BOSTON – Gene Kranz’s Apollo 13 Mission Control badge sold for $29,197 in RR Auction’s space exploration sale on April 16. The fully illustrated auction catalog with prices realized can be viewed on LiveAuctioneers.
Kranz’s badge was among a special section that included dozens of related lots in the Space Exploration themed sale honoring the 50th anniversary of Apollo 13 from the near-disastrous mission.
After serving as a flight director for each of the Gemini missions, Kranz was selected as division chief for Flight Control in 1968, working in the same capacity for all odd-numbered Apollo missions, including both Apollo 11 and Apollo 13.
As the leader of the “Tiger Team” of flight directors, Kranz showed incredible resilience and ingenuity when confronted with the task of bringing the crew of Apollo 13 safely back to Earth.
The green laminated badge NASA issued to “Eugene F. Kranz” for the Apollo 13 mission and stamped “AV.” The lot is accompanied by a signed letter of authenticity from Kranz, which includes a heartfelt message in part: “I entrust you to preserve this authentic piece of manned space program history and hope that you and others will enjoy it for years to come. It should serve as a constant reminder of not only our accomplishments during this period but of the personal sacrifice that allowed us to forge a path from the Earth to the Moon and beyond.”
“Gene Kranz, with his crewcut and vest, is an unmistakable hero and was instrumental in bringing home Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigart,” said Bobby Livingston, executive VP at RR Auction. “The badge is a beautiful reminder of the critically important role Kranz and Mission Control played in the space program.”
Highlights from the sale include:
– A complete slice of the lunar meteorite Northwest Africa 5000 (NWA 5000) sold for $118,685.
– Rare lunar module upper docking tunnel hatch manufactured by Grumman sold for $90,747.
– Apollo lunar boot overshoe, used in training for the Apollo 11 mission sold for $62,500.
– Richard Gordon’s Apollo 12 flown rotational hand controller sold for $56,246.
– Nikolai Budarin’s Flown Omega Speedmaster watch sold for $46,812.
– Astronaut signed custom-made Fender Guitar sold for $36,785.
– Apollo 16 Flown Lunar Module Grumman identification plate sold for $32,463.