In the honor of Presidents Day this year, hair samples from George Washington, John F Kennedy, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ronald Regan are being shot into space.
The samples will be sent via Celestis’ upcoming deep space Enterprise Mission atop the Vulcan Centaur rocket. This will be the first time that a part of a president’s body part has been shot into space. The company which is handling the launch specializes in memorial spaceflights.
If you are wondering where the hair samples from the dead presidents came from, they were originally held by celebrity hair collector, Louis Mushro. Every hair sample comes with its requisite certificates of authenticity. After Mushro died in 2014, the follicles were sent to the spaceflight company by an anonymous donor.
Mushro is a manuscript and letter collector. Since 1992, he has been a celebrity hair auctioneer. Over the years, he has collected celebrity hair from Sotheby’s, Christie’s, celebrities’ homes, and barbers. Before his death, he kept the hair locked away in a safe.
“I have a part of people, who are famous,” he told CNN in 2013. “None of that fame ever rubbed off on me, though.” For over 20 years before his demise, he sold 4,500 locks from famous people — from John F. Kennedy to John Lennon. “Everyone who is interested in anyone who is great would want to have something so precious,” he said.
Mushro has sold strands from Elizabeth Taylor, Mozart, Mickey Mantle, Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, and Joe DiMaggio. Babe Ruth’s hair went for $1,000, and Mother Teresa’s $400.
His most prized possession was Abraham Lincoln’s hair. He has reportedly paid “a lot of money” to buy those locks. During his lifetime, he sold several strands of Lincoln’s hair for about $1,200 each. But he never ran out of his hair and planned to sell more. “(After Lincoln’s assassination), a doctor opened up the wound area, cut the bloody hair, and gave it to Mary Lincoln,” he said. “It’s something of a beauty, like a horse’s mane.”