HOUSTON (AP) _ As space age icons grow older, a foundation to support would-be astronauts looks beyond their fame for financial support.

In 1984, six surviving Mercury 7 astronauts _ Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Walter Schirra, Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton _ each pitched in $1,000 to start a scholarship foundation.

The Houston Chronicle (http://bit.ly/1RGFn3R ) reported Friday that project has grown from seven to 36 scholarships a year, valued at $10,000 each. Money from book sales and speaking engagements has kept the foundation alive.

But as space flights became more routine, astronauts are less able to cash in on their fame.

The Florida-based foundation is pivoting toward corporations that want to invest in science and mathematics education.

Support will more likely come from astronauts' boardroom appearances than proceeds from their fame.