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Item 6324 - Buzz Aldrin's Apollo 11 Lunar Surface-Flown Double Star Chart Catalog 526 (Apr 2018)

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(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $5,000.00
Sold Price: $50,618.23 (includes buyer's premium)


Flown double-sided star chart from the Apollo 11 Lunar Module Guidance and Navigation Dictionary, carried to the lunar surface aboard the LM Eagle, 8 x 5.5, signed and flight-certified across the top in black ballpoint, "Flown to the Lunar Surface on Apollo XI, Buzz Aldrin," and signed again on the reverse, "Buzz Aldrin." Both sides feature diagrams with stars labeled and constellations outlined, designed to aid in celestial navigation. In fine condition. Accompanied by a signed letter of provenance from Aldrin, in part: "Enclosed with this letter is a page numbered S-1 and S-2 from the Apollo 11 LM G&N Dictionary. The entire Guidance and Navigation (G&N) Dictionary was carried to the surface of the Moon in lunar module 'Eagle' during the first lunar landing on July 20, 1969. This was one of the few celestial aids we have on the lunar surface. The star charts list critical navigation stars and their associated computer code. The constellations of these stars are also outlined. The complete dictionary was a vital document to the success of our mission. It provided definitions of computer codes and information on steps required to operate flight equipment associated with the first lunar landing. The page has been in my private collection since 1969."

Also includes a custom-made book offering further information on the star chart and the methods of celestial navigation used during the Apollo program, as well as images of Aldrin with the page. During the Apollo era, stellar navigation was integrated into the digital computer and perfected through the use of a sextant. In this chart, each star is named and numbered with a two-digit code from 1 to 45. By entering one of these codes into the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) using the DSKY (a display and keyboard), an astronaut could orient his spacecraft to align with the star. Three of the stars labeled on the chart—"Navi," "Dnoces," and "Regor"—hold a special meaning. When initially planning the Apollo 1 mission, Gus Grissom submitted the names, based on those of the Apollo 1 crew, for inclusion on their charts as a practical joke: "Navi" was his own middle name, 'Ivan,' backwards; "Dnoces" for the suffix of Edward White II; and "Regor" as Roger Chaffee's first name reversed. After the crew perished, NASA maintained these star names to honor the fallen heroes. A remarkable surface-flown piece used by the Apollo 11 astronauts to navigate their way to and from the first manned landing on the moon.

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