Moon Landing Manual Sold for $91,000 at Auction

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BOSTON, MA—(November 21, 14) An Apollo 11 manual used by Flight Director Gene Kranz during first moon landing sold for $91,909 on Thursday according to Massachusetts-based RR Auction.

While at his console in Mission Control throughout the landmark mission, it was a primary resource for coordinating that mission and associated activities both during the flight—and while Armstrong and Aldrin were on the lunar surface, according to Kranz in a letter that accompanied the sale.

The 3.25″ thick three-ring binder with an LM-5 decal affixed to the front cover and a label along the binding, which reads, “Flight Book, Apollo 11. G. F. Kranz.”

Manual is separated by 16 labeled tabs for various portions of the mission or spacecraft. Included in the manual are copies of various memos, charts, graphs, and other related material, many notated by Kranz.

Of particular interest is a handwritten “Abort Checklist,” listing six steps, which include: “4. CSM Rescue Status & Advisory 5. Abort Problem—Further effect.” Lower portion is headed, “Cutoff,” listing six steps, which include: “1. Safe Orbit…3. Rdz Duration—3 1/2 / 5 1/2 / other 4. Status check-all 5. Consummables vs Rdz Duration.” Also included in the binder is an incredibly detailed flow chart titled, “Abort Sequence Logic,” hand-drawn in pencil by Kranz.

The material included reflected what Kranz had determined most useful to have at his fingertips in order to efficiently and successfully manage those aspects of Apollo 11 that he was responsible for. Each Flight Director’s Flight Book included material mirroring individual needs, as they each had their own diverse backgrounds and knowledge base.  

 “What makes this manual so spectacular is that it was used during the descent stage of the lunar module onto the surface of the moon—Kranz using this manual when Armstrong landed Eagle,” said Bobby Livingston, Exec VP at RR Auction.

Highlights from the sale include, but are not limited by:

Viking Program Biological Instrument, the only flight ready unit on Earth, sold for $55,831.

Extremely rare and highly desirable flown oversize fabric American flag, 18 x 12, carried into lunar orbit aboard Apollo 10 in May 1969, sold for $54,412.

Exceptionally rare Apollo 15 flown Sieger postal cover, sold for $55,654.

Apollo 17: Gene Cernan—flown Lunar Surface Rock Manifest, sold for $49,889.35.

The Space and Aviation Autograph and Artifact Auction began on November 13 and ended on November. More details can be found online at www.rrauction.com.

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