Lot 536: Flown embroidered Apollo 14 back-up crew patch, 4? in diameter, affixed to a 13.5 x 10.5 presentation certificate, reading: "This patch was reluctantly carried to the moon on Apollo 14 to Deke Slayton from The First 'Team." Below are autopen signatures of Gene Cernan, Ron Evans, and Joe Engle. The patch itself is a spoof of the true mission patch and depicts a gray-bearded Wile E. Coyote, representing the Apollo 14 crew of Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa, and Edgar Mitchell, coming up from Earth only to find the Roadrunner, representing back-up 'First Team' crew members Cernan, Evans, and Engle, already standing on the moon, chirping his famous 'Beep-Beep.' Framed to an overall size of 15 x 12. In fine condition.In his book, The Last Man on the Moon, Cernan describes the spoof his crew pulled on Shepard's prime crew: '[Shepard] took our good-natured ribbing about his crew being tagged as the Three Rookies. Ron, Joe and I called ourselves the First Team, to infer that we were better than they were. Every flight has a personalized crew patch, and Apollo 14 was no different, except for one thing—we were the first and only backup crew to have a mission patch, too! This loony idea was a 'gotcha' on Al…All the way to the Moon and back, even on the lunar surface, whenever the crew opened a box, bag or locker, out would float a First Team mission patch. Ron, Joe and I, as the backup crew, had final access to the spacecraft, and while we set the switches and checked the gauges, we also stuffed our Roadrunner patches into every nook and cranny, setting up a future mini-blizzard of 'gotchas' for the Three Rookies. Perhaps the most repeated phrase on the private radio loop during the flight of Apollo 14 was Shepard's annoyance when still another patch would suddenly appear. 'Tell Cernan,' he growled, 'Beep-beep, his ass.' A wonderful example of one such 'gotcha' patch presented to one of their fellow astronauts.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 456
Wednesday, 15th July 2015
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