Rare Apollo mission memorabilia up for auction in Titusville

American Space Museum offering NASA photos, artifacts in 2-day event

By Mike Holfeld - Investigative Reporter

TITUSVILLE, Fla. - NASA Apollo Space Mission photographs and memorabilia, including the very first moon overshoe, are now being offered with near Holy Grail status during a two-day auction hosted by the American Space Museum in Titusville.

“The sky is the limit,” museum collections analyst Chuck Jeffrey said as he ventured a guess as to what the rare items would command at auction.

Jeffrey brought in several of the rare collectables into the News 6 studio Tuesday, including the original black-and-white press photo of the ill-fated crew of Apollo 1.

“This photo was taken during training and was released by NASA the day before the fire,” Jeffrey said. “It’s a full dress rehearsal of the mission.”

Jeffrey said the photograph of astronauts Ed White, Roger Chaffee and Gus Grissom, seated left to right as they did the day of the mission, is the only one he has ever seen.  

The press photo is expected to sell anywhere between $300 to $500 or more.

Jeffrey also brought a small white heat-resistant “travel bag” used by the Apollo astronauts to tote everything from toothpaste to snacks and other essentials.

“It would have just hung on a hook -- easy on, easy off -- and it has snaps to keep it closed because in zero gravity, it all floats,” Jeffrey said.

The Grumman 1970s design model of a space shuttle sitting on top of an Atlas moon rocket is one of the most unique and rare of the items being offered for the “Apollo Only” sale.

Jeffrey said the model is one of only three known to be in existence and is expected to sell for $7,000 or more.

Day one of the auction will feature an estimated 2,000 black-and-white and color photographs.

According to Jeffrey, the pictures cover “every phase of the Apollo space missions from spacecraft assembly to splashdown and recovery.”

There is also a Saturn V flight manual specifically for Apollo 14, essentially they are the instructions of how to fly the Apollo 14 to the moon.

Without question, the runaway hit of the event is the lunar overshoe with its very distinct and familiar tread.

“This is the very first flight item lunar overshoe ever made,” Jeffrey told News 6. “It is the exact same print left by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the lunar surface.”

The lunar overshoe is one of a kind and is expected to sell for $70,000 to $80,000.

To register for the auction and review the items for bid, click here.

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