One of only 80 Robbins medals that flew to the moon on Apollo 17 (estimate: $30,000+) from the collection of mission commander Gene Cernan and an American flag actually flown to the surface of the moon on Apollo 14 (estimate: $25,000+), from the collection of mission lunar module pilot Edgar Mitchell, are two of the top offerings in Heritage Auctions’ May 12 Space Exploration Event.
“These are both very evocative pieces and represent what collectors love most about Space memorabilia,” said Michael Riley, Chief Historian and Senior Cataloger at Heritage Auctions. “They’ve got legendary names, important missions and they not only witnessed those things but actually made it to the moon, or very close. In fact, there are more than 50 lots in this auction that flew to the moon.”
An Apollo 14 lunar module flown gold medallion, presented to and from the Collection of Comedian Bill Dana (estimate: $15,000+) – famously known as José Jiménez, “the Chief Astronaut for the United States Interplanetary Expeditionary Force” – is already creating serious buzz within collector circles. The medallion was originally created by and gifted to Dana by Alan Shepard and his fellow astronauts in 1969 as a “10th anniversary” present of his “adoption” as the honorary eighth astronaut.
Gemini 5 Mission Commander Gordon Cooper’s worn and flown space suit insignia patch, originally from his personal collection, is expected to bring $15,000+. Gemini 5 was the first mission to have an insignia patch, examples of which are highly coveted and rarely come on the market. Also sure to pique the interest of collectors of early Space memorabilia is a large color photo signed by America’s first 16 astronauts (estimate: $10,000+), originally obtained by an early NASA employee, bearing the autographs of not only the original Mercury Seven astronauts, but also the nine members of the second group chosen by NASA. Signatures include those of Alan Shepard, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Neil Armstrong, Ed White, Jim Lovell and 10 other space heroes.
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