Astronaut Scholarship Foundation's Spring auction led by Apollo 16's Charlie Duke

Bidding has now opened in the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation's (ASF) online 2011 Spring Auction of Astronaut Experiences & Memorabilia. The auction showcases 40 lots including rare items from the dawn of the Space Age through the Space Shuttle era.

As always, a number of 'experiences' are offered, and some of these are undeniably exciting, for example: the opportunity to go on a Grand Cayman SCUBA/Snorkel Voyage with Apollo 16 moonwalker Charlie Duke.

From a collector/investor's point of view however, there are pieces of space memorabilia which are even more exciting.

For example, from the personal collection of Charlie Duke, there is this Lunar Module (LM) Descent Engine Throttling Signal Flow schematic page, which is part of the LM Data Book which he carried to the lunar surface aboard the Lunar Module Orion, in April 1972.

Flown Apollo 16 descent schematic page
Flown Apollo 16 descent schematic page

Duke has inscribed and signed the schematic page, "This schematic, a part of the LM Systems Data Book, was carried to the surface of the Moon aboard the Apollo 16 Lunar Module "Orion" where it remained for three days, April 20-23, 1972. Charlie Duke, Apollo 16 LMP."

The item, which measures 10.5" x 37", is accompanied by a signed certificate of authenticity prepared by Duke on his personal stationary. It will make an excellent investment.

The certificate, dated February 17, 2011, indicates that the Descent Engine Throttling Signal Flow schematic was carried to the lunar surface aboard the Apollo 16 Lunar Module Orion as part of the crew's Lunar Module Systems data book.

They would use this in the event of an emergency and to troubleshoot system problems while in flight or on the surface in the Descartes Highlands of the Moon.

This schematic, from Duke's lunar artefact collection, bears silent witness to mankind's first journey to, and exploration of, the magnificent lunar highlands. Bids have already reached over $2,000 at time of writing. The auction closes on March 26th.

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