RR Auction has another of its spectacular online space sales taking place this month, with several pieces of memorabilia that absolutely any space collector would want to own.
One of these in particular captures the certain spiritual nature of the moon-landings.
The religious aspect to journeys into the heavens is always lurking in the background: Buzz Aldrin took communion from a wafer-and-wine-for-one kit prepared for the purpose before Neil Armstrong and he walked on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission.
But what about bibles? In fact, plans to take The Good Book up to the lunar surface came in early in the moon missions.
Microfilm King James Bibles, measuring 1.5" x 1.5", containing all 1245 pages of KJV Bible were manufactured by the Apollo Prayer League, a group of NASA engineers, scientists, administrators and astronauts, and headed by NASA chaplain Rev. John Stout.
The lunar Bibles were originally slated to fly to the moon on Apollo 12, but a mistake on the lunar landing checklist resulted in the bible orbiting the moon in the Command Module.
They were then placed on board Apollo 13, but due to a near-catastrophic explosion, the crew did not reach the moon, and instead returned to Earth.
The bibles were then given to Apollo 14 Lunar Module Pilot Edgar Mitchell who stowed the Bibles in his PPK bag and landed them safely on the moon February 5, 1971, on board lunar module Anteres.
One of these Bibles is now on offer as part of the auction, accompanied by a signed certificate of provenance from Mitchell and Stout, which reads, in part:
"Astronaut Jim Lovell carried all 512 Bibles on Apollo 13…which aborted and failed to land. I was then given 300 of those same Bibles to fly again on Apollo 14: 100 copies for use in a second landing attempt…
"The 100 lunar-surface Bibles were stowed in my PPK Bag on board our Lunar Module Antares. On February 5, 1971, they made their historic landfall with Alan Shepard and me on the Moon at Fra Mauro, and remained for 34 hours…
"After the flight, a portion of the Apollo 14 lunar-surface Bibles were cut-up into tiny 50 page fragments, and presented to dignitaries. Fewer then [sic] 100 complete lunar-surface Bibles thus remain in existence today.
"This intact copy is one of only 12 Complete Lunar-Surface Bibles I have ever flight-certified to date! As a complete printed text, it is also among the first 12 astronaut flight-certified books ever carried by mankind to the surface of another world."
The Bible is housed within a solid 22K gold and jewel encrusted display case that rests in a custom handmade leather clamshell case.
It is also accompanied by a hardcover copy of "The Apostles of Apollo" by C. L. Mersch, detailing the journey of the Bible to the moon and signed on the title page in black ballpoint by Mitchell.
The item is offered with a minimum bid of $5,000 required. We feel confident that it will achieve this easily. Watch this space for more news of this exciting auction which ends on September 15.
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