Auctions | October 11, 2013

Apollo 13 Flown Bible Text Fragment at Heritage Auctions

DALLAS — An Apollo 11 flown Commemorative Cover, signed by the crew directly from the collection of Mission Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, could sell for $40,000+ leads a stellar line up of space-flown objects and important private collections in Heritage Auctions’ Nov. 1 Space Exploration Signature® Auction in Dallas.

One of the more unusual items saw more time in space than any other item in the auction, said Michael Riley, Chief Cataloger for Space at Heritage Auctions. A 50-page section of a microform copy of The Bible, flown around the moon on the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission only later to be carried to the moon’s surface during Apollo 14’s mission, is expected to bring $8,000+. The evocative fragment—one of just 32 astronaut flight certified examples that exists—is also unique in that its pages include Genesis 1:16, the verse in which the moon is created.

“The fact that it was on not one but two flown lunar missions—especially Apollo 13 and then to the surface—makes it rare,” Riley said. “That it includes the only verse which describes the creation of the Moon makes it a true treasure.”

Additional items flown on lunar missions include an American flag that accompanied Apollo 11 to the surface of the moon and later signed on a presentation certificate by Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin, could sell for $25,000+, and an Apollo 16 Robbins Medallion, one of only 98 flown and directly from the collection of Mission Commander John Young, is expected to bring $10,000+. A rare Apollo 16 Module lunar orbit chart, as flown to the moon’s surface, is expected to fetch $8,000+.

Another one-of-a-kind piece of Space Race memorabilia includes a hand-written note on an Apollo 11 notecard by Neil Armstrong sent to a 9-year-old girl in 1969. In it Armstrong thanks her for a letter and answers a pressing question by explaining that “the Moon is quite a nice place to visit.” The letter and hand-addressed envelope are made all the more desirable since it was written between Armstrong's return from the moon and his leaving on the "Giant Leap" world tour in late September 1969 and it could sell for $5,000+.

Among the more unusual space memorabilia crossing the block Nov. 1 is a pair of Neil Armstrong’s training-used beta cloth boots, which could fetch $10,000+, and a 1918 edition of Jules Verne’s classic From the Earth to the Moonwhich presents no less than 10 eerily prophetic similarities to the real U.S. Apollo space program—and signed by 11 Apollo Astronauts, is expected to bring $3,500+.

Additional highlights include but are not limited by:

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