Why galactic exploration offers new horizons for space collectors



Today is Neptune's birthday.

Or should we say, the planet has today (July 12) completed an entire orbit of the sun since it was first discovered on September 24 1846.

At 2.7bn miles away, it is the furthest planet from the sun in the solar system, following Pluto's downgrading to a dwarf planet in 2006.

In an interview with the BBC, Dr Robert Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society called the planet "a frozen lump of frozen gases and I suppose not a terribly friendly place".

But one day it could be the centre for a whole raft of space related collectibles, as explorations head further afield.

But collectors will have to wait a while yet.

Neptune: 'Not a terribly friendly place'

Nasa has recently cancelled its planned 2016 Neptune Orbiter mission, although its New Horizons mission, which will pass close to Neptune in 2014, offers alterative investors the opportunity to own items associated with exploration of the furthest reaches of the galaxy.

The New Horizons mission launched in 2006 with the intention of passing within 6,200 miles of Pluto in July 2015 before striking out for the Kuiper belt.

Following in the footsteps of the two Voyager missions, it has already sped past Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus.

However, collectors hoping to own pieces of the New Horizons or Voyager spacecraft will have to think again and concentrate on related memorabilia, such as blueprints or manuals, instead.

The New Horizons craft is expected to leave the solar system in around 2029, never to return, with the Voyager crafts also set to head eternally away from earth.

But in the here and now alternative investors can get their hands on a range of space related collectibles both at auction and on the private markets.


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