TLS, one page, 8 x 10.5, NASA letterhead, stamp-dated June 23, 1969. Letter of thanks to a woman in Honolulu, Hawaii, written just three weeks before the launch of Apollo 11. In full: “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.” 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 the original mailing envelope, and a couple of news clippings mentioning Armstrong’s and Aldrin’s moonwalks and possible statements when touching the lunar surface.
This amazing letter pertains to one of the most historically significant broadcasts of all time—the first words sent to Earth from another world. Even before Armstrong, Aldrin, and Michael Collins would lift off for the moon on Apollo 11, people wondered what those words might be. With the danger and uncertainty that swirled around the historic NASA mission, its success was more important to Armstrong and the crew than what words would be uttered. As Armstrong noted here, “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.” The astronaut later explained that following a train of thought that he had had after launch and during six hours and 40 minute after landing, he developed the now famous line, “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.” This is the only correspondence we have seen between Armstrong and Aldrin and someone outside of NASA regarding one of the most historic and familiar quotes of modern times. Pre-certified Zarelli Space Authentication.
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