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Item 503 - Apollo 16: John Young Catalog 442 (Nov 2014)

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(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $5,000.00
Sold Price: $45,353.18 (includes buyer's premium)


Flown complete EVA retractable tether ‘yo-yo’ used on the lunar surface by Apollo 16 Commander John Young. The 2 x 1 x 1 spring container is stamped “SEB33100291-305, S/N 1021” and retains its original brown strap used to attach it to Young’s space suit. Container holds a 35″ retractable cord which connects to an eyelet of a double-jawed spring-closing mechanism with an incorporated eyelet for attachment to the tether cord. Inside of the clamp is stamped, “SEB33100292-302, S/N 1021.” In fine condition.

Accompanied by a 2009 letter of authenticity from Young, which reads, in full: “I hereby certify that the accompanying spacesuit tether, which consists of a spring container P/N SEB33100291-305 S/N 1021, and a tool clip P/N SEB33100292-302 S/N 1021, was worn on the waist of my pressure suit during the lunar surface EVA’s I performed on the Apollo 16 mission April 16-27, 1972. The tether has been a part of my personal collection since NASA presented it to me after my return to Earth.” Also accompanied by a 2010 letter of authenticity from Apollo 16 crew member Charlie Duke, which reads, in part: “This is to certify that the accompanying Lunar Surface Spacesuit Tether was used by John Young during his three EVA’s on the lunar surface during the flight of Apollo 16…The accompanying spacesuit tether was worn by John Young and his spacesuit and held various tools that he used to retrieve moon rocks from the lunar surface. What sets this tether part is that it was actually photographed while John was wearing it on the lunar surface, making it one of the few Apollo artifacts from any mission in private hands visible on the Moon. John Young wore this tether on the front of his spacesuit, and it is clearly visible in a number of photographs that I took during our moonwalks.” Included as well are printouts of three photos of Young during an EVA with the tether clearly visible on the waist of his space suit, as well as a printout of the NASA specifications for the tether.

Monumentally important, this retractable tether ‘yo-yo’ is complete with box and clip, an exceptionally rare occurrence given that of the less than five specimens that returned from the moon, this is one of only two that remained intact. The unique marks present on this tether (most notably the scar towards the top of the clamp) are consistent with significant mission use and clearly match the artifact’s imperfections on the photos of Young on the moon. Pre-certified Steve Zarelli and RR Auction COA.

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