Current Auction Is Open For Bidding
Our Current Auction Closes Jan 09    
Home |Sitemap|Contact Us| Past Auctions  
 How to Bid   Register to Bid   Auctions   Consign   About Us   Reviews 
Bidder Login
Bidder #

New Bidder Registration
Forgot your password?

The Current Auction
Ends January 9th
Olympics Auction Preview
Begins Jan 10, 2019
Advanced Search
By Item Number
Gallery Search
Past Auction Search
How Do I Bid?
What is BidTracker™?
New Bidder Registration
The 30-Minute Rule
Terms and Conditions
New to RR Auction?
About Us
Register to Bid
Jobs at RR Auction
Press Releases
Consign to RR Auction
How to Consign
2018-19 Auction Calendar
Oct 18
Nov 7
Nov 15
Dec 5
Dec 13
Jan 9
Jan 17
Feb 6
Feb 14
Feb 21
Mar 6
Mar 14
Apr 10
Apr 18
  More Dates & Deadlines

Item 588 - Apollo 15 Catalog 376 (Sep 2011)

Back To Previous Page
(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $900.00
Sold Price: $9,696.00 (includes buyer's premium)


Unique flight-flown poem flown to the moon aboard Apollo 15, and later offered in the Roger Chaffee Memorial Mail Auction in 1976, to assist with the fallen astronaut’s father’s financial difficulties in keeping with a promise to his son to continue spreading the message on the importance of space travel. Complete with accompanying correspondence and associated paperwork. Archive includes:

Flight-flown printed poem entitled ‘High Flight’ by John Gillespie Magee, Jr., one page, 8.5 x 11, signed and inscribed at the top in black felt tip, “This copy was flown to the moon on flight of Apollo 15, 26 July—7 Aug 71, To Mr. Chaffee in memory of Roger who made our flight to the moon possible, Jim Irwin, Apollo 15,” and also signed in blue ballpoint at a later date, “Al Worden, Apollo 15.” The three stanza, 14-line poem begins: “Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth / And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; / Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth / Of sun-split clouds—and done a hundred things.”

An ALS, signed “Jim Irwin,” one page, 8.5 x 11, High Flight Foundation letterhead, dated April 20, 1976. Irwin writes to author Tony Cipriano. In full: “The poem ‘High Flight’ which I carried to the moon was written by a young American serving in the RCAF, John Gillespie Magee Jr. John lost his life at the age of 19 but he captured in those few short years the inspiration of flight.”

A TLS, signed “Jim Irwin,” one page, 8.5 x 11, High Flight Foundation letterhead, dated February 25, 1976. Irwin writes to Hugh F. Kuehl, in part: “I was distressed to learn of Mr. Chaffee’s difficulty. I wonder about the commitment that he made to Roger. I am sure that Roger would not want his father to struggle to this degree to fulfill a promise. Yes, we shall pray for Mr. Chafee that he will receive God’s will for his life. I will be happy to donate a copy of the High Flight poem that I carried to the moon. I have inscribed it in an appropriate manner.”

Also included: another ALS, signed “Jim Irwin,” from 1980; a photocopied letter from Don Chaffee, sending thanks after the auction, and reads, in part: “These past nine years I have kept a promise that I made to my son Astronaut Roger B. Chaffee that I would do what I could for the Space Program and though it has been very costly to me I have never regretted my actions…I want the world to know that I very much appreciate the efforts of the International Association of Space Philatelists in helping me to carry on this program of explaining to the general public the many benefits to mankind resulting from the Space program.”; The Roger Chaffee Memorial Mail Auction catalogue sponsored by the International Association of Space Philatelists, lot #1 was the High Flight poem here offered; a photocopy of an article announcing the sale; Anthony Cipriano’s auction invoice; IASP newsletter with article by Anthony Cipriano; an unsigned 8 x 10 photo of astronaut Chaffee; retained unsigned carbons of 1976 and 1980 letters by Cipriano to Irwin; illustrated booklet about High Flight Foundation; and an April 1976 issue of “Apogee,” High Flight publication. In fine overall condition.

The original sale of the poem helped raise money to fulfill a Chaffee dream. The astronaut, who died in the Apollo 1 fire, had asked his father ‘to do all that you can to support the space program should I buy the farm.’ Poignantly, it was also quoted by President Ronald Reagan in his broadcast to the nation on the day of the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster, as he concluded: ‘We will never forget them this morning as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God.’ A tremendous piece of memorabilia and the only signed flight-flown lunar item to have a connection to a fallen NASA comrade. RRAuction COA.

Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.

You must be a registered user and logged in to view Past Auction Item Images

If you do not currently have an account, click here to go to our secure registration page.

Important Information

Tips For Consignors


For a complete list of auction beginning and ending dates, check our dates and deadlines page.