An Apollo 11 flown Commemorative Cover, signed by the crew and directly from the collection of Mission Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, which could sell for $40,000+, leads a stellar line-up of space-flown objects and important private collections in Heritage Auctions’ Nov. 1 Space Exploration Signature® Auction in Dallas.
One of the more unusual items saw more time in space than any other item in the auction, said Michael Riley, Chief Cataloger for Space at Heritage Auctions. A 50-page section of a microform copy of The Bible, flown around the Moon on the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission, only later to be carried to the Moon’s surface during Apollo 14’s mission, is expected to bring $8,000+. The evocative fragment—one of just 32 astronaut flight certified examples that exists—is also unique in that its pages include Genesis 1:16, the verse in which the Moon is created.
“The fact that it was on not one but two flown lunar missions—especially Apollo 13 and then to the surface—makes it rare,” Riley said. “That it includes the only verse which describes the creation of the Moon makes it a true treasure.”
Additional items flown on lunar missions include an American flag that accompanied Apollo 11 to the surface of the Moon and was later signed on a presentation certificate by Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin, which could sell for $25,000+, and an Apollo 16 Robbins Medallion, one of only 98 flown and directly from the collection of Mission Commander John Young, which is expected to bring $10,000+. A rare Apollo 16 Module lunar orbit chart, as flown to the Moon’s surface, is expected to fetch $8,000+.
Another one-of-a-kind piece of Space Race memorabilia includes a hand-written note on an Apollo 11 notecard by Neil Armstrong sent to a 9-year-old girl in 1969. In it, Armstrong thanks her for a letter and answers a pressing question by explaining that “the Moon is quite a nice place to visit.” The letter and hand-addressed envelope are made all the more desirable since they were written between Armstrong’s return from the Moon and his leaving on the “Giant Leap” world tour in late September 1969, and it could sell for $5,000+.
Among the more unusual space memorabilia crossing the block Nov. 1 are a pair of Neil Armstrong’s training-used beta cloth boots, which could fetch $10,000+, and a 1918 edition of Jules Verne’s classic From the Earth to the Moon—which presents no less than 10 eerily prophetic similarities to the real U.S. Apollo space program—which is signed by 11 Apollo Astronauts and is expected to bring $3,500+.
Additional highlights include, but are not limited to:
Two important collections: the first from the personal belongings of longtime NASA photojournalist Andrew “Pat” Patnesky, led by a signed photograph of Mercury Seven Astronauts, which is expected to bring $5,000+; and personal items of Gemini Program Office special assistant Paul M. Sturtevant, which include a lithograph of a “Mercury Spacecraft” signed by seven astronauts and is expected to sell for $12,000+.
A one dollar bill signed by Astronaut John Glenn, after it was flown on Mercury-Atlas 6 (Friendship 7), is expected to bring $8,000+.
A group of 11 mustard seeds flown on Gemini 4 and a personal photo album, filled with 36 original NASA glossy photos from the collection of Ed White II, could bring $6,000+.
Numerous models, including a Saturn IB Marshall Space Flight Center launch vehicle on base from the 1960s, could fetch $3,000+.
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