Auctions | March 15, 2011

NASA Flight Plan for Apollo 11 Signed by Neil Armstrong Quintuples High Estimate at PBA

San Francisco, CA - March 14, 2011-- Space memorabilia is showing an extraordinary degree of collectability with the final version of the NASA flight plan for Apollo 11, the first manned space flight to land on the moon, quintupling its pre-sale high estimate bringing $51,000.
Inscribed on the front cover to Dean Mell, NBC News correspondent for Apollo missions 7 through 14, by Apollo 11 Commander, and first human to set foot on the surface of the moon, Neil Armstrong, the plan has several ink notations, most noting current time in relation to the hour into the mission. According to Mr. Mell, flight plans were provided to the various news correspondents prior to the flight to be used for reference during broadcasts. Armstrong inscribed this volume for Mr. Mell, at a post flight news conference. Signed flight plans are rarely seen and Armstrong has since ceased to autograph material. According to current reports his autograph is the most valuable of any living person.
Also in the sale and showing interest was the final version of the NASA flight plan for Apollo 13, signed on the front cover by Commander John Lovell, which sold for $7,800. Intended to be the third manned space flight to land on the moon, the mission had to be aborted after an oxygen tank ruptured, severely damaging the spacecraft's electrical system and crippling the service module upon which the Command Module depended. To conserve its batteries and the oxygen needed for the last hours of flight, the crew instead used the Lunar Module's resources as a "lifeboat" during the return trip to Earth. Despite great hardship caused by limited power, loss of cabin heat, shortage of potable water and the critical need to jury-rig the carbon dioxide removal system, the crew returned safely to Earth on April 17. NASA called the mission a "successful failure".
Complete auction results are available at and for additional information, please contact PBA Galleries at 415-989-2665 or Prices include 20% Buyer's Premium.
PBA Galleries of San Francisco is the only west-coast auction house specializing in books & manuscripts, maps & atlases. The company offers private and heirloom libraries at auction, providing clients with a staff of professional appraisers, online and printed catalogues, and bi-monthly auctions where participants can bid in person, by phone, fax, e-mail, and in real-time by signing up at the PBA Galleries website. For more information contact Shannon Kennedy - 415 989 2665 -
133 Kearny Street - 4th Floor
San Francisco, California  94108
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