Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    "Sure sorry we didn't get to use these."

    Apollo 13 Flown Crew-Signed LM Lunar Surface Maps Book Presented to and Originally from the Personal Collection of NASA Lunar Map Producer George Colton, with Extensive Provenance. An 8.5" x 10.5" NASA publication bound between two heavyweight boards with three binder rings, Part Number "SKB32100082-371" and Serial Number "1001". Fred Haise has written on the front cover: "To George-. This document flown to the moon on Apollo 13/ Spacecraft 11-17 April 1970. Sure sorry we didn't/ get to use these. Thanks from the Apollo 13 crew,/ Fred Haise". Also signed: "James Lovell" and "Jack Swigert". The book contains four introductory pages, approximately forty maps, and six EVA maps with tasks and additional information on the back. They are all printed on a heavy plastic stock. A fabulous group of maps that would have gone to the lunar surface onboard Aquarius had the mission not been cut short by an explosion. George Colton was Book Manager for lunar graphics used on the Apollo 13 mission. This book was given to him personally by Jim Lovell with all three crew members present, a few days after their return to the Johnson Space Center, Houston TX. It was part of a larger ceremony where other awards and presentations were made. A fascinating and informative 2002-dated typed letter signed from him regarding the production of this map book is included along with several of his service records and copies of the Apollo 13 stowage list showing this item by number. A transcript of his letter of provenance can be found on our website. Some light soiling on the cover, otherwise excellent condition. From the Steven R. Belasco Collection of Space Memorabilia.

    More Information:

    "To: Whomever It May Concern

    Subject: Production of Lunar Maps

    "As Book Manager for Lunar Graphics used on the Apollo 13 mission it was my responsibility to produce all maps and charts, to include the Apollo 13 LM Lunar Surface Maps.

    "All charts and maps used during the Apollo missions were printed by either the Air Force Aeronautical Chart and Information Center, St Louis or the Army Topographic Command, Washington DC. The Air Force produced shaded relief products and the Army produced image-based products. As the LM Maps were image based, they were printed in Washington DC.

    "The process of designing these maps began with the Army providing plain image products with nothing more than a grid system overprinted. The images for the first Apollo 8 maps were obtained from earlier unmanned NASA photographic missