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Pieces of the Apollo 11 Columbia Command Module to sell at RR Auction

RR Auction is set to offer two incredibly rare pieces of Apollo 11 memorabilia from the Columbia command module itself.
The Columbia command module served as the living quarters for the three-man crew of Apollo 11, during the majority of the landmark mission in July 1969.

Michael Collins then remained orbiting around the moon, whilst Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the lunar surface in the Eagle module, before the trio returned to Earth in the Columbia module and were recovered from the Pacific Ocean.

Today the module is currently on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and space-flown items of memorabilia from the Apollo 11 mission are regarded as "virtually unobtainable".

The two items on offer have spent almost 50 years in the collection of a former North American Aviation engineer, who worked with NASA on every mission from Apollo 1 to Apollo 17, and were recently featured in an episode of the Antiques Roadshow.

Both items were removed from the Columbia module during post-mission analysis and cleanup at North American Aviation in Downey, California.

The first remarkable item is a gold-colored "Rescue" arrow sign from the hatch of the Command Module, which pointed to the cabin’s exterior access panel.

"This label another guy gave to me because I was the final person to stamp it, saying ‘Hey, we’ve got a good product," said the engineer.

The rescue sign is expected to sell for in excess of $100,000, and the assembly tag comes with an estimate of $50,000+.

The RR Auction Space and Aviation Sale opens on April 13 and runs online until April 20.

(Top image: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum)

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