Landing 50th Anniversary Coins

Space.com | 10/12/2018 | Staff
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WASHINGTON, DC — The United States Mint has taken "one small step" toward the striking of new coins to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing with the reveal of the design for its 2019 commemoratives.

David Ryder, director of the U.S. Mint, presided over the unveiling, which took place at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., on Thursday (Oct. 11).

Oct - Soviet - Union - Voskhod - Mission

On Oct. 12, 1964, the Soviet Union launched Voskhod 1, a 24-hour crewed mission that achieved several "firsts" for human spaceflight. The This was the first time that a spacecraft carried more than one person into orbit, with three cosmonauts packed inside the spacecraft. Only two cosmonauts were originally supposed to fly on this mission, but Soviet politicians pressured the space program to add one more. This left no room for spacesuits on board, so this also became the first spaceflight without spacesuits. Two of the crewmembers, an engineer and a doctor, became the first civilians to go to space.

The Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin program will see the Mint issue curved coins in gold, silver and clad metal. Congress dictated the design of the convex (dome-shaped) tails side, specifying it reproduce the reflection in Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin's visor from an iconic photograph taken by Neil Armstrong on the moon on July 20, 1969. Mint sculptor-engraver Phebe Hemphill designed and sculpted the tails side.

Concave - Heads - Joseph - Menna - Congress

For the concave (bowl-shaped) heads side, sculpted by sculptor-engraver Joseph Menna, Congress directed the Mint to hold a public art contest, which was carried out in 2017.

"The Mint offers hearty congratulations and thanks to artist Gary Cooper," said Ryder. "His winning design is a poignant representation of the triumphant moment that brought people together and reaffirmed our shared humanity and sense of purpose."

Obverse - Apollo

The obverse of the Apollo 11 50th...
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