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    APOLLO 13

    A Bible flown to the moon

    Apollo 13 Flown Complete Microform Bible, Serial Number 13-010, with Crew-Signed and James Lovell Signed Certificates, Originally from the Apollo Prayer League Archives of Founder Reverend John M. Stout. There is an amazing and inspiring story behind this flown relic of the dramatic Apollo 13 mission to the moon in 1970. The complete King James Version of the Bible was miniaturized by NCR down to a single piece of microfilm just 1.5" square. It was aboard Apollo 13 with the intent of being carried to the lunar surface in the Lunar Module Aquarius. The onboard explosion caused the abortion of the lunar landing but the craft did circle the moon, using its gravity to "slingshot" it safely back to earth. This Bible was aboard that mission and included with the lot is an 8.5" x 11" certificate on NASA letterhead reading: "No. 13-010. This bible was flown to the moon April 11-17, 1970 on Apollo 13 spacecraft." It is signed: "James Lovell", "Jack Swigert", and "Fred W, Haise". The microform has been inserted into a gorgeous 10.5" x 11.25" custom presentation etched in gold accented with a pearl and a triangular Brazilian garnet. a rare opportunity to own one of these rare Bibles with unimpeachable provenance from both the founder of the Apollo Prayer League and the Commander of the mission on which it flew. Excellent.

    The complete background story of this Apollo Prayer League Bible is contained in two documents included with this lot. One is a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Apollo 13 Commander James Lovell accompanied by a photo of provenance showing him holding the certificate. It reads, in full:

    "I Certify that this Holy Bible engraved with Serial Number 13-010 Was flown to the moon by Apollo 13 Commander James Lovell on April 11, 1970, on behalf of Reverend John M. Stout, Director of the Apollo Prayer League.

    "It was presented to the Apollo 13 crew of Commander James Lovell, Lunar Module Pilot Fred Haise, and Command Module Pilot T.K. (Ken) Mattingly in 1970 by George H. W. Bush, in conjunction with Reverend John M. Stout, for the purpose of landing it on the surface of the moon on board the lunar module Aquarius.

    "In 1968 a group of individuals associated with NASA program formed The Apollo Prayer League, an organization dedicated to the prayerful support of NASA employees and the Apollo astronauts. A primary goal of the group was to land a Bible on the moon in memory of astronaut Edward White Jr., who wanted to carry a Bible to the moon but died January 27, 1967 in the Apollo 1 fire.

    "Members of The Apollo Prayer League acquired multiple microfilm copies the King James Version, of which 512 were stowed on board Apollo 13. However due to an on board explosion, Apollo 13 orbited the moon and did not descend to the lunar surface. This Lunar Bible was later returned to Reverend Stout, where it remained in the Apollo Prayer League lunar Bible archives until its release in August 2009 with permission from Apollo 13 Commander James Lovell.

    "[Signed] James Lovell
    James A. Lovell, Jr
    Commander, Apollo 13"

    The other document included with this lot is a photocopy of an affidavit given by Reverend Stout summarizing the complete history of the League and the Bibles. Please visit this lot on our website to read a complete transcript. Other information and photos included in a handsome custom leather portfolio.

    More Information:




    BEFORE ME, the undersigned authority did personally come and appear:


    and certify the following to be a true and accurate statement:

    1. I certify that I, along with my wife Helen Stout, at the request of a private prayer group, founded the Apollo Prayer League in 1968 prior to the launch of Apollo 7.

    2. From 1965 to 1972 I was employed at the NASA as a Senior Information Scientist and Sr. Document Engineer, working for a subcontractor on the Apollo program at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston. As a condition of my employment, I also served as an industrial chaplain to NASA employees, their families, and the astronauts.

    3. I served as Director of the Apollo Prayer League from its inception in 1968 and have continued to act as director and custodian of Apollo Prayer League archives and records to the present day.

    4. The Apollo Prayer League also provided a forum for the uniform administration of activities of the Aerospace Ministries program comprised of some thirteen pastors employed at NASA. The primary purpose of the Aerospace Ministries was to engage NASA employees in community and national outreach programs as a means providing as a balance to employees' day-to-day activities within NASA.

