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#288 - Gene Cernan’s Apollo 17 Flown EVA/EXP Checklist

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Cernan’s extraordinarily illustrated EVA and experiment checklist
Description  

Amazing CSM EVA/EXP checklist used during the Apollo 17 flight, 6 x 8, stamped with flight certification and signed on the front cover in black felt tip by Gene Cernan. The checklist consists of 166 pages (83 individual sheets), including 27 pages filled out with in-flight writing, much of which remains scientifically relevant today. The highlight of this checklist is undoubtedly the presence of three pages of solar corona observation sketches: one features a large sketch with notations reading, in part: "This act 1 min prior to sunrise at act 5-1 sec prior to s.rise the streamers get much more predominant…radial light & dark lines very faint, unable to see until dark adapted…I think we missed the longest streamers as the red & blue & polarizing seg. ended act 7-10 sec prior to sun rise." This page is signed twice at the bottom by Cernan, noting that the sketch was done by Ron Evans.

The second page of sketches has five different diagrams showing the progression over time, with the first labeled: "Glow—with intensity increasing gradually to center." The third is labeled: "First sign of definite linear streamers." The last diagram is labeled: "Glow same but bigger & brighter but streamers now very definite until this time came from from non existence to subtle in nature then just before sunrise quickly sharp." Also signed twice by Cernan, noting that the sketch was by Evans. The third sketch is by Cernan, showing the moon and labeling "Venus" in the background. These sketches were the basis for the recent 2014 LADEE mission to the moon to solve the observational issues discussed on these pages.

In the CM EVA prep section, the crew is instructed to "stow A9 rock bag in A7, close A7," and several subsequent pages have noticeable lunar dust fingerprints and dusting, most apparent on pages 3-13 and 3-21. The crew's prep for EVA was so meticulous and complete that nearly every step throughout this section is checked off in pencil.

In the experiment section of the checklist is the three-page handwritten record of the ALFMED 'light flash' experiment for both the CDR and CMP, and the checklist for the heat flow and convection experiment is filled in with the 'watch' and 'get' results. This also has the full SIM BAY Experiments checklist, including the famous Lunar Sounder Experiment, mapping and panoramic cameras, and UV Spectrometer experiments.

The checklist also has a classic ground support 'gotcha' joke, with someone writing "This is the beginning, not the end" at the top of the first page, and then adding "This is the end, not the beginning," at the bottom of the last page. Also stamped with flight certification and signed on the back cover in black felt tip by Gene Cernan. In fine condition. Accompanied by a signed letter of provenance from Cernan, in part: "This lunar orbit flown Apollo 17 CSM EVA/EXP Checklist is one of the command service module's onboard flight data files (FDF) we carried to the Moon and used in lunar orbit during Apollo 17. This one-of-a-kind flown checklist includes, among other details, critical procedure and instruction lists, and chapters on eye experiments, solar corona observations, SIM experiments, and SIM Malfunction procedures, EVA and contingency EVA procedures, and a Real Time Checklist. The solar corona observation sketch pad includes original sketches that I made in lunar orbit, as well as my personal observations of the event."

An absolutely spectacular flown and used item, this piece incorporates several highly desirable traits, including: the outlining of several experiments on arguably the most scientifically important Apollo mission; exceedingly rare hand-drawn observation diagrams sketched while in lunar orbit; and the presence of lunar dust fingerprints in the section following the EVA. A truly remarkable piece of space history. Pre-certified Steve Zarelli.

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