Lot #685
Ron Evans

Essential slide rule carried to lunar orbit
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Estimate: $0+

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Essential slide rule carried to lunar orbit

Picket slide rule from the personal collection of Apollo 17 CMP Ron Evans, certified by his widow Janet Evans and Novaspace as flown to the Moon. Bright yellow Picket Inc. model N600-ES slide rule measures 6 x 1 and has 22 five-inch scales. In very fine condition. Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Novaspace, offered as part of Ron Evans Garage Sale, signed by Evans’s widow Janet, stating the rule is from Evans’s personal collection. Also accompanied by a copy of a NASA document from the recovery team on the USS Ticonderoga with the subject line “Personal Items Retained by Apollo 17 Flight crew.” The Evans items on the list are identical to the other items that were sold at the same time as this slide rule in the Novaspace Ron Evans Garage Sale. Though there is no exact identification number to confirm, it seems very likely that Ron Evans kept all 15 or so items together labeled as his flown personal items, and the entire collection was later consigned to Novaspace in its entirety, supported as flown by his wife. A similar slide rule, flown on Apollo 11 by Buzz Aldrin sold in 2007 for over $77,000.

During the Apollo missions, most of the critical calculations were done on either the on-board computer or the immense computers back on earth at Mission Control. The astronauts carried a slide rule for making more routine calculations or in case of emergency. This particular model was popular among engineers and scientists, and it was a simple piece of equipment which needed no modification to be taken into space. Picket’s slide rules were used on five of the Apollo missions and became a very strong marketing point for the company. The Apollo 17 mission was the final mission slide rules were used on, as they were replaced by more powerful pocket calculators in time for the Apollo-Soyuz mission. A wonderful, and crucial, flown tool from man’s last mission to the moon. RR Auction COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Space & Aviation Auction
  • Dates: May 16 - May 23