Framed Apollo 11 insignia touches down in Heritage's Space Exploration Auction May 19-20
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Framed Apollo 11 insignia touches down in Heritage's Space Exploration Auction May 19-20
Apollo 11 Lunar Surface Flown Beta Cloth Mission Insignia Presented by the Three Man Crew to Mission CAPCOM Charlie Duke in Framed Display, Directly from His Personal Collection.

DALLAS, TX.- Much of the world held its collective breath July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people ever to walk on the moon. When he first stepped on the lunar surface, Armstrong uttered the phrase that now is the most famous in the history of space exploration: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." The first person to confirm the successful landing of the Eagle was Charlie Duke, who served as CAPCOM for the groundbreaking Apollo 11 mission, acting as communications liaison between NASA and the astronauts above. An integral member of the mission that launched — literally — mankind's exploration of the moon, Duke is now sharing items from his career when they are offered in Heritage Auctions' Space Exploration Signature® Auction May 19-20.

Any questions about Duke's importance to the mission can be answered through an Apollo 11 Lunar Surface Flown Beta Cloth Mission Insignia Presented by the Three-Man Crew to Mission CAPCOM Charlie Duke in Framed Display, which he received from the three astronauts who flew to the moon: Armstrong, Aldrin and Michael Collins.

"Charlie Duke was as important to the Apollo 11 team as anyone," says Brad Palmer, Director of Space Exploration at Heritage Auctions. "He was the astronauts' connection to Earth, and he was more than a colleague or co-worker. The fact that they took the time to have this presentation put together and had a plaque engraved showed how important they felt he was to the most important space mission ever flown."

The presentation includes Beta cloth with a four-inch diameter and a mission insignia with a diameter of 3-3/8 inches depicting an eagle carrying an olive branch to the moon, with the earth in the distance. Affixed to the frame is a metal plate reading: "Presented To/ Charlie Duke/ In Appreciation For Your Service To Apollo 11/ From Neil, Mike, & Buzz." Apollo 11 lunar surface-flown items are some of the most desirable items from the space race.

Also among the must-have items for any serious collector is an Apollo 16 Lunar Surface Flown EVA II Walking Traverse Map in Custom Wall Display, Directly from the Personal Collection of Charlie Duke. Measuring 10-1/2 by 8 inches, this map was used by John Young and Charlie Duke as they explored the Descartes Highlands upon the Lunar Rover. These maps were developed in case the Rover failed and the crew had to find their way back to Orion on foot. Duke has written on the verso in blue felt tip: "This Apollo 16 EVA-II Walking Traverse Map Accompanied/ John W. Young And Me Onto The Lunar Surface During Our/ Three Excursions On The Moon From April 20-23, 1972/ This Map Also Traveled With Us Aboard Our Lunar/ Rover, And Was Directly Exposed To The Moon's/ Environment As A Result/ Charles M. Duke Jr./ Apollo 16 Moonwalker." Included with this lot is a signed, illustrated Letter of Certification from Duke dated January 28, 2003, stating, in part: "During Apollo 16, we drove our Lunar Rover on three occasions while exploring the Descartes Highlands. A set of navigational maps was also carried aboard the Rover, including the accompanying example. This is a ‘Walking Traverse Map' that would have been used if our Lunar Rover had failed ‘en route,' requiring that we navigate back to our Lunar Module on foot. Fortunately, the Rover worked perfectly. THIS MAP endures both as a historic navigational tool actually carried aboard an Apollo Lunar Rover, and a rare example of an astronaut flight-certified artifact returned from the surface of the Moon!" This Apollo 16 EVA map is also one of only a handful ever used on the surface of another celestial world, and therefore represents one of the rarest maps in the history of both cartography and human exploration. Other highlights in the auction include an Apollo 16-Flown MS66 NGC Silver Robbins Medallion, Serial Number 87, Directly from the Family Collection of Astronaut Gerald Carr, with His Signed Letter of Authenticity. This 35mm diameter sterling silver medal was one of only ninety-eight (of a total mintage of 300) flown aboard Apollo 16, April 16-27, 1972, along with crewmembers John Young, Ken Mattingly and Charlie Duke. The obverse features the mission insignia, an eagle and shield above the moon with the surnames of the crewmembers. The reverse features the engraved dates of the launch, landing and return. The serial number is on the rim along with the sterling and Robbins hallmarks.

Another Robbins Medallion can be had when an Apollo 11 Flown Sterling Silver Robbins Medallion, Serial Number 118touches down in the auction. This 28mm medal was one of 450 flown aboard Apollo 11, the first manned moon landing, July 16-24, 1969, with crewmembers Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin. The obverse depicts Collins' early and original concept for the mission insignia with the eagle carrying an olive branch in its mouth. NASA thought the sharp, open talons of the eagle looked too "warlike" and the olive branch, representing peace, was moved to the claws. This is one of, if not the only, major official items that renders the insignia as it was meant to be by the astronaut designer. The reverse has the dates of the mission, surnames of the crew and the serial number. This example is attached to a small bracelet chain at top.

From the Neil Armstrong Collection comes an Apollo 11-Flown American Flag Directly from The Armstrong Family Collection™, CAG Certified. It is offered with a Statement of Provenance from Armstrong's sons, Rick and Mark, certifying that this 6-by-4-inch silk flag was carried to the moon and back aboard the Apollo Command Module Columbia, July 16-24, 1969. Mission-flown U.S. flags are always in demand by space collectors but the fact that this one was preserved by the first man to step on the moon only sends the demand soaring.

An Apollo 9 Lunar Module Flown Spacecraft Identification Plate Display Originally from the Personal Collection of Mission Commander James McDivitt, with His Signed Certificate of Authenticity, was flown aboard the first flight of the Command/Service Module and the Lunar Module together, a voyage that ended with its return to Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp. This ID plate — a significant part of space history that rarely gets offered — then was mounted on a wall plaque and presented to Commander McDivitt. It reads:

Part No. "LDW 280-53000-1" / Serial No. "033"
Dsgn Cont No. "FIRST FLIGHT" / Contr No. "NAS 9-1100"
"LAUNCH DATE 3-3-69" / "SPLASHDOWN 3-13-69".'
Mfd. By Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp.
Bethpage, New York U S FS Code 26512

The lot includes a signed COA from Jim McDivitt stating: "This 5.25" x 1.75" metal Grumman Identification Plate, labeled APOLLO IX LUNAR MODULE-3, PART NO. LDW 280-53000-1, SERIAL NO. 033, was flown in Earth orbit aboard Apollo 9, 3-13 March 1969, then mounted to this 7.9" x 11" wooden plaque with metal lunar module decoration, and is from my personal collection."

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

• An Apollo 17 Lunar Module-Flown Spacecraft Identification Plate

• A Wright Brothers: Piece of Original Wright Flyer Fabric on Presentation Certificate in Framed Display

• An Apollo 15 Lunar Surface-Carried Miniature LRV001 Lunar Rover License Plate with Photo with Signatures of the Crew Beneath, and Embroidered Mission Insignia Patch (Silver XV), in Matted Display with Certificate of Authenticity from Dave Scott

• An Apollo 11 VIP Launch Invitation Signed by the Crew

• An Apollo 11 Crew-Signed "Type One" Insurance Cover Directly from The Armstrong Family Collection™, CAG Certified

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