Silver Robbins Medallions launch Heritage Space Exploration Auction past $1.1 million
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Silver Robbins Medallions launch Heritage Space Exploration Auction past $1.1 million
Apollo 17 Flown MS68 NGC Silver Robbins Medallion, Serial Number 159, originally from the personal collection of Mission Commander Gene Cernan, initialed as Flown on original case and with signed letter of certification, belonged to the commander of Apollo 17, who spent roughly 22 hours walking on the lunar surface. Estimate: $50,000+.

DALLAS, TX.- A silver Robbins Medallion that once belonged to the last man ever to walk on the moon sold for $60,000 to lead Heritage Auctions’ Space Exploration Auction to $1,108,271 June 5 in Dallas, Texas.

"There are few clubs that are exclusive as those who have walked on the surface of the moon,” Heritage Auctions Space Exploration Director Michael Riley said. "Medals like this are prized mementos, and to have a Robbins Medallion from the last man to walk on the moon is a historically important artifact that can not be replicated.”

An Apollo 17-Flown MS68 NGC Silver Robbins Medallion, Serial Number 159, Originally from the Personal Collection of Mission Commander Gene Cernan brought $60,000 to lead the event. The 35mm sterling silver medal was one of approximately 80 flown aboard Apollo 17 Dec. 7-19, 1972, on the mission with a crew of Cernan, Ron Evans and Harrison Schmidt. A total of 300 were minted to commemorate the sixth and final lunar landing of the NASA program; that the offered lot came from the flight commander’s personal collection only increases the demand. The medallion was accompanied by a signed Letter of Certification from Cernan.

Another silver Robbins Medallion from an earlier mission brought a similarly lofty return when an Apollo 10 Flown MS66 NGC Silver Robbins Medallion, Serial Number 89, Originally from the Personal Collection of Mission Command Module Pilot John Young finished at $55,000, shattering the previous record of $15,535 for a medal from the mission. The offered medallion was one of 300 flown to the moon May 18-6, 1969, aboard Apollo 10 with crewmembers Tom Stafford, Gene Cernan and John Young. They stayed with Young aboard the Command Module Charlie Brown while Stafford and Cernan flew the Lunar Module Snoopy to within 50,000 feet of the lunar surface on the last full-scale dress rehearsal for the Apollo 11 landing. The medallion was accompanied by a handwritten Letter of Certification from Young on his personal letterhead stating, in full: " I hereby certify that this Apollo 10 Silver Robbins medal, #89, was flown aboard the Apollo 10 mission May 18, 1969 through May 26, 1969. I also acknowledge that this medal is from my personal collection and has been in my possession since the mission. John W. Young/ Apollo 10 Command Module Pilot."

An Apollo 11: NASA "Final Apollo 11 Flight Plan AS-506 / CSM-107 / LM-5” July 1, 1969-dated Book Signed by Neil Armstrong to Los Angeles Times Aerospace Editor Marvin Miles, with Crew-Signed Lunar Surface Color Photo, which brought $27,500, was signed by Armstrong and given to Miles, one of the nation’s premier space journalists. The flight plan was the blue print for the most important space flight ever flown, the one that proved travel to the moon and back was possible. It became the model for future lunar flight plans; the value in this copy only increased with the signature of the man who forever will be known as the first to step on the surface of the moon. This 8-by-10-1/2-inch copy was signed in 1974 on the front cover in black ink: "Best Wishes/ to Marvin Miles--/ Top Aerospace Writer/ & Fellow Aerospace Enthusiast/ Neil Armstrong/ Apollo 11.” This book is housed in a 20-by-15-inch matted shadow box that also includes a color photo of Buzz Aldrin on the moon, setting up an experiment with the Lunar Module Eagle visible in the background. The photo is signed: "Neil Armstrong,” "Buzz Aldrin” and "M Collins.”

More than a dozen collectors made bids for We Seven Book by The Astronauts Themselves Signed by the Mercury Seven, Apollo 1 Crew, Apollo 11 Crew and Numerous Others (Forty Total Signatures by Thirty-two Astronauts)until it closed at $25,000. The first edition, first printing is an extraordinary collection of important early NASA autographs. The volume features a full-length portrait of the Mercury Seven astronauts in their silver space suits, an image that has been signed by everyone pictured: Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, John Glenn, Gordon Cooper, D K Slayton, and Scott Carpenter. Also included is a blank front endpaper is found an assortment of 31 more prominent autographs, including those belonging to Alan B. Shepard, Jr., Dick Gordon, John Glenn, Walter Cunningham, Ed White, Michael Collins, James Lovell, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Alan L. Bean. On the page following are taped-in verso-signed NASA business cards from D K Slayton and Walt Cunningham. In all, this book contains the full-crew signatures of all Mercury flights, Gemini 3, Gemini 5, Gemini 6A, Gemini 7, Gemini 8, Gemini 10, Gemini 11, Gemini 12, Apollo 1, Apollo 7, Apollo 11, Apollo 12, Apollo-Soyuz, and Skylab I (SL-2).

Mercury Seven: Original Group Photo and NASA’s "Results of the First United States Manned Orbital Space Flight February 20, 1962” Book prompted 18 bidders before finding a new home at $23,750, more than doubling the pre-auction estimate. The lot included a black-and-white matte finish photo with the first seven astronauts chosen by NASA for its Man in Space project. The photo is matted alongside the book that gives the full details of John Glenn’s historic MA-6 Friendship 7 flight; both the photo, which was one of a series taken at Langley Research Center, and the book are signed by Alan Shepard Jr, Walter M. Schirra Jr, John H. Glenn, Jr., Virgil I. Grissom, M. Scott Carpenter, Donald K. Slayton and Leroy G. Cooper, Jr.

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:

• Wright Flyer Wing Fabric Segment Flown as Part of the First Successful Powered Controlled Flight in History at Kitty Hawk in 1903: $23,125

• Bruce McCandless II: His Owned and Worn Gold Flight Suit with Naval Captain Name Tag and Patches: $21,250

• Apollo 1 Crew-Signed Large Color Photo: $17,500

• Apollo 15 Flown Crew-Signed Limited Edition Apollo 12 Cover Originally from the Collection of Apollo 12 Command Module Pilot Richard Gordon: $13,750

• Apollo 16 Flown Heat Shield Plug in Lucite Directly from the John W. Young Collection: $13,750

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