Bonhams Sale 17778 - The Space History Sale

Bonhams are having a sale of Space stuff, some very interesting things, here are a few that caught my eye...


Lot No: 1166

Flown Apollo 11 Data File Clip constructed from two plates of aluminum 2¼ by 1¾ inches. A spring mounted between the plates provides tension to hold the plates closed and the ability to grip flight equipment. A 1 inch square velcro patch is attached above the etched part number which reads: "P/N SEB32100094-301." With a Typed Card Signed by Buzz Aldrin.

The clip was a simple but effective tool to secure equipment such as checklist sheets, flight maps, and any loose articles floating in the weightless conditions while traveling to the moon or in the 1/6 gravity environment on the lunar surface.
BUZZ ALDRIN'S signed note reads: "This is to certify that the enclosed Data File Clip was flown to the moon. The device held charts and checklists in the Lunar Module. Neil Armstrong, Mike Collins, and I flew the Apollo 11 mission from July 16 to 24, 1969. Neil and I made the first lunar landing on July 20. The clip was stowed in the LM. Part number SEB32100094-301 is listed in the Apollo Stowage List for Mission AS-506 as seen on the copy of page 39 above. The dark material in the velcro most likely is moon dust from our space suits or other equipment."
The page 39 Apollo Stowage List copy dated on July 8, 1969, indicates that four clips of this type were stowed onboard Lunar Module Eagle prior to launch. They were placed in the Data Card Kit of the Flight Data File (FDF) with the approximate weight stated as one tenth of a pound for each.
Any flight equipment taken and used on the first lunar landing then returned is rare, the more so if available to private hands.

Estimate: $30,000 - 40,000

 Lot No: 1117

Over ten illustrations identify where Command Module crew members can locate equipment such as flight manuals, maps, sanitary supplies, oxygen masks, and window shades. All have their associated ID numbers listed.

Estimate: $2,500 - 3,500


Lot No: 1111
Flight Director Attitude Indicator (FDAI) instrument contained within a cylindrical metal housing 11 inches long and 7 inches in diameter. A glass front allows viewing of three linear indicator bars along the top (spacecraft roll), bottom (yaw), and right side (pitch). Three yellow needle indicators work in conjunction with two concentric marker rings, the roll index pointing needle, and the pitch/yaw "U" shaped index bar. A small "8 ball" globe inside the unit defines the relative location of the spacecraft in three dimensional space. A metal ID tag reads in part: "Indicator, Attitude, Flight Director. MFG by Honeywell, MFR Part No. DJG264E3, MFR Serial No. 10028DAN1012, MFR Date 19 SEPT 1966." An additional Honeywell tag reads: "Modification Identification, Contract No. NAS9-5269, Accep Date 11 APR 67." A multi-pinned electrical connector port is attached to the rear housing.

The Apollo astronauts were aircraft pilots and wanted a spacecraft instrument similar to an airplane's attitude indicator or "artificial horizon." While an aircraft's attitude indicator provides the pilot with a reference to the Earth's surface below the aircraft, the FDAI needs to indicate relative position information for a vehicle orbiting a planet or moving through open space between the Earth and moon. The FDAI has several modes of operation. It could provide a three dimensional reference relative to star positions which was the most common mode used during realignments of the Command Module's Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). An additional mode was used in conjunction with minor spacecraft mid-course corrections or major burns such as Lunar Orbit Insertion or Trans-Earth Injection. This mode allowed the astronaut to verify that the spacecraft was in the correct position along all three axes before and during the engine burn. Any deflection or drift could be detected during the burn by monitoring any movement by the FDAI indictor needles. The astronaut could then manually correct or terminate the burn.

Left or right movement of the upper and lower outer indicator bars provides the amount of attitude error or angular velocity depending on a Command Module Main Control Panel switch setting. The same is true for the right side pitch indicator, with movement either up or down. Various control panel switch settings allowed the FDAI to display the spacecraft's current attitude/position as defined by the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) or an associated back-up system known as the Gyro Display Coupler (GDC).
Estimate: $25,000 - 35,000  


Lot No: 1084

Model of the AMU made of metal, wood, and plastic in one quarter scale. Two arm control units extend 4 inches out from the 8 by 6 by 4 inch "back pack" unit. Details include small thruster jets, astronaut support strap, wire electrical connectors, two large tanks, and instrument gauge decals.

The US Air Force awarded a contract to Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV) Aerospace Corporation for development of a system to allow a space-suited astronaut to maneuver untethered in space, totally free from this spacecraft. The AMU consisted of 12 hydrogen peroxide reaction jets to allow three axis movement via hand controls which extended from the unit.
NASA carried the AMU on Gemini 9 during June 1966. Astronaut Gene Cernan performed a spacewalk on this mission traversing out from the crew cabin to the aft spacecraft adapter section and strapped himself into the AMU. This effort caused some fogging of his helmet visor due to heaving breathing which continued to get worse because of difficulty deploying the AMU's control arms. When he connected to the AMU's communications unit, broken and garbled sound was the result. Cernan was nearly blind by this time due to the visor fog which endangered his ability to return safely to the spacecraft cabin. The crew and Mission Control decided to cancel all AMU operations and allow the visor to clear. Cernan was then able to slowly get back to the crew cabin.
The AMU was then schedule to fly on Gemini 12 but NASA decided the risk and unknowns associated with the unit did not warrant the effort involved. Due to the limited flight use of the AMU during the Gemini Program, models of this system are extremely rare.

Estimate: $4,000 - 6,000  


Lot No: 1028

Child-size aluminum fork, 5¾ inches and a can opener, 1¾ inches, each bored with a small hole and joined with twine. Plus TWO PHOTOGRAPHS SIGNED BY GHERMAN TITOV, one a color portrait, the other an orbital photograph signed with the mission name and date, in Russian. All matted and framed together, with a plaque and a patch, to 16 by 24 inches.

Gherman Titov spent a full day in space, orbiting the Earth 17 times from August 6-7, 1961. While Yuri Gagarin consumed food during his 2-hour space flight he was not likely to have been hungry. Titov was the first cosmonaut to eat a meal in space as a necessity. His utensils are diminutive to keep weight down and attached with twine for ease of use in zero gravity.
Provenance: Russian Space History, Sotheby's, December 1993, lot 26.

Estimate: $2,500 - 3,500  


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