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Mint Set To Issue Space-Shuttle Coins Designed by Children

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A nonprofit group that promotes science education among students will be the beneficiary of a limited edition of space-exploration coins from the U.S. Mint.

Mint officials have announced that revenues from the sale of the gold, silver, and bronze coins will be used to support the Young Astronauts Council. The organization was created by the White House office of private-sector initiatives in 1984.

The designs on the pieces were selected from more than 17,000 entries submitted by Young Astronauts Council members in a national competition. The Congress has authorized a limited-issue minting of 75,000 coins, with the release to coincide with the launch of the shuttle Discovery, which nasa officials last week said is scheduled for late this month.

The winners of the competition were Brian Kachel, 12, of Jersey City, N.J., who designed the gold coin; Essan Ni, 11, of San Diego, Calif., who designed the silver coin; and Erac Priester, 15, of St. Augustine, Fla., who designed the bronze coin. They will be honored at a ceremony at Cape Canaveral on the shuttle's launch date.

The reverse sides of all three coins portray an American eagle atop the Young Astronauts emblem.

The commemorative issue will be dated 1988 and will be struck at the Philadelphia mint. Each coin will bear the "P" print mark.

The coins can be obtained only through the Young Astronauts Council. For ordering information, send your name, address, and telephone number to America in Space, Dept. A, 1718 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Suite 410, Washington, D.C. 20009.

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