Apollo 17 cuff checklist reaches for the stars at RR Auction, Oct.21
BOSTON – RR Auction‘s annual autumn space sale is one of the most hotly anticipated events in the space collecting world. Packed with more than 700 items, this auction is sure to impress even the most discerning connoisseur of the cosmos. View the fully illustrated catalog on LiveAuctioneers.
Highlights include Gene Cernan’s Apollo 17 EVA-3 cuff checklist. Cernan wore this cuff checklist on his wrist for the duration of the final EVA of Apollo 17, exposing it to the lunar environment for seven hours and 15 minutes. The cuff checklist is a comprehensive guide for the extravehicular activity, offering preparation procedures and simplified maps of traverse routes and landmarks.
The checklist occupies a special place in Apollo history: it not only provided instructions for man’s last moonwalk, it held the handwritten notes for the last words spoken from the surface of the Moon.
On December 14, 1972, Apollo 17 Commander Gene Cernan — the last Apollo moonwalker — delivered his parting words from the lunar surface. Standing before the American flag, he delivered these words:
“I think probably one of the most significant things we can think about when we think about Apollo is that it has opened for us — ‘for us’ being the world — a challenge of the future. The door is now cracked, but the promise of the future lies in the young people, not just in America, but the young people all over the world learning to live and learning to work together.”
On his wrist was his EVA-3 cuff checklist, and on the bottom of the last page he had written some crib notes to jog his memory for this speech: “Chall[enge] of Apollo. Door Promise.” He also penned the text of the Lunar Plaque to be left on the surface, and read it aloud during the broadcast of his final moments on the moon. Hopping over to the base of the Lunar Module ‘Challenger,’ he described the pictorial elements of the plaque, then spoke its words:
“‘Here man completed his first exploration of the Moon, December 1972 A.D. May the spirit of peace in which we came be reflected in the lives of all mankind’ … This is our commemoration that will be here until someone like us, until some of you who are out there, who are the promise of the future, come back to read it again and to further the exploration and the meaning of Apollo.”
This historic speech echoed the words of Neil Armstrong from three years earlier: mankind had made its giant leap, and Commander Cernan looked forward to a peaceful, hopeful future. Cernan’s cuff checklists for EVA-1 and EVA-2 were sold privately, making this the first — and most historically significant — to be publicly offered.
Other notable lots include Buzz Aldrin’s historic Apollo 11 Personal Preference Kit (PPK), which he carried to the surface of the moon in the Lunar Module Eagle during NASA’s historic first lunar-landing mission. The flown Beta cloth PPK is accompanied by an extensive provenance package of visual evidence, signed testimonials and a history of the Apollo 11 lunar communion service, highlighted by a signed letter of provenance from Aldrin dated November 14, 1998.
Also on offer is a Project Mercury spacesuit glove built for Alan Shepard, America’s first man in space. The Project Mercury ‘Type M’ testing/training left-handed space suit glove built is constructed from aluminized nylon with a white leather palm and thumb. The aluminum wrist cuff features a rubber seal gasket and zipper attachment — a desirable piece of NASA spacesuit history.
Online bidding for the Space Exploration and aviation sale from RR Auction will conclude on October 21. For more information, go to www.rrauction.com.
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