Apollo guidance computer will lead space sale

Heritage Auctions’ May 19 space memorabilia sale will include an ultra-rare Apollo guidance computer display.

These were installed in Apollo spacecraft command modules and lunar modules.

The guidance computer was of fundamental importance to the success of a mission, allowing astronauts to directly control the craft.

Apollo guidance computer

The guidance computer was used to control the lunar lander and the command module 

It was also, by today’s standards, almost unimaginably simple.

By the early 1970s, pocket calculators were significantly more powerful than these.

This example is one of around 75 produced over the course of the programme, each of which cost NASA $200,000 to make.

It’s unflown, but its centrality to the mission (and extreme rarity) is likely to ensure it secures a decent price.

It’s offered with an opening bid of $56,250.

A complete set of patches from Russian and Soviet international space missions (from 1978-1997) is valued at more than $4,375.

Most of the early examples are adorned with symbols of the USSR, although flags from nations as diverse as India and the United Kingdom also feature.

It’s a great illustration of how space flight began as a straight contest between the Soviets and the US and slowly evolved into one of humankind’s most co-operative endeavours.

Heritage comments: “Most of these are extremely scarce and it would likely be impossible to assemble such a collection today.”

There’s also a rare Apollo 11 flown quarantine cover.

Fascinated by space? We’ve got just the thing.

Please sign up to our free newsletter to receive exciting news about space and aviation memorabilia auctions.

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock