Lot 9430: Exceptionally rare flown Apollo 16 postal cover with a cachet of the mission insignia, 6.5 x 3.5, signed in the center in black felt tip, "Charlie Duke," and signed and flight-certified on the flap in black ballpoint, "I certify that cover #3 of a total of 25 carried on the Apollo 16 flight, landed on the moon, approved for stowage in my personal preference kit. Charles M. Duke, Jr." The cover is numbered "3" in the upper left by Duke and bears two postal cancellations, one launch day at Kennedy Space Center, April 16, 1972, and one recovery day on USS Ticonderoga, April 27, 1972. In fine condition. Accompanied by a notarized letter of provenance signed by Duke, in part: "I certify that cover #3…is one of 25 envelopes approved for stowage in my personal preference kit…The covers accompanied me during the flight and to the Descartes lunar landing site." The letter is somewhat wrinkled and dampstained at the bottom. Also includes two unsigned photos of Duke certifying the covers. After the Apollo 15 Sieger cover fiasco the rules concerning such items became more restricted and Duke was the only astronaut to carry any on Apollo 16, with none flown on Apollo 17. With only 25 in existence, flown Apollo 16 covers are incredibly rare and also hold a place in history as the last covers to be flown to the moon. In April 2008 an Apollo 16 flown cover sold for over $268,000.
RR Auction's Space and Aviation Auction 463
Thursday, 22nd October 2015
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