Lot #3273
Charles Conrad's Apollo 12 Flown/Lunar Landed Mission Patch

Rare 'first run' variant of the Apollo 12 mission patch from Conrad's collection, which was "carried in the lunar module and spent over 31 hours on the lunar surface"
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Estimate: $15000+

Description

Rare 'first run' variant of the Apollo 12 mission patch from Conrad's collection, which was "carried in the lunar module and spent over 31 hours on the lunar surface"

Rare flown embroidered Apollo 12 mission patch, 4″ in diameter, affixed to a letter of provenance signed in blue felt tip by Commander Charles Conrad, in part: "This cloth patch is one/two similar designs of the Apollo XII emblem that I have in my personal collection. The above patch was from the first group ever made. It does not have the white outer border between the blue and gold threads. That was added to the additional production runs of the patch…The blue and gold colors are symbolic for my all Navy crew. Our mission to the moon began on November 14, 1969. Alan Bean and I made the second lunar landing of the Apollo program on November 19. This patch was carried in the lunar module and spent over 31 hours on the lunar surface. The Apollo XII mission lasted just over 10 days, ending with splashdown on November 24, 1969." The patch and letter are matted alongside a color satin-finish 6.25 x 7.5 photo of Conrad with the American flag during an Apollo 12 EVA, signed in silver ink, "Charles Conrad, Jr., Cdr. Apollo XII." The display measures an overall 18.5 x 11.5. In fine condition. An impressive lunar-flown piece from the collection of the third moonwalker.

Apollo 12 had a crew of all naval officers and chose the main feature on the emblem to be a multi-sailed clipper ship flying above the lunar surface. Three of the background stars represent this Apollo crew with the fourth for Astronaut Clifton Williams who was originally planned to be Lunar Module Pilot. Unfortunately, he died in a T-38 jet crash during 1967.

Crew emblems flown to the lunar surface are extremely rare. The required fuel for landing and return plus the ability to return a maximum amount of lunar rocks placed major restrictions on any other non-essential items. Apollo XII proved that a pin-point landing could be accomplished on a lunar mission which was critical to complete scientific objectives planned for future missions. Conrad landed his Lunar Module Intrepid within 600 feet of the robotic Surveyor 3 spacecraft, one of the prime objectives of the flight. Conrad and Alan Bean make two 4-hour surface explorations or EVAs. During the second EVA, he and Bean removed parts of the Surveyor. Examination of these returned parts provided an understanding of how the Moon’s surface affected hardware after long term exposure to intense solar radiation while in a vacuum and over a 400-degree temperature range.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Space
  • Dates: #619 - Ended October 21, 2021