Space-Flown, Astronaut-Signed Memorabilia Among Coveted Lots at Heritage’s Space Exploration Auction

The David and Janice Frent Collection of Presidential & Political Americana AuctionAn Apollo guidance computer, a strip from an astronaut’s EKG test as he stepped on the moon and a flag signed by the two most famous astronauts of all time are expected to be among the most coveted lots in Heritage’s Nov. 10 Space Exploration Auction.

An Apollo Guidance Computer: Original Display and Keyboard (DSKY) Unit, Signed by (astronaut) Harrison Schmitt (est. $25,000-35,000) was designed at M.I.T. and manufactured at Raytheon, has 19 keys and a 21-digit display, and is inscribed on the bottom of the front panel in black felt tip ink: “Jack Schmitt/Apollo 17.” A unit like this one – which was not flown – was attached to the control panel of each lunar module, and two were mounted in each command module. This unit allowed the astronauts to interface with the groundbreaking on-board Apollo Guidance Computer. It helped them collect and provide flight information, and was vital to precise lunar landings.

hah11-1-17Neil Armstrong EKG Strip Recorded as he Made the “Giant Leap for Mankind” onto the Lunar Surface, in a Framed Display (est. $25,000-30,000) shows a record of the electrical activity in Armstrong’s heart as he took arguably the most famous steps in history. The six-inch strip from the earth-based electrocardiogram device, which was gathering data from electrodes under his suit, is one of just five pieces of the original strip. This strip is mounted to a 7-1/2-by-9-1/2-inch certificate which reads: “EKG Recordings taken as Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong took Mankind’s First Step on the Moon” at the top and “4:13:24:28 Ground Elapsed Time” at the bottom.

An Apollo 11-Flown American Flag on Presentation Signed by Armstrong and Aldrin in a Framed Display, with Aldrin-Signed Photo of Presentation Ceremony (est. $20,000-30,000), which measures 5-3/4 inches wide and 4 inches high, is mounted on a 13-1/2-by-10-1/2-inch certificate that includes the following text: “This Flag Presented to F.S. Schwend, was carried to the Moon on Apollo 11 Flight July 16-24, 1969 by Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin” as well as a rare Texas Art Embroidery mission insignia patch. The lot includes an original 10-by-8-inch photo of Aldrin handing Schwend this presentation while engineer Chuck Crowell looks on. Aldrin signed the photo “To Fred Schwend/With Appreciation For Your/Efforts To Promote Americanism/Buzz Aldrin Apollo 11.”

An Apollo 13-Flown Complete Microform Bible, with Crew-Signed and James Lovell-Signed Certificates, Originally from the Apollo Prayer League Archives of Founder Rev. John M. Stout (est. $15,000-25,000) contains the complete text of the King James Version of the Bible, miniaturized by NCR down to a single piece of microfilm that is just 1-1/2 inches square. It was aboard Apollo 13 with the intent of being carried to the lunar surface in the lunar module Aquarius. An on-board explosion caused the abortion of the lunar landing, but the craft did circle the moon, using its gravity to “slingshot” it safely back to earth. This bible, which was aboard that mission, is accompanied by an 8-1/2-by-11-inch certificate on NASA letterhead that reads: “No. 13-010. This bible was flown to the moon April 11-17, 1970 on Apollo 13 spacecraft” and bears the signatures of astronauts James Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred W. Haise.

An Apollo Spacesuit Program: Rare and Early SPD-143-3 “Suit Coverall” by International Latex Corporation (est. $5,000-8,000) is a one-piece metallic-finish suit that is signed on the lower right torso with the signatures of Charles Conrad Jr., Richard Gordon and Alan Bean – signatures that were acquired at a private 1994 signing event that was coordinated by the Odyssey Group. This suit was one of the very first TMGs manufactured by ILC (serial No. 10), and is the same kind as those used (until 1967) over the pressure suit.

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

‘Space Magna Carta’ and Astronauts’ Private Collections Offered

In addition to the “Space Magna Carta,” the first official document signed in space to mark the symbolic end to the “Space Race,” memorabilia owned by astronauts and the most avid of space collectors will be among the highlights at Heritage Auctions’ Space Exploration Auction Nov. 10 in Dallas, Texas.

Space exploration collector Ronald Ulrich:

An Apollo 11-Flown Silver Robbins Medallion, Serial Number 409 (est. $35,000-45,000) was one of 450 flown aboard Apollo 11, the first manned moon landing, July 16-24, 1969, with crewmembers Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin. The obverse depicts Collins’ original concept of the mission insignia, with an eagle carrying an olive branch in its mouth, a design NASA officials too indicative of war. Consequently, the branch was moved to the eagle’s talons, leaving this as one of few – if not the only – major official item bearing Collins’ original design.

An Apollo 11 Crew-Signed “First Man on the Moon” Stamp (est. $2,800-3,600) is an absolute rarity, a single stamp with wide selvage (surplus material on border) with the signatures of all three astronauts aboard the mission: “Neil Armstrong” in blue ink, and “Buzz Aldrin” and “M Collins” in black ink. The stamp is offered with an 11-by-8-1/2-inch color glossy close-up photo of the stamp for display.

Neil Armstrong-Signed 1969 “Wapakoneta Homecoming” Ticket with Original Newspaper (est. $800-1,000) commemorates the Sept. 6, 1969 homecoming of Armstrong to his hometown in Ohio. The ticket is signed in blue ink by the astronaut and includes a small photo of Armstrong and a red Apollo 11 graphic. The accompanying newspaper features an enormous headline blaring “WELCOME HOME, NEIL” in letters so large (3-7/8 inches high) that the headline alone took up about half of the page.

