Lot 516: Amazing handwritten school assignment in pencil, signed "Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr." and "Aldrin EE," one page both sides, 8.25 x 11, November 6, 1947. An essay with fabulous physics and aerospace content. In part: "There is a definite limit somewhere to the speeds at which man will travel in the future. The comparatively heavy weights of metals used in constructing airships tend to slow down the craft. If we were to enter another planet's atmosphere at a high speed, our craft would blaze away to nothing just as the meteors do that strike our atmosphere. Army scientists have proven that our bodies cannot stand an acceleration greater than 64 feet per second every second…Since the laws of nature, throughout the ages, have yet to be violated, the physical endurance of human bodies will place an ultimate fence around the pasture of super speeds." Aldrin's teacher was evidently disappointed in his work, writing in large red pencil: "A series of statements, showing little relation one to the other or to the T.S.—i.e.—no coherence. Vague terms. Generalities." In fine condition, with creases and a small tear to the top edge. This dates to Aldrin's senior year at Montclair High School in New Jersey, after graduation which he went to West Point. Years later, Aldrin himself would violate several of the statements he makes here—most notably, on Apollo 11 he experienced acceleration forces of approximately 4g during liftoff and 6.5g during reentry, more than triple the acceleration he writes that a human can withstand. A truly remarkable piece revealing Aldrin's thoughts on spaceflight long before it became a reality.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 456
Wednesday, 15th July 2015
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