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    Ivanovsky's copy of the first published photos of the "Dark Side of the Moon."

    Luna 3 Book Signed by Korolev to Ivanovsky: First Photographs of the Backside of the Moon. (Moscow: Publishing House of the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R., 1959). (ПЕРВЫЕ ФОТОГРАФИИ ОБРАТНОЙ СТОРОНЫ ЛУНЫ). Signed on the title page in Russian (translated): "To Oleg Genrikovich Ivanovsky, with good memories of our joint work 31 Dec. 1959 S. Korolev". Sergei Korolev was the chief Soviet rocket engineer and designer during the period of the "space race." Oleg Ivanovsky was the chief designer of this Luna 3 probe. In Russian, original blue cloth covers with the spacecraft and the moon stamped in blind and blue, lettering in blue and gilt, thirty-three numbered pages, five diagrams, four photos, first edition, approved for publication on November 10, 1959. For centuries, one of mankind's greatest quests was to view the other side of the moon. Luna 3 was launched on October 4, 1959, and three days later it took a total of twenty-nine photos over a forty minute period, covering about 70% of the hitherto-unseen lunar surface on the "other" side. It then headed back toward home and managed to broadcast about seventeen of these images to earth by October 18; all contact with the probe was lost on October 22. This amazing scientific achievement far overshadowed the fact that the images were of poor quality; they were later computer-enhanced. It was a little over nine years later that the crew of Apollo 8, Frank Borman, James Lovell, and Bill Anders, was able to see the lunar backside first hand. Published just twenty-three days after the pictures were received, this is a rare, historic, and desirable volume. This was Oleg Ivanovsky's personal copy of this book, presented to him by the man who was arguably the father of practical astronautics. The provenance is attested to by a two page handwritten letter accompanying the book. Originally sold as Lot 7 in Sotheby's first Russian Space History auction on December 11, 1993. Uneven fading to cover, spine damaged, internally good with minor edge chipping to contents.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2012
    2nd Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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