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Notebook Used in Moon Landing Fetches $222,000
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Apr 14, 10:31 am ET

By Jeanne King

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A flight document carried to the surface of the moon during the first lunar landing on July 20, 1969, and signed by Astronaut Buzz Aldrin fetched nearly a quarter of a million dollars after an all-day auction on Saturday, a spokeswoman for the Swann Galleries said.

Highlight of the auction was a "Data Card Book," essentially a navigational notebook that also bears smudges of moon dust that was the property of Aldrin. The 8 by 10.5 inches (20 by 27 cm) document containing 16 numbered pages on 11 loose leaves sold for $222,500 to a unnamed Pennsylvania dealer specializing in 19th century art and autographs.

Both Aldrin and commander Neil Armstrong recorded critical data values to enable spacecraft maneuvers, gallery spokeswoman Caroline Birenbaum said.

Most data recorded was for input to the flight computer which started the actual engine burns, but was also used to fly the lunar module Eagle down to the moon's surface, return the astronauts to lunar orbit after landing and have them rendezvous with the spacecraft Columbia.

In a letter that accompanies the notebook, Aldrin explains that he carried the flight document in Eagle "that enabled Neil Armstrong and myself to make the first manned lunar landing. Neil and I both made data entries and notes in this book before landing, while on the lunar surface, and after L M lift-off during rendezvous operations with Mike Collins in 'Columbia."'

A lunar navigational map, offered for sale by Apollo XVI astronaut Charles Duke failed to sell for its estimate $80,000 to $120,000, as did a space suit glove owned by Apollo XVII astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon. It was estimated to sell for $200,000 to $300,000.


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