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    Apollo 13 flown maps with Mt. Marilyn notated by Lovell

    Apollo 13 Flown Complete CSM Orbit Monitor Chart Directly from the Personal Collection of Mission Commander James Lovell, Signed, with Signed LOAs. This consists of twenty printed B&W photographic panels, each 10.5" x 8", all taped together to provide a continuous map approximately thirteen feet long. The first panel has the printed notation: "CSM ORBIT MONITOR CHART/ APOLLO 13/ LAUNCH DATES 11 APRIL or 10 MAY 1970/ SKB 32100082-372/ S/N 1001/ 1st Edition March 1970". It is signed: "James Lovell" just above that information. These maps were used to monitor the approach corridor and the landing area, in this case Fra Mauro. They were taped consecutively in this configuration to make it easier to use onboard the spacecraft. There are red ink notations of the landing sites for Apollo 11 and Apollo 12. Lovell has drawn an arrow and noted the location of "Mt. Marilyn". These charts are generally only available in single panels. Rarely is there an opportunity to purchase a complete chart; this is an historic item that would be at home in the finest of private or institutional collections. Rare and important. Very fine.

    Included with this lot are two signed Letters of Authenticity from Lovell on his company letterhead. The first states, in full: "This east to west CSM ORBIT Monitor Chart indicates the proposed flight tracks to the Fra Mauro landing sites. The chart marks the landing sites of Apollo 11 and Apollo 12. Prior to the flights I noted "Mt. Marilyn" the mountain used as the initial descent point for Apollo 10 and Apollo 11. This chart was on board Apollo 13 spacecraft on its flight around the moon 11-17 April 1970." The second LOA reads, in full: "I hereby certify that this Apollo 13 CSM Orbit Monitor Chart was on board the Apollo 13 spacecraft. Apollo 13 perilous flight took off on April 11 and returned safely on April 17, 1970. This chart was from my personal collection of space artifacts and has been in my possession since the mission."

    The story of "Mt. Marilyn" is an interesting (and romantic) one. It starts actually when Lovell was a junior in high school and a freshman girl named Marilyn Gerlach caught his eye. He asked her to the Junior Prom and the date went well. Their romance continued through the rest of high school, during his studies at the nearby University of Wisconsin, and then through his days at Annapolis. Three and one half hours after Lovell graduated from the Naval Academy in 1952, "...the newly commissioned officer and his hometown girl stood in St. Anne's Episcopal Cathedral in the historic center of Annapolis and became Ensign and Mrs. James A. Lovell Jr." (Apollo 13 by Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kruger, page 65). Fast forward sixteen years (and four children) and we find Jim Lovell on the landmark first manned mission to the moon, Apollo 8. It was Christmas time and he had already arranged to have Neiman Marcus deliver a mink jacket to his wife as a gift with a card signed from the "Man in the Moon." As he and his crewmates are surveying lunar landmarks, Lovell notices a small triangular-shaped mountain near the Sea of Tranquility that he assumed had never been officially named. He asked Borman and Anders if they were familiar with it; they weren't. "Then I found it," Lovell said with a smile, "and I'm going to name it. What do you guys think of 'Mt. Marilyn'?" (Apollo 13, page 52). The International Astronomical Union didn't accept the name as official but the name was on the maps used by Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong. They passed right over it as they came in for a landing. Heritage sold an Apollo 11 Lunar Module Descent Monitoring Chart in Auction 6075 (Lot 40112) that clearly shows and names "Mt. Marilyn."

    This leads to a great scene early in the Apollo 13 film where the Lovells have invited several other couples over to watch the Apollo 11 moon landing. Afterwards, Jim and his wife are in the yard looking at the moon when she asks: "Where's my mountain?" Lovell replies: "Well, it... It's right up by the... you see, okay... you see the... where the shadow crosses the white area there? That's the Sea Tranquility. And your mountain's right there on the edge of that. Your mountain. Your mountain, Marilyn. Mountain Marilyn." It was Lovell's burning desire to go back to the moon and this time, to walk on it. It was not to be though, as Apollo 13 experienced a catastrophic explosion that threatened not only the mission but the very lives of Lovell and crewmates Haise and Swigert. Later in the movie, just as the crew was getting ready to lose communications with earth on the backside of the moon before (hopefully) a burn that would send them back home, Fred Haise says: "Mare Tranquillitatis. Neil and Buzz's old neighborhood. Coming up on Mountain Marilyn. Jim, you gotta take a look at this." Lovell replies: "I've seen it." At that point, you get the impression that, as badly as Lovell wanted to visit Mount Marilyn on the moon, what he really wanted to do was to get back home and see his wife Marilyn again. The world watched and prayed as the crew made the arduous trip home in a cold and dark space capsule, landing safely in the South Pacific on April 17, 1970. As thrilling as it must have been for Marilyn Lovell to have a lunar mountain named after her by her husband, having her husband home safely that day was certainly a million times better.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2014
    14th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,074

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