Author Topic: Writing a letter to Gene Kranz (or other famous spaceflight pioneers/directors)  (Read 673 times)

Offline IanThePineapple

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Hello!

I plan on writing a letter to Gene Kranz, my personal hero. Has anyone written a letter to Kranz or another famous spaceflight pioneer/director? If so, do you have any tips on writing the letter?

I want to ask for an autographed picture (I'll print the photo myself), but I'd like to know of a kind way to ask for one.

Lastly, how would I find where to send the letter?

Thank you!
« Last Edit: 04/08/2017 12:45 AM by IanThePineapple »
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Offline Blackstar

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Can't help you with Kranz, but some general tips:

-make the letter short. If it goes past one page you will seem like a kook.

-be polite. Do not be a fawning fanboy. Write it as professionally as possible, as in "I have been an admirer of your work" or "I want to thank you for what you did... it was inspirational to me growing up..." Something like that. Don't drool, don't be obsequious, don't ask for personal favors.

-spell check.

-if you are going to provide a photo for him to sign, also provide a stamped, self-addressed envelope so that he can mail it back without having to pay postage or find an envelope or whatever. (And if you're going through all that trouble, include some cardboard to keep it stiff and write "Do Not Bend" on the outside.)

-Don't write anything embarrassing. Nobody wants to know about your health problems or your pain and suffering.

-keep it simple. Write the intro, make your statement, end it.

-spell check.


Offline IanThePineapple

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Offline Lar

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also, spell check.

:)
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Eric Hedman

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Two years ago Gene Kranz was at the 2015 EAA AirVenture and did a presentation.  I don't know if he's coming to Oshkosh again this summer.  Check the website as it gets closer since this will be a very space oriented year.  At these presentations you can ask questions and talk to people like him.  Even if he doesn't come there will be at least 10 Apollo astronauts on Friday July 28th.  For their presentation you will probably not be able to ask questions, but you will be able to listen to them at the Theater in the Woods. At the smaller presentations during the day I've had a chance to talk with a whole lot of aviation and space pioneers.  This is the kind of venue where they like to talk with the public.  That's what they are there for.

The schedule will be filled in in the next couple of months on this page:

https://www.eaa.org/en/airventure/eaa-airventure-schedule-of-events

Offline IanThePineapple

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What would be a kind and not lame way to ask for an autographed photo? (I'll print one beforehand and send it too)
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Offline Blackstar

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What would be a kind and not lame way to ask for an autographed photo? (I'll print one beforehand and send it too)

Like I wrote earlier, be polite, professional, and not long-winded. Don't over-share. I think that if you ask for a personalized autograph (addressed to you) you might have a better chance of success. And definitely include the self-addressed-stamped-envelope. After all, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to respond.

That's the best you can do.

Offline Blackstar

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Also, keep in mind that many "celebrities" who sign things ... later see them for sale and thus feel used. They'd rather do them for charities that auction them off to raise funds.

Have watched Buzz Aldrin discourage photos/signatures, likely reasons like this. There are a lot of sour stories.

You can find a lot more about this over on the CollectSpace discussion boards. What it boils down to is that a number of professional autograph sellers made a lot of money by collecting autographs from celebrities, including astronauts. Some of them were particularly unscrupulous, like sending an astronaut a stack of photos to sign "For my fourth-grade elementary school students..." They then sold them and made a lot of money (some of these guys probably made tens of thousands of dollars doing this stuff). If you read about some of the tricks they pulled, it's really disgusting. After that became public, a lot of the astronauts inked deals with companies and only sold their autographs that way. You really cannot blame them, because why should somebody else be making a lot of money off of their signatures?


Offline IanThePineapple

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Also, keep in mind that many "celebrities" who sign things ... later see them for sale and thus feel used. They'd rather do them for charities that auction them off to raise funds.

Have watched Buzz Aldrin discourage photos/signatures, likely reasons like this. There are a lot of sour stories.

You can find a lot more about this over on the CollectSpace discussion boards. What it boils down to is that a number of professional autograph sellers made a lot of money by collecting autographs from celebrities, including astronauts. Some of them were particularly unscrupulous, like sending an astronaut a stack of photos to sign "For my fourth-grade elementary school students..." They then sold them and made a lot of money (some of these guys probably made tens of thousands of dollars doing this stuff). If you read about some of the tricks they pulled, it's really disgusting. After that became public, a lot of the astronauts inked deals with companies and only sold their autographs that way. You really cannot blame them, because why should somebody else be making a lot of money off of their signatures?

That makes me feel pretty sad that people would make money off autographs. I remember seeing on CollectSpace that Kranz will only sign 2 items at once (per shipment I guess).

My biggest worry is that he's stopped reading letters sent to him, which knowing him is pretty unlikely.
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