Panel from Space Shuttle Challenger offers collectors a real piece of history

Lunar Legacies concluded its auction of valuable space memorabilia over the weekend. The much anticipated sale included a rare and collectible Gemini 12 patch, bearing the names of its two astronauts, Lovell and Aldrin.

(Buzz Aldrin went on to become the second man on the moon whilst James Lovell was the commander of Apollo 13, which was forced to make an emergency return to Earth after rupturing its oxygen tanks.)

However, this was not the top lot.

That honour went to a large 60" long x 25" wide x 1" thick insulator panel, with a slight concave curve, flown aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger during its STS-41G mission in October 1984, and complete with its NASA paperwork.

Challenger flown panel

The number on the insulator matches the number on the paperwork. The paperwork reads in section 21 "099" which is Challenger (OV-099) and is dated 2-25-85, which means this insulator was removed after the STS-41G mission readying the shuttle for its next mission in April 1985 (STS-51B).

In nice condition, it was originally a part of the Charlie Bell auctions in the year 2000 and sold for $7,550.


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