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6255   Buzz Aldrin Personally-Owned and Annotated Photographs  $200 $200 $220 1 You must login to place a bid.
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#6255 - Buzz Aldrin Personally-Owned and Annotated Photographs Estimate: $600+

Aldrin's set of gorgeous 'night airglow' photos from Gemini 12

Buzz Aldrin’s collection of four vintage matte-finish ‘night airglow’ photos taken by him and Command Pilot James Lovell during the Gemini 12 mission on November 13 and 14, 1966. The photos are applied to three 14 x 11 display sheets prepared by the Naval Research Laboratory for “NASA Experiment S-11,” and are headed either: “Zodiacal Light and Airglow Layer Photographed by Astronauts, James Lovell, Jr. and Edwin Aldrin, Jr., Gemini XII, 13 November 1966” or “Night Airglow Layer Photographed by Astronauts, James Lovell, Jr. and Edwin Aldrin, Jr., Gemini XII, 13 [14] November 1966.”

The first sheet, headed “Night Airglow Layer” from November 13, features two 4.5 x 3.5 photos of ‘airglow’ layers over the “Western horizon and South Atlantic” and another of a “Westward view over South Africa,” with recorded ‘Star Field’ charts for exposures 15 and 18 affixed directly above.

The second sheet, headed “Zodiacal Light and Airglow Layer” from November 13, features a 6? inch diameter photo that offers a “View of the Amazon Basin and Western horizon” with “star trails, zodiacal light, overexposed airglow layer and lightning flashes.” A same-size recorded ‘Star Field’ chart for exposure 27 is affixed adjacent. 


The third sheet, headed “Night Airglow Layer” from November 14, features a 9.5 x 7.5 image of the “Southern constellation Vela…off the coast of Brazil” with clouds illuminated by lightning “near the Martin Vaz Islands in the open ocean.”

Included with the photos: 

The original mailing envelope from the Department of the Navy, with label addressed to “Dr. Edwin Aldrin, CB, Manned Spacecraft Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Houston, Texas 77058,” with Aldrin annotating the upper portion in black felt tip: “Gemini XII, Nite Airglow Photos.” For the sake of anonymity, the acronym “CB” was actually code for the ‘Astronaut Office’ at the Manned Spacecraft Center.

A TLS from Martin J. Koomen, a project scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory, dated January 30, 1969, addressed to Aldrin and forwarding the photos: “Congratulations on your appointment to the crew of Apollo 11. Our best wishes for every success. Enclosed are several airglow photographs which you made with Jim Lovell for the S-11 Experiment in Gemini XII. These prints are of a hopelessly awkward size, but we did not want them to accompany this note of thanks for your fine work which produced a successful experiment. It is too much to hope that your Apollo 11 mission will put you in a position to photograph a dark earth surrounded by a ring of airglow, but we hope it will eventually be done. It would be scientifically meaningful.”

A “Detailed Procedures” list describing how Aldrin and Lovell were to orientate the Gemini 12 spacecraft to constellations and stars for the experiment. In overall very good to fine condition. Accompanied by a statement of provenance from a former employee of Rocketdyne.

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