    5. In addition, the Apollo Prayer League acted as an intermediary for NASA with outside organizations and individuals in matters of a religious nature, including handling of matters relating to atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair in her attempt to halt the practice of prayer in space by the Apollo astronauts.

    6. In memory of Astronaut Edward White II, who had wanted to carry a Bible to the moon but was killed in the Apollo 1 fire, the Apollo Prayer League undertook the development of a microfilm Bible small enough and light enough to be carried in the astronauts' Personal Preference Kit (PPK) to the surface of the Moon.

    7. An early prototype of a microfilm version of the entire King James Bible developed by NCR was given by me for the Apollo 12 Lunar Module Pilot Alan Bean to carry to the surface of the Moon; but due to an error in the manifest, this Bible was stowed in the command module and orbited the Moon but did not descend to the surface. Alan Bean retained these Bibles. Alan Bean also carried for Rev. Stout a complete tissue thin hard copy of the Bible.

    8. A group of 512 microfilm Bibles were presented to the crew of Apollo 13 Astronaut James Lovell and his crew, Fred Haise and T.K. Mattingly, by then-Congressman George H.W. Bush, accompanied by me. Mattingly was replaced by Jack Swiggert [sic] before the flight. But due to an onboard explosion, Apollo 13 orbited the Moon and did not descend to the surface. Had they decented, following the recommendation of Norman Vincent Peal, they would have replicated the landing of Noah Arc in building an altar of three rocks on the moon.

    9. A separate group of 300 Bibles was then given to Apollo 14 Lunar Module Pilot Edgar D. Mitchell, 200 of which were stowed onboard the command module and 100 onboard the lunar module.

    10. In addition to these Bibles, a separate multi-focus Bible, known as the "First Lunar Bible," was developed by a group of employees working at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston. This unique Bible was comprised of two microfilm versions of the Bible" the King James Version (KJV) and the Revised Standard Version (RSV) believed to be used by Ed White II. These were mounted together and separated by a thin piece of glass so that the text on the two versions could be read at different focal levels. The United Bible Societies, with members in 57 countries furnished portions of Scriptures used in making the King James Version. The Revised Standard Version was furnished to me by Ed White II's widow, Pat White. This unique First Lunar Bible was packaged with the lunar module bibles so they could be transferred to the pocket of Mitchell's space suite and placed in a special packet there. It was edged with 24kt gold.

    11. Included in each of the lunar module packets was a microfilm honor role listing individuals and organizations involved in placing the Bible on the Moon along with the names of others designated by them. A small folded plaque containing the first verse of Genesis in sixteen languages was also included.

    12. The 101 Apollo 14 lunar Bibles succeeded in making lunar landfall on February 5, 1971, when Apollo 14 lunar module Antares touched down on the moon. Astronaut Mitchell exercised an option not to leave the First Lunar Bible on the Moon, and it remained sealed in a separate pouch with the 100 lunar module Bibles. These Bibles later became known collectively as the "First Lunar Bibles."

    13. After the lunar module packet was released from quarantine, astronaut Mitchell returned it to me in my office. The local newspaper was running a front page story and had already contacted me to open the packet in their office. After they made their photographs and wrote their story, I took the bibles to the APL secretary to verify the count. I took the bibles home and indexed the packet on the yellow kitchen table, using a special engraving tool for this. Some people received the preflight presentation format. Later a postflight format was used.

    14. All serial numbers were recorded in the official Apollo Prayer League Lunar Bible Registry, which has since been continuously maintained by me, along with the names of the recipients. Several Bibles were cut into 50-page segments and distributed to friends and family. Bibles not distributed were retained by me in the Apollo Prayer League lunar Bible archives. . .

    15. My wife and I are the exclusive ownership of the lunar Bibles that have not been distributed. Through her they were transferred to a foundation.

    I certify that foregoing is a true and accurate account of events and serves as the sole and complete provenance of the First Lunar Bibles as of the date recorded below.



    John M Stout

    Director, The Apollo Prayer League

    Date Mar. 19, 2010

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2017
    10th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
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