Apollo 13 flown artefacts to star in Heritage space sale

A selection of flown artefacts from the Apollo 13 mission is to appear in Heritage Auctions' May 22 space exploration sale in Dallas.

A coiled lunar module (LM) utility cord fixed to a plaque is one of the highlights, with an estimate in excess of $20,000.

Apollo Skurla plaque
The plaque was presented to George M Skurla of engineering firm Grumman

It's inscribed by pilot Fred Haise to the designer of the lunar module, George M Skurla of engineering firm Grumman.

Haise writes: "My personal thanks for your leadership of the Grumman KSC Team that launched a better than perfect LM-7. Aquarius, serving as a lifeboat on the Apollo 13 aborted lunar mission, saved the crew even though pressed beyond design specs."

The Apollo 13 mission almost ended in disaster after an oxygen tank on the service module exploded. Fortunately the crew managed to fix the problem and return to Earth.

Michael Riley, senior historian and cataloguer at Heritage Auctions, explained why artefacts from the mission appeal to collectors: "It truly was America's greatest, most successful failure.

"Think about that. No lifeguard, no tow truck, no calling for a pick-up. The crew had only their own incredible tenacity, never-say-die attitude and one amazing Lunar Module to get them back to earth, hundreds of thousands of miles away. That's exactly what they did."

Click here to check out our fascinating range of space memorabilia.

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