Lot #7248
Tom Stafford's Apollo 10 Flown Flag

The fastest flown flag in the history of space travel

This lot has closed

Estimate: $18000+


The fastest flown flag in the history of space travel

Flown American flag carried into lunar orbit during the Apollo 10 mission, 6" x 4", signed and flight-certified in black ballpoint, "Flown to the moon on Apollo X, Tom Stafford." The flag is attached to a letter of provenance signed "Thomas P. Stafford," written on his personal stationery, which reads: "The United States flag displayed below was flown to the Moon on Apollo X during May 18-26, 1969. I was commander of this mission which tested critical flight maneuvers that would enable Apollo 11 to make the first lunar landing just two months later in July 1969. I carried this flag inside our Lunar Module named Snoopy where Gene Cernan and I approached within 50,000 feet of the lunar surface. Just prior to the beginning of the Apollo X re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere on May 26, John Young, Gene, and I, as well as this flag, established the all-time record for the fastest speed ever flown by man-24,791 nautical miles per hour or the equivalent of 28,528 statute miles per hour. No other Apollo crew matched or exceeded this speed. Therefore, this flag is one of the fastest flown space artifacts to exist from the Apollo Program. The speed record will not be broken until an astronaut crew returns from a mission to Mars sometime during the twenty-first century." Matted with a NASA lithograph collage of the Apollo 10 lunar orbit mission, which is signed in black felt tip by Stafford, to an overall size of 19.5 x 12.5. In very fine condition.

A patriotic extension from one of the Apollo program's most significant missions, one long considered the 'dress rehearsal' for the first moon landing. This flag orbited the moon a total of 31 revolutions and traveled nearly 830,000 miles during its eight-day voyage before re-entering the Earth's atmosphere at a world-record speed of 24,791 mph, or Mach 36-making it the fastest US flag ever flown. An incredible flown flag made all the more desirable for its rock-solid provenance.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Space Exploration
  • Dates: #646 - Ended October 20, 2022

This item is Pre-Certified by STEVE ZARELLI
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