Flown fabric American flag carried into lunar orbit during the Apollo 13 mission. The flag, 5.75 x 4, is affixed to a 10 x 12 presentation sheet with printed text, "This flag was on board Apollo XIII during its flight and emergency return to Earth, Apollo 13, April 11-17, 1970," which is signed below in black felt tip by James Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise. In fine condition.
After a routine stir of a cryogenic oxygen tank, a spark from faulty wire insulation ignited an explosion in the Odyssey service module. With air quickly depleting, the three-man crew were instructed to use the lunar module Aquarius as a 'life boat.' Approximately 205,000 miles away from Earth, the crew managed to re-establish the free return trajectory and swing around the moon to return home. In order for the Aquarius to reenter the Earth's atmosphere and not bounce back into space, Lovell had to twice adjust the course by manually controlling the Lunar Module's thrusters and engine. Because of this modified trajectory, the spacecraft's altitude over the far side of the moon was about sixty miles higher than any other Apollo mission—the farthest humans have ever flown from Earth at 248,655 miles away. As this absolute altitude record for a manned spacecraft has never been broken, no other American flags could have flown farther from Earth than those carried on Apollo 13.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.