Rare items accompanying astronauts in outer space and on the moon highlight Heritage Auctions’ Space Exploration sale May 19 when an Apollo Guidance Computer Display and Keyboard is expected to sell for $60,000 and an Apollo 12 Lunar Module Flown Waist Tether is expected to bring $35,000.
“This auction offers a number of rare and seldom-offered items from both the American and Soviet Space programs,” said Michael Riley, Director of Space Memorabilia at Heritage Auctions. “The fact that many pieces came originally from the personal collections of the astronauts and cosmonauts themselves makes this a perfect opportunity for collectors.”
Being offered are personally owned items from the collections of numerous astronauts, including James Lovell, Edward Gibson, Michael Collins, John Young, Alan Bean, Buzz Aldrin, Ed White, Jack Lousma, Gene Cernan, Ron Evans, Dave Scott, Fred Haise, Charles Conrad, Paul Weitz, Walt Cunningham and Edgar Mitchell, among others.
Offered directly from the personal collection of Apollo 13 Mission Commander James Lovell are his Apollo 13-flown Alarm Codes Quick Reference Cue Card (est. $4,000), an Apollo 13-flown Mission Insignia Patch (est. $3,000), an Apollo 13 Crew-Signed Insurance Cover and his Flight Jacket with Name Badge and NASA Patch (est. $3,000). From Apollo 12 moonwalker Alan Bean comes a Mirror that flew to the surface of the Moon (est. $16,000). An Apollo 11 flown American Flag originated in Buzz Aldrin’s personal collection and an Apollo 16-Flown Silver Robbins Medallion Graded MS68 by NGC comes from Mission Commander John Young’s collection.
“We are particularly proud of the selection of rare relics we have assembled that trace Soviet and Russian Space history from its literal beginning with the launch of Sputnik to more recent International missions,” Riley said. “From the archives of a prominent Soviet engineer, we have the Official World Record Claim for the Sputnik 1 Satellite, the launch that started everything in motion (est. $3,000). A document often referred to as the Space Magna Carta (est. $30,000), was flown and signed by both crews during the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, a 1975 mission that marked the start of the long road to cooperation in space between the U.S. and Soviet Union, a significant watershed for the end of the Cold War ‘Space Race.’ Our offering is one of only four that was signed upon that historic occasion.”
A number of special pieces should appeal to collectors of Apollo space hardware. The above-mentioned Apollo Guidance Computer Original Display and Keyboard (DSKY) Unit (est. $60,000) is the same device that was used on every Apollo and Skylab mission for onboard guidance and navigation. An Apollo Lunar Module Reaction Control System Rocket Engine (est. $16,000) is the same as was used on both the Apollo Service and Lunar Modules for attitude control. A 12-inch Titanium Helium Storage Tank was another important part of the Lunar Module Reaction Control System and is expected to bring $6,000.
Additional highlights include:
- Apollo 1 Crew-Signed Mission Checklist, from a technical writer at North American Aviation (est. $5,000)
- Apollo-Soyuz Test Project Official World Record Claims File, signed by Deke Slayton and eight other U.S. Space luminaries (est. $6,000)
- Apollo 15 Lunar Module Flown Crew-Signed “Sieger” Cover #57, originally from the Jim Irwin Family Collection (est. $11,500)
- Apollo 8’s “Earthrise” Photo, a rare “red number” example of this iconic image (est. $1,000)
- A Large Color Photograph Signed by the “New Nine,” the first new group of astronauts chosen by NASA after the original “Mercury Seven,” from the collection of Ed White II. (est. $10,000)
- Soviet and Russian International Space Mission Patch Collection (172 Pieces, 1978-97), likely the finest of Its kind (est. $7,000).