Apollo 17 Silver Robbins Medallion flying high in Astronaut charity auction

As we reported, the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation have their 2010 Fall Astronaut Experiences & Memorabilia auction live at the moment, with the sale closing at the weekend.

We've already mentioned some of the pieces on offer, including an image of the Earth taken by Apollo 15 Command Module Pilot Al Worden and signed by a number of notable astronauts including moonwalkers, and a Swiss flag which visited the moon.

However, a couple of items have come more to the fore since then as collectors and investors start to get a little competitive ahead of the final day.

Robbins Medallion Apollo 17 reverse
Robbins Medallion Apollo 17 (reverse)

Firstly, there is an Apollo 17 Silver Robbins Medallion from the personal collection of Skylab 4 astronaut William "Bill" Pogue. This rare silver Robbins Medallion is number 243 of 300 and was one of those produced to commemorate the Apollo 17 mission, the sixth and final lunar landing of NASA's Apollo program, December 17-19, 1972.

The front features the mission insignia with the head of the Greek god Apollo overlapping an American flag within the outline of an eagle next to the Moon. "Apollo XVII" is seen inside the upper rim along with the last names of astronaut crewmembers Gene Cernan, Ronald Evans and Harrison "Jack" Schmitt.

The original launch date, moon landing and entry dates are shown centred on its reverse. The outer rim reads "America-Challenger * Apollo XVII, The Beginning." Its serial number "243" and sterling hallmark are marked along its rim. It already carries a bid of $1750, and you can be sure this will be bettered before Sunday.

Secondly, there's a set of Skylab 4 flown audio cassette tapes, or rather a set of 10 tapes of which two were flown, again from the collection of Bill Pogue.

Bill Pogue space flown musical tapes
Bill Pogue's space flown musical tapes

The assortment includes eight "training tapes" which were used by the astronaut for choosing his musical selections for the mission and two final tapes which were created once the songs were selected.

The latter tapes flew in space and played during his 84 day mission aboard Skylab 4 from November 16, 1973 to February 8, 1974. Pogue obviously had a unique taste, or possibly just decided that he needed variety in space, as the selection varies from Midnite Cowboy to Gershwin.

The tapes come with notes written by Pogue, detailing their use and confirming their authenticity, and currently carry a bid of $1825. The auction concludes on Saturday, September 25.


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