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Items aboard Apollo & Soyuz missions standout at Bonhams Space History Sale
A flown space suit from the International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 6. Estimate: $25,000-35,000. Photo: Bonhams.

NEW YORK, NY.- Bonhams announces the Space History auction, to take place in New York on July 20, the 47th anniversary of the first manned moon landing. The sale features close to 300 items documenting events ranging from the dawn of the space race to the end of the Cold War era, including the flown artifacts from the Apollo 11 and several Soyuz missions.

An original Gemini 133P Control Trainer is on offer, with an estimate of U.S. $60,000-90,000. Gemini was an early NASA human spaceflight program from 1961–66 that heavily contributed to pushing NASA forward in the field, especially in advance of the Apollo missions.

This remarkable system, consisting of five massive training panels, is essentially a duplicate of those found inside the Gemini spacecraft. It was used to train the Gemini astronauts at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas.

Another preparation prior to blast-off is the development of the spacesuits — the suits being custom-tailored for each astronaut. Featured in the auction is an excellent and rare collection of plaster casts of the right hands of 15 NASA astronauts, including Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin (estimate U.S. $6,000-9,000). Used in the development of the spacesuit gloves, the castings were dip-molded from the astronaut’s hands, with the gloves then being constructed directly on the casting.

An Apollo 11 navigational chart flown to the lunar surface is a highlight of the sale. Originally from the personal collection of Buzz Aldrin, the chart maps the first manned lunar descent taken by Aldrin and Neil Armstrong on board the Lunar Module Eagle. Used minutes before they got the go-ahead from Mission Control to land on the moon surface, it is estimated at U.S. $25,000-35,000.

The lot is accompanied by a written provenance note from Aldrin: “The chart was one of a series taped together which provided a continuous map of our flight path and, like Neil and myself, logged over 22 hours on the lunar surface.”

A flown space suit from the International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 6 is on the auction block. The suit was worn by flight engineer Don Pettit on his dramatic return to Earth aboard the Soyuz TMA-1 spacecraft, following the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in February of 2003. It is estimated at U.S. $25,000-35,000.

Don Pettit (b. 1955) is a veteran of three spaceflights — living aboard the ISS for five-and-a-half months during Expedition 6, before NASA grounded the shuttle program, pending numerous safety changes, following the Columbia disaster that killed all seven crew members. Developed in 1973-79, the suit is still worn by everyone who flies on the Soyuz spacecraft.

A full scale vintage test model of the Sputnik-1 satellite, complete with live transmitter and period receiver. Produced at the OKб-1[OKB-1], the Experimental Design Bureau-1 factory, also known as the S. P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, in 1957 sometime prior to the launch of the Sputnik-1. Estimated at U.S. $10,000-15,000, it is an exceptionally rare vintage test model of the Sputnik-1 satellite, one of only a few made to test ground Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) and Electromagnetic Interference (AMI) testing.

The Sputnik-1 artificial satellite first orbited the Earth on October 5, 1957. Visible all around the Earth, it launched the American Sputnik crisis and gave birth to the Space Race.

Other Space History highlights include:

• A flown navigational celestial globe carried by cosmonaut Pyotr Klimuk on Soyuz 18; estimate U.S. $30,000-40,000
The manned mission to Salyut 4 was the second and final crew to man the space station and lasted for two months (May 24 – July 26, 1975), marking a Soviet space endurance record at the time. Cosmonauts used these globes on the Soyuz spacecraft to supplement their ground-based navigation systems.

• Flown Soyuz-3 space navigation indicator; estimate U.S. $30,000-40,000
Removed from the Soyuz-3 spacecraft by cosmonaut Georgy T. Beregovoy after his day-long flight. Intended to dock in space with the orbiting Soyuz-2, the mission, which launched on October 26, 1968, failed after several complications.

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