Lunar map flown aboard Apollo 11 to sell at Bonhams

Buzz Shortyear

Buzz Shortyear

2016-07-04 13:34:09

A map of the lunar surface used aboard Apollo 11 is heading for sale at Bonhams later this month, as part of an auction of historic space memorabilia.

The photographic map, which covers 25 nautical miles of themoon's surface, was used by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin as they prepared for their historic descent in the Eagle lunar module.

Whilst waiting nervously for the "GO" signal from Mission Control to begin the PDI burn which would take them down, the pair carefully tracked their progress using the map. With enough fuel for just one landing attempt, their positioning had to be precise before they began the descent.

According to Aldrin, from whose personal collection the map is offered: "We were flying over the Secchi series of craters as shown on this chart and were exactly on center along the dark descent path line. This chart provided critical verification that Eagle was on course before the PDI burn was to occur."

Having flown to the moon and back as part of the historic Apollo 11 mission, the lunar navigational map is expected to sell for $25,000 - $35,000.

Another fascinating lot on offer is a collection of gold plaster casts of the right hands of 15 NASA astronauts.

The casts, created in the 1960s, were taken from astronauts in order to make their space suit gloves – each of which was custom-fitted to the exact measurements their individual hands.

The casts originate from the collection of Joseph Pappano who worked as the project manager at ILC Industries, the company responsible for outfitting every astronaut in the Apollo program, and also creating the airbag landing devices used during the Mars Pathfinder and Mars Exploration Rover (MER) missions.

Featuring the right hands of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Dave Scott, Tom Stafford, Wally Schirra, Pete Conrad, Jim Lovell, John Young, Rusty Schweickart, Walt Cunningham, JimMcdivitt, Gene Cernan, Don Lind, Donn Eisele and Frank Borman, the unusual collection is expected to sell for $6,000 - $9,000.

Further notable space-flown Apollo lots on offer include the camera ring sight used on the lunar surface by Apollo 15 astronaut James B. Irwin, estimated at $12,000 - $15,000; one of the controversial 'unauthorized' postal covers also flown to the lunar surface aboard Apollo 15, estimated at $7,000 - $10,000; and a set of lunar module malfunction procedures flown aboard Apollo 13, signed by Fred Haise and Jim Lovell, estimated at $2,000 - $3,000.

The Bonhams Space History sale takes place in New York on July 20.

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