Apollo 13 Note Rakes in $84,100 at Space Auction

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A heavily annotated flight document from NASA’s nearly disastrous Apollo 13 Moon mission nabbed top spot in an auction March 25 of more than 300 artifacts from the early years of the U.S. space program.

The space history artifacts — sold by Bonhams of New York — included various items from NASA’s first lunar landing and an engine-burn note marked up by Apollo 13 commander Jim Lovell during the 1970 mission that fetched $84,100.

“Documents from Apollo 11 also impressed bidders, including an Apollo 11 Command and Service Module maneuver card selling for $64,900 and a postal cover taken to the Moon during the mission which achieved $35,000,” officials from Bonhams wrote in a statement. “An Apollo 11 activation checklist carried to the lunar surface realized $25,000.”

Although some items in the auction were previously owned by Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, none was currently owned by the moonwalker.

Officials with the auction house noted a few pieces of space history that outperformed expected estimates. An Apollo 17 lunar surface checklist sold for $28,750 largely because it was “heavily soiled with lunar dust.”

Bonhams will host another “space history” sale in the spring of 2014.