When Charlie Duke went to the moon back in 1972, he brought with him a picture of his family with a brief message on the back, which he then left on the lunar surface. 

“It was my desire to make my family part of the mission, so this was my way of taking them with me and recognizing the role they have played in my life,” the Apollo 16 astronaut and youngest person to have walked on the moon said in a press release about his new business, AstroGrams Inc.

Now, the former astronaut has founded a new company that allows individuals to purchase custom-made plaques, which will then be sent into space. 

“AstroGram enables anyone, anywhere in the world, to inscribe a custom-made plaque which will be sent into space,” according to the release. “As wells as a personalized message, it will be possible to also add clip art or even a photo of your choice.”

Those interested in sending their own personalized message into space can do so on AstroGrams’ website, AstroGrams.com, where they can purchase a personalize-plaque starting at $99. 

Aside from sending your message to orbit, customers will also receive a certificate of purchase, a welcome letter for Duke, full details of the launch, including the mission and when the rocket is being prepared, the ability to live stream the launch and a certificate of authenticity with a copy of the plaque following the launch, according to the release. 

AstroGrams is also giving pediatric patients the chance to send custom-made plaques into space for free. 

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“They will be able to watch their message blast off via a webcam on the Internet, providing inspiration and hope to children in hospital as they recover,” Duke said.

“Our mission is to promote awareness of space. To make people feel part of the space program, by celebrating, commemorating and communicating personally through ‘launching’ their personal AstroGram.” according to the release. “We want to inspire people to talk and think about all that can be achieve with space programs, especially amongst younger generations. 

Contact Jaramillo at 321-242-3668 or antoniaj@floridatoday.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AntoniaJ_11.



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