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Item 4305 - Apollo 11 'Goodwill' Silicon Disc Catalog 538 (Oct 2018)

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(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $500.00
Sold Price: $4,716.25 (includes buyer's premium)


Sought-after exact duplicate of the 'goodwill' disc left on the moon by the Apollo 11 astronauts, measuring 1.5″ in diameter, reproducing messages of goodwill from 74 international heads of state, as well as documents listing congressional leaders, NASA officials, and quotations from Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. These goodwill messages were photographed and reproduced at 1/200th of their actual size on this miniature silicon disc, manufactured by the Semi-Conductor Division of Sprague Electric Company, North Adams, Massachusetts. Silver text is visible to the naked eye: "From Planet Earth, July 1969." Complete with its original plastic case, marked "Sprague Electric, No. Adams Mass." In very good to fine condition, with a few light scratches to the face of the disc, and internal hairline cracks to the clear cover of the plastic Sprague case. Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Ken Havekotte stating that this is one of the original first 20 discs produced by Sprague, and was presented to aerospace journalist Mary Bubb in 1972. This disc originates from the collection of Tahir Rahman, author of We Came In Peace For All Mankind: The Untold Story of the Apollo 11 Silicon Disc. The microscopic messages on this disc were photographed using 100x power and are reproduced within the book. A hardcover copy of the book, inscribed by Rahman, is included.

In June 1969, NASA solicited 'messages of good will for the Apollo 11 astronauts to deposit on the Moon' from heads of state around the world, explaining that they would me reproduced in a microfilm medium and left in conjunction with the more famous lunar plaque. NASA was already well-acquainted with Sprague, as there were some 53,000 Sprague components on the Apollo 11 spacecraft. Realizing they could leverage existing photolithographic techniques used to etch high-speed integrated circuits on silicon, the idea for a silicon disc came about. Sprague began making discs in early July, and new ones were produced after more goodwill messages arrived. The flown Apollo 11 disc was delivered to NASA on July 11th, just nine days before being placed on the moon. Although the exact number of each version produced is unknown, a press release stated that 17 discs were made; Havekotte's certificate states that 20 were made. They were given to Sprague workers, leaders at NASA, astronauts, government officials, and Presidents Nixon and Johnson; one went to the moon, and another is held by the Smithsonian. A remarkable piece demonstrating the global support for mankind's first lunar landing mission.

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