On December 14, 1972, Apollo 17 Commander Gene Cernan The last man on the Moon delivered his parting words from the lunar surface. The Apollo program was over, and mankind knew not when it would return to another celestial body. Standing before the American flag, he delivered these words:
"I think probably one of the most significant things we can think about when we think about Apollo is that it has opened for us'for us' being the worlda challenge of the future. The door is now cracked, but the promise of the future lies in the young people, not just in America, but the young people all over the world learning to live and learning to work together.
On his wrist was his EVA-3 cuff checklist, and on the bottom of the last page he had written some crib notes to jog his memory for this speech: "Chall[enge] of Apollo. Door Promise.
Cernan also penned the text of the Lunar Plaque to be left on the surface, and read it aloud during the broadcast of his final moments on the Moon. Hopping over to the base of the Lunar Module' Challenger,' he described the pictorial elements of the plaque, then spoke its words:
"Here man completed his first exploration of the Moon, December 1972 A.D. May the spirit of peace in which we came be reflected in the lives of all mankind'
This is our commemoration that will be here until someone like us, until some of you who are out there, who are the promise of the future, come back to read it again and to further the exploration and the meaning of Apollo."
Cernan wore this cuff checklist on his wrist for the duration of the final EVA of Apollo 17, exposing it to the lunar environment for 7 hours and 15 minutes.
The checklist occupies a special place in Apollo historyit not only provided instructions for man's last moonwalk but held the handwritten notes for the last words spoken from the surface of the Moon.
"Coming directly from the estate of Gene Cernan, it is a priceless Apollo artifact that would be the centerpiece of the finest private or institutional collections," said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.
Also offered is the chance to own a piece of the Mercury Space Capsule The original Cece Bibby-painted heat shield shingles from the MA-7 Aurora 7 and MA-8 Sigma 7 capsules, two iconic and instantly recognizable pieces of space history. The burn patterns affecting the painting, along with its orientation as compared to bolt holes and the shingle's ribbed exterior, clearly match the pre- and post-flight photographs.
Among the more than 500 extraordinary items; An impressive historic mockup of the nose cone/payload carrier for the Explorer 1 satellite, a Skylab full-scale training mockup of the Multiple Docking Adapter (MDA) that was used to train the Skylab astronauts before their missions, An incredibly rare MIT-built Lunar Traverse Gravimeter, like that used on Apollo 17, and an Apollo-era Marquardt R-4D Rocket Engine.
Online bidding for the Space Exploration and Aviation sale from RR Auction
began October 8 and will conclude October 15.