Right before launch, the first two moonwalkers make a hair-raising revelation: “The shield [is] fastened to the spacecraft with metal fasteners, tape, and staples”
TLS signed “Neil Armstrong” in blue ballpoint and “Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr.,” in black felt tip, one page, 8 x 10.5, NASA letterhead, stamp dated May 22, 1969. A letter to a Belgian space enthusiast, written just a couple of months before their historic moon mission. In full: “Thank you very much for your letter to Colonel Aldrin and myself.
The shield is made of a number of types of insulating materials such as aluminum foil—and a number of different types of thin plastic sheets of various colors. The are fastened to the spacecraft with metal fasteners, tape, and staples. The same kind of insulation will be used on the moon landing. There are a number of different transmitters, all of low power. Frequencies are as follows:
2101.8 M Hz
2287.5 M Hz
2272.5 M Hz
2106.4 M Hz
2282.5 M Hz
259.7 M Hz
296.8 M Hz
Again, thank you for your interest in writing to us.”
In fine condition, with expected mailing folds, a light vertical creases, and a bit of scattered wrinkling. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope (central vertical fold and scattered mild soiling).
The original recipient of this letter had written to both Armstrong and Aldrin after learning that his father, an amateur radio operator, wanted to try to pick up radio transmissions from the lunar surface. Shockingly, in the midst of preparing for a life-or-death mission, the first two men on the moon took time to respond! Equally as surprising, perhaps, is the mundane description that the insulating material used to protect the very lives of the Apollo 11 crew were “fastened to the spacecraft with metal fasteners, tape, and staples”! Word of the precise frequencies supplied to the Belgian letter-writer were spread across the amateur radio operators network, enabling hundreds of fanatics worldwide to follow the live mission. Pre-certified Scott Cornish and RRAuction COA.
Bidding opens Monday, February 22
The auction closes on Wednesday, March 10, 2010