Neil Armstrong’s Notated Apollo 11 Checklist Soars at Heritage Auctions
DALLAS — A single page of the LM Activation checklist referenced by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin during Man’s first moon landing on July 20, 1969 realized $55,268 to lead Heritage Auctions’ $1.57+ million Space Exploration Signature® Auction in Dallas. Items related to the Apollo Program took top lot honors during the April 18 auction as an Apollo 11 flown crew-signed commemorative cover from Aldrin’s personal collection sold for $50,787 and an Apollo 16 flown wrist mirror used by astronaut Charlie Duke during his moonwalks brought $44,812.
“This is truly the largest space auction — by dollar and by lot — held since President Obama signed a law last fall granting Mercury, Gemini and Apollo crew full rights to own and sell mementos from their historic journeys,” said Michael Riley, Senior Historian and Chief Cataloger for Space Exploration at Heritage. “This event far exceeded our expectations and we’re already excited about our Nov. 1 auction in Dallas.”
The cornerstone of the auction was The Steven R. Belasco Collection of Space Memorabilia, composed of 300 lots of the rarest and most desirable space memorabilia ever offered at public auction. In addition to the auction’s top three lots, the Belasco collection included an Apollo 11 earpiece and tube assembly used on the moon’s surface by Aldrin, which brought $41,825, as well as an Apollo 13 flown lunar surface maps book, which realized $35,850. The collection offered equipment used in lunar modules and on spacesuits including an Apollo 16 lunar module flown bio-harness sold for $32,265 and an armrest from the Apollo 17 LM Challenger, from the last manned lunar mission, reached $31,070.
Items personally owned and used by astronauts proved popular, as a toothbrush used by Aldrin on Apollo 11 sold for $22,705, Richard Gordon’s flashlight flown on Apollo 12 brought $8,365, Aldrin’s personal flashlight flown on Gemini 12 realized $7,767 and Wally Schirra’s Apollo 7 flown flashlight sold for $5,377.
A trio of lots relating to the childhood of Neil Armstrong generated spirited bidding when they crossed the block as Armstrong's childhood toy airplane, well-used and accompanied by a signed photo of Armstrong's family home in Wapakoneta, Ohio, realized $10,755. Four pieces of his elementary school homework, including a crayon rendering of planet Earth, realized $3,585 and his handmade childhood signed booklet about the Life of Christ, brought $8,962.
Additional highlights include but are not limited to:
- Apollo 11 flown silver Robbins Medallion originally from the personal collection of Mercury Seven astronaut Wally Schirra’s sold for $33,460.
- An Apollo 11 Lunar Module flown descent navigation chart realized $29,875.
- An Apollo 11 flown French 20 Franc coin and necklace, framed with a crew-signed letter, sold for $23,900.
- Neil Armstrong’s early orange flight suit, worn as an experimental aircraft test pilot, realized $10,157.
- A rare Command Module liquid rocket engine from the Apollo Program fetched $9,560.
Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of more than $800 million, and 750,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and receive access to a complete record of prices realized, with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com
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