Apollo 11 navigation chart
Apollo 11 navigation chart is a circular lunar surface chart used by the Apollo 11 team on their mission to the moon.
The chart was described by Buzz Aldrin as “the single most critical navigational device we used while on the Moon”. Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin used the navigation chat to determine their exact position on the moon after landing on its surface.
The chart is 9 inches in diameter and consists of two sheets of plastic which rotate around a central rivet. It shows the Earth, sun, planets and constellations on one sheet. A transparent upper disc overlay is imprinted with six overlapping circles.
The stars and constellations are projected onto a black background above and below the ecliptic and lunar equator. The sun, Earth and planets can then be marked according to their positions along the ecliptic plane.
On the reverse of the chart is a gray square velcro patch with darker gray material embedded within. Armstrong has since noted that those gray areas are likely to be lunar dust from his and Aldrin’s spacesuits.
The navigation chart was up for auction in July 2009 with the auction house Bonhams. It sold for $218,000. The lunar surface chart is one of the few flight devices which have returned from the Moon’s surface to have come on the market. The device was accompanied by a typed letter, signed by Buzz Aldrin, informing the buyer as to how the device was used on the Apollo 11 mission.