From the family of former astronaut Richard Gordon:

An Apollo 15-Flown, Crew-Signed Limited Edition Apollo 12 Cover (est. $18,000-24,000) features the mission insignia with Navy wings by Bishop, the 6-cent flag stamp cancelled Dec. 10, 1969 (the day the crew left quarantine) and the signatures of Charles Conrad Jr., Dick Gordon and Alan L. Bean. Gordon wrote “Flown To The Moon RG” in the top left corner and “4 of 87” in the lower left corner. The verso includes the following certification: “This envelope was flown/to the moon on Apollo 15/Richard F. Gordon Jr.” and contains a card reading “The Accompanying Cover/Is #4 of 87/Carried to the Moon” and is signed “Richard F. Gordon Jr/9-20-80.”

hah11-1-17b

Gemini 3-Gemini 12 Presentation Set of 10 Flown Flightline Medals in Lucite (est. $9,000-12,000) is one of just 24 produced and a historical presentation of all 10 flown Fliteline medals, one from each manned flight of the Gemini program. All are in matched silver color with five (Geminis 3, 4, 5, 9 and 11) minted in sterling silver and hallmarked on the reverse.

An Apollo 12 Lunar Module-Flown Large Size American Flag and Patch on a Crew-Signed Presentation Mat (est. $6,000-8,000) are mounted on a 14-by-18-inch mat above a label reading “Sailed With Yankee Clipper/And Intrepid To The Ocean of Storms/November 1969” as well as the signatures of the crew: Charles Conrad, Dick Gordon and Alan L. Bean.

Former astronaut James Lovell:

An Apollo 13-Flown Silver Robbins Medallion, Serial Number 76 (est. $8,000-12,000) is one of 404 newly-designed sterling silver medallions struck from the flown metal of medallions that were intended to go on the mission but ultimately were melted down when last-minute crew changes and other problems kept Apollo 13 from completing its mission.

An Apollo 8-Flown American Flag (est. $4,000-6,000) comes directly from the personal collection of Lovell, who signed and certified it. The certification, split over two of the flag’s white stripes, reads: “On board Apollo 8 21-27 Dec 1968/James Lovell”; the lot also includes a signed Letter of Authenticity from Lovell on his company letterhead that reads “I hereby certify that this American Flag was in my PPK during my Apollo 8 flight. Apollo 8 was the first journey to the moon in December, 1968. This American Flag is from my personal collection of space artifacts and has been in my possession since the mission.”

Gemini 12-Flown Embroidered Mission Insignia Patch (est. $1,000-1,500) has a three-inch diameter and features a Gemini capsule pointing toward the Roman numeral “XII” at the top, as if on the face of a clock. The patch includes the embroidered surnames of astronauts James Lovell and Buzz Aldrin” and is signed “James Lovell” on the verso.

Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov:

An Alexei Leonov Original Painting The Ashy Layer in Framed Display with Four Signed and Numbered Litho Prints (est. $2,000-2,500) with photographic provenance is a 19-by-12-inch painting showing a mirage-like reflection of the moon on the earth below, on which two areas of city lights can be seen. The “ashy layer” was claimed by Leonov, confirmed during a spaceflight and was the subject of his Master’s thesis. The lot includes a color photo of Leonov holding the painting in his home. The painting has been reframed under glass, triple-matted with an engraved plaque in a 29-by-22-inch black lacquer frame.

An Alexei Leonov Original Painting Cyclone Over Singapore in Original Frame with Four Signed and Numbered Litho Prints (est. $2,000-2,500) is signed by Leonov in the lower right corner and shows a scene he saw during the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project mission: a massive cyclone over Malaysia poking through the ionosphere and covering a large section of the planet. This is the first depiction of a cyclone from the perspective of an artist in space.

Alexei Leonov’s Owned and Worn Soviet Air Force Major General’s Uniform with Coat, Pants, Shirt, Tie and (Signed) Hat (est. $1,200-1,800) with photographic provenance was purchased by a collector directly from Leonov in 1992 and includes a 7-by-5-inch color photo of Leonov, the first man to walk in space, at his home with the uniform hanging behind him.

Former Texas businessman and NFL owner Kenneth S. “Bud” Adams. Jr.:

An Apollo 11 White Spacesuit Large Color Photo (est. $1,400-1,800), signed on the presentation mat to then-Houston Oilers owner Bud Adams, measures 14 inches high by 11 inches wide. It is signed by Armstrong: “To Bud Adams–/Sincere Best Wishes From Apollo 11-”. Beneath the photo are three signatures: “Neal Armstrong,” “M (Michael) Collins” and “Buzz Aldrin.” The lot is accompanied by a modern copy of the image printed on professional silk finish paper.

This example of Apollo 8: James Lovell Large “Earthrise” Color Photo (est. $700-900) is signed on the presentation mat to then-Houston Oilers owner Bud Adams: “Earthrise from Apollo Eight 12-24-68/To K.S. “Bud” Adams/How about the Oilers joining the Lunar Football League!/Best Wishes/James Lovell/Apollo 8, 13”.

In a nod to Adams’ stature as the owner of the Oilers and Titans, an Apollo 7 Large White Spacesuit
“Football Pose” Crew-Signed Color Photo on a Presentation Mat
 (est. $700-900) is a rare image that is signed in black: “Walt Cunningham,” “Donn Eisele” and “Wally Schirra.” Below the signatures, Shirra wrote: “Best wishes Bud-/from eight short of eleven – Apollo Seven.”

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