What goes up must come down... Apollo 16 Moon descent schematic sells for $7,051

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation's Spring auction has concluded, with a number of pleasing results for the charity as various pieces beat their estimates.

As we expected, one of the key lots was a Lunar Module (LM) Descent Engine Throttling Signal Flow schematic page from the collection of Apollo 16 moonwalker Charlie Duke - part of the LM Data Book which he carried to the lunar surface aboard the Lunar Module Orion, in April 1972.

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."

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

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. After a frenzy of bids (51), the item was sold for an impressive $7,051.

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