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Auction May Hold Piece Of Final Frontier For Space Buffs
Amherst NH (SPX) Jan 04, 2011
Many dream of traveling to the Moon, Mars or even other galaxies. For some, these dreams date back to the US-Soviet space race; other dreams of cosmic travel are more recent, as the commercial sector prepares to offer passage to orbit.
Until space travel becomes easier, it's still possible to hold a piece of the final frontier in our hands. RR Auction, an Amherst, NH-based company, is making it happen-by offering bidders approximately 500 unique objects in a space artifacts sale in January 2011.
The company's first space-themed auction, it features high-quality pieces spanning from the early US rocket program to the space shuttle era.
Items can currently be previewed on the Company's main site. Bidding runs from January 13-20.
Here is a selection of some of the items that will be available at the auction:
Headset that spoke to the first men on the moon: Charlie Duke wore this on July 20, 1969 as capsule communicator for Apollo 11 during the first manned Moon landing. The words from Buzz Aldrin ("Contact light, OK, engine stop") and Duke's reply ("We copy you down, Eagle") rank among the most pivotal conversations in history, arguably more significant than Neil Armstrong's "Giant leap" statement.
Power cable used on Apollo 15 lunar module Falcon: Also offered is an cable used to power the Apollo 15 lunar module Falcon until it neared its landing site in the Apennine Mountain region of the Moon. Originally presented to NASA's director of flight crew operations, "Deke" Slayton, the cable was owned by astronaut David Scott for 38 years.
Playboy Playmate in Outer Space: A calendar photo of Playboy's Miss August 1967, DeDe Lind, was stashed in the Apollo 12 command module during its November 1969 lunar voyage. Although photocopies of Playboy bunnies made it to the lunar surface during other missions, this remains the only original color likeness to do so. Command module pilot Richard Gordon has signed and certified the item.
Gus Grissom's "Good Luck" piece: Another unique item is the Roosevelt dime Grissom carried during the 1965 Gemini 3 mission. The coin was later given to Guenter Wendt, NASA's pad leader, but not before Grissom etched "GT 3" onto the coin's face in commemoration.
Flight-flown American flag collection: Flight-flown American flags from each Apollo mission are being offered. The Apollo 11 flag, with the signatures of Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins, is the only such signed example. The Apollo 17 flag was presented to Mercury astronaut Deke Slayton upon his return to Earth.
Silver Robbins medals from each Apollo mission: These scarce mementos are being offered as a complete series for the first time. The first Robbins Medals were created for the Apollo 7 mission after Walter Cunningham wanted a special medallion to take with him. They proved so popular that every mission into space since has carried on the tradition. All the medals created for missions up to Apollo 14 were flown.
Space panels: Another offering is a 22-inch electric power instrument panel-the same type used for the Apollo 1 mission that claimed the lives of Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee. North American Aviation sold the remaining parts after the accident. A single owner has held this artifact-complete with electronics, wiring, dials and switches intact-for over 30 years.
The auction will also feature signed photographs from all of the Mercury astronauts; the Apollo crews, including Apollo 1 and 11; the tragic Challenger crew; and Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, who in 1961 became the first human in outer space. All signed items and flight-flown material have been reviewed by experts with an specialization in space artifacts.
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