Apollo 16 checklist featuring rude cartoons brings $206k


2015-06-26 11:40:22


Apollo 16 checklist featuring rude cartoons brings $206k

A wrist mounted checklist turned heads and became one of the highlights at Bonham's massive space auction

Bonham's space memorabilia auction, The Space Sale in New York, was a massive success on July 16 - and highlights weren't just limited to historic Apollo 11 memorabilia.

Onesought-after lot was the cuff checklist used by Lunar Module Pilot Charles Duke, Jr., during the second and third lunar surface explorations of the Apollo 16 mission.

It sold for $206,000, including buyer's premium.

The intriguing lo-tech device was a metal bound booklet strapped to the wrist of Duke's space suit. It was exposed to the lunar environment for 12 hours during the exploration periods.

A black and white Apollo 16 crew emblem features on the cover of the checklist. The verso has the printed signatures of those who prepared and approved this checklist, including Charles Duke, and the title "Apollo 16 EVA 2 & 3, Lunar Surface Cuff Checklist LMP."

The booklet, marked with ascending page numbers, covers various procedures such as climbing down to the lunar surface, placement positions for the rover lunar surface buggy, suggested areas to take panoramic photography, and tasks like scientific experiments and geologic observations.

However, the booklet has attracted extra attention for another unique feature...

One page features a hand drawndrooling space-suited astronaut melting away in the arms of a buxom nude woman. The astronaut says: "Happy Birthday Whatever Your Name Is."

Apollo checklists from Apollo 12 onwards often included small images of Playboy pinups and Snoopy cartoons - the gag illustration was master-minded by devious back-up and support crew members.

The checklist was sold with a typed letter signed by Back-up Commander Fred W. Haise.

"This Apollo 16 'Cuff Checklist' was presented to me by the crew of Apollo 16 as a thank-you for the role I played as the back-up Commander for this flight," writes Haise.

"Charlie Duke wore this checklist outside on the lunar surface during the last two exploration periods of Apollo 12... It was exposed directly to the airless lunar environment for over 12 hours and spent approximately 71 total hours on the moon during April 20 to 23, 1972."

Apollo 16, flown in April 1972, was the fifth lunar landing mission, and targeted the Descartes region of the moon, some 250 miles southwest of the Apollo 11 Tranquility Base site.

This area was the first true highland region of the moon visited by Apollo astronauts and has craters with structural features similar to volcanic areas on the earth.

The massive success of the Bonham's auction shows that now is the time for collectors to invest in space memorabilia - and it is a good idea to get a piece of NASA history of your very own in time for the Moon landing's 50th anniversary.

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