NASA Apollo Archive, ca. 1965

Value (2016) | $53,000 Auction$85,000 Auction
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GUEST:
I started out at North American Aviation as an inspector, and I worked myself up to engineer. I started collecting the photos after Apollo 1 burned up. When I went to the Cape, and the launch team, they sold us these jackets. We didn't have to buy them, but we just all wanted to wear them, so we all bought these jackets.

APPRAISER:
Do you remember what you paid for the jacket?

GUEST:
Yeah, I think it was 40 bucks, which was a lot of money in '60.

APPRAISER:
Mm-hmm.

GUEST:
You know, so... But it was worth every penny.

APPRAISER:
What was your role with...

GUEST:
I was in quality control. I was the... I tested everything before the astronauts would come in the spacecraft. And that's what I'm doing in that one picture there-- I'm firing these rockets right here on the service module. This is the command module, this is the service module, and I'm firing these little 100-pound thruster engines.

APPRAISER:
If we pick this up, it should-- it's in a couple of pieces-- but we can see that that's the...

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
So you're in the command module.

GUEST:
I'm in the command module. Firing that. This is the Apollo without the first- and second-stage rocket.

APPRAISER:
How did you acquire this particular model?

GUEST:
Oh, it was given to me years ago. I just earned it, like, and then so I just started getting all the astronauts to sign it.

APPRAISER:
You've captured 15 astronauts' signatures on the capsule portion of this.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
So you were friends with them all, and...

GUEST:
I was good friends with them. I met them in the early '60s. We had to go to classes together, so I got to know them on a personal basis. And they're crazy guys, so we had a lot of fun.

APPRAISER:
Okay, and then this was a North American Aviation Apollo spacecraft model. It's the Executive model, is what it's referred to as. Talk about the North American Aviation Group relative to NASA, and how did those two organizations work together?

GUEST:
Well, they gave us the contract, and we interpreted the contract, and then get the approval for the design and everything, and then we built it to their specifications.

APPRAISER:
Okay, now, let's talk about this burnt-up sticker.

GUEST:
What happens is, when the spacecraft would come back to Downey, we would strip them all down, take all this stuff off of them, and make them pretty. And so this arrow, which is right here, they were scraping all this stuff off, they were throwing it away in a big pile. So they just gave it to me. This label was... Another guy gave that to me, and he gave it to me because I was the final person to stamp it, saying, "Hey, we've got a good product." This is the serial number, 107. So we called it 107, and then when it went to the Cape, it became Apollo 11, in this case.

APPRAISER:
So that's the serial number sticker...

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
...off of the Apollo 11 command module.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
You realize that space nerds everywhere are going crazy right now.

GUEST:
Well, I hope so.

APPRAISER:
Have you ever had it appraised, or do you have any clue as to what these things might be worth?

GUEST:
None at all.

APPRAISER:
Space stuff is hot. So the first thing I want to talk about is the jacket. So that was your jacket, you paid $40 for it.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
You just don't see these. If I estimated at auction today, I would guess it would sell for between $3,000 and $5,000.

GUEST:
Really? (laughing) Okay.

APPRAISER:
This model is the Executive model. They have come up at auction before. They have not come up with the signatures that you have. We see... There's Walt Cunningham, there's Buzz Aldrin. Right up here, ever so faint, is Neil Armstrong.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
We see Alan Shepard. Alan's one of the most well-known astronauts, but his signature's not worth that much, because he signed so much stuff. It's fantastic. So if we estimated this at auction today, I think conservatively it would carry an estimate between $20,000 and $30,000. GUEST (laughing): Okay. I don't know if I really wanted to know that. Because it just sits in my man cave. (chuckling)

APPRAISER:
Well, it's a nice thing to have in the man cave.

GUEST:
Yes, yes.

APPRAISER:
We have the rescue sticker, and then this was the serial number label off the inside of the capsule door. If we offered the two stickers together, you would see those with an estimate of between $30,000 and $50,000.

GUEST:
Okay. I'm donating this to my niece, so she'll be happy to hear that.

APPRAISER:
The total here would be between $53,000 and $85,000.

GUEST:
That's amazing.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Quinn's Auction Galleries
Falls Church, VA
Appraised value (2016)
$53,000 Auction$85,000 Auction
Event
Palm Springs, CA (August 06, 2016)
Period
1960s

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