'One small phrase for man...' Armstrong letter considers his first Moon words

There's just time for one last look at RR Auction's space memorabilia sale, which gets underway tomorrow (September 15).

We've already told you about a tiny bible taken to the moon on Apollo 14, a letter detailing the workings of a plane from Wilbur Wright and even Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 training glove.

But the glove is not the only fantastic piece of memorabilia related to Armstrong and the Apollo 11 mission available. Another great piece is on offer.

This is a one page, 8 x 10.5" NASA letterhead letter, stamp-dated June 23, 1969. Specifically it is a letter of thanks to a woman in Honolulu, Hawaii, written just three weeks before the launch of Apollo 11.

In full it reads: "Colonel Aldrin and I appreciate your taking the time to write us for your suggestion on a message from the lunar surface. We do not know at this time what our inclination will be should we be successful in our landing attempt.

"I certainly hope you will be pleased with whatever message we do have and the impressions that people on earth receive from our efforts."

Neil Armstrong letter signed first words one small step
One small signature... The Neil Armstrong letter

In fine condition, with Armstrong's flourish lightly affecting Aldrin's signature, and the opening stroke of another Armstrong signature, inadvertently started in Aldrin's space.

Accompanied by a printed Apollo 11 mission information sheet from NASA, as well as a couple of news clippings mentioning Armstrong's and Aldrin's moonwalks and possible statements when touching the lunar surface.

Armstrong's claim seems to have been true. He later suggests that he was following a train of thought that he had had after launch and during six hours and 40 minutes after landing when he came up with "That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind."

Items signed by Armstrong, such as this signed issue of Life magazine from 1969, are increasingly valuable. The PFC40 Index shows that the value of his autograph has gone up in leaps and bounds over the past decade - not a great surprise as he no longer signs.


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