A 'Who's Who' list of astronaut signatures to sell in New York

Bloomsbury's Bibliophile auction at which a first edition of TS Eliot's The Wasteland is to be auctioned has a lot which will be of particular interest to anyone who loves rare space collectibles.

An unbelievable collection of 20 signatures relating to a 1964 NASA training mission in the Grand Canyon is to be available. These autographs include many of the key names from the Apollo missions, and some other pioneering astronauts.

The Grand Canyon was thought to offer the closest match to the moon's surface, which is why NASA took them there.

The document in question is simply a sheet of stationery from the Desert Rose Motel with a strip snipped from the top, but its signatures include:

Moonwalkers Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong (who no longer signs) from Apollo 11, Alan Bean (Apollo 12), Alan Shepard (Apollo 14 - he was also the first American in space) and last man on the moon Gene Cernan (Apollo 17).

Neil Armstrong Buzz Aldrin Alan Shepard Alan Bean Apollo 11
Before they were famous... some of the key pioneers of space exploration


Other notable astronauts represented include: Michael Collins (Command Module pilot for Apollo 11), Richard Gordon (same role for Apollo 12), Mercury 7 member Scott Carpenter, Bill Anders who took a famous photo of the Earth from the moon's orbit.

The ill-fated Roger Chaffee who died during testing for what later known as Apollo 1 also signed. If he had survived, he might well have been the first man on the moon.

The complete list is:

Walter Cunningham, Bill Anders, Scott Carpenter, Ted H Foss, US Clayton, Gene Cernan, Alan Bean, Neil Armstrong, Clifton Williams, Eliot See, Roger Chaffee, Michael Collins, Theodore Freemen, Don Eisele, Charlie Bassett, Dave Scott, Richard Gordon, Alan Shepard, Rusty Schweikart and Buzz Aldrin.

The estimate for the item is a modest $4,000-6,000. Those interested in space exploration memorabilia will be interested to know that signed pictures of Apollo 11 (including Armstrong), Michael Collins' flight suit and a signed photo of the pioneering Mercury 7 are amongst several items currently available.



Image: Bloomsbury Auctions

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