Braille Coin to Launch into Space
Louis Braille Silver Dollar will launch into
space on Monday, May 11, the National Federation
of the Blind announced Thursday.
The coin, which commemorates the 200th birthday
and the life and work of Louis Braille, will
liftoff aboard space shuttle Atlantis on the
STS-125 mission to service NASA’s Hubble Space
Dr. Marc Maurer, president of the NFB, said the
bicentennial silver dollar "symbolizes the power
of knowledge and future opportunities for blind
children across America," and that it was
fitting for it to "be part of a mission to
uncover the secrets of the universe."
Dr. Joyce Winterton, the Assistant Administrator
for NASA Education, who was present at the
Braille dollar release ceremony, reaffirmed
Maurer’s comments, and added:
"NASA believes strongly in the importance of
educational opportunities for everyone. That is
why we have partnered with the National
Federation of the Blind to help create programs
that enhance scientific study for blind youth.
Launching the first coin to contain tactile,
readable Braille into space symbolizes NASA’s
commitment to the spread of knowledge by every
means and to every individual."
Three other coins — the
Alabama state quarter
and 1995 and 1996
Paralympic Silver Dollars —
also had Braille, but were too small for the
visually impaired to read.
Demand for Braille commemorative coins has been
strong. The latest US Mint silver coin sales
show a total of 145,308 of the available 400,000
have been sold since their release in late
NFB has been active in promoting
to the public, to include a commercial
explaining how they benefit the blind. A $10
surcharges from the sale of each coin is paid to NFB to further its programs to promote Braille