Noah Bradley’s Space Memorabilia Collection

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2015-06-26 10:42:17

Noah Bradley’s Space Memorabilia Collection is a large, private collection of memorabilia related to space missions and astronauts.

Noah Bradley

Noah H. Bradley III is an American builder and space memorabilia collector.

Bradley founded Blue Mountain Builders, a business which dismantles and reconstructs houses dating from before the American civil war which are in danger of being damaged or demolished.

He is a passionate collector of space memorabilia.

The collection

Bradley’s collection has been assembled over a number of years, driven by the objective of collecting an item from every mission astronauts have flown to the moon.

His collection contains a medallion from the Apollo 11 mission, a badge from the Apollo 14 mission and a flag from the Apollo 17 mission.

Bradley’s collection includes sketches, paintings and documents belonging to Allen A Stevens, who designed the mission patches for Apollo 1, Apollo 7, Apollo 9 and Apollo 10.

These include both early designs of the ill-fated mission later known as Apollo 1 and the early patches for Apollo 7, which originally showed a phoenix rising (in reference to the tragic fire in the earlier mission). The design was later changed.

The most notable and famous item in Bradley's collection was a cheque signed by the astronaut and first moonwalker Neil Armstrong, whose signature is one of the rarest in existence.

The cheque was written by Armstrong to NASA Chief of Mission Support Harold Collins for $10.50, shortly before Apollo 11 took off.

The cheque recognised the risky nature of the mission; Armstrong could not be sure he would return, and had no intention of leaving debts.

Bradley purchased the cheque in 2002 at auction from Collins' son George. In 2009 Bradley sold it, stating: "As collectors, we are always temporary custodians of any item, and sometimes it's time to let it go somewhere else.''

RR Auction, who sold the cheque, described it as “probably the coolest Apollo 11 autograph in private hands".

It realised $27,350, which broke the record for an Armstrong autograph at auction by over $8,000. It was purchased by collector Jack Staub of California.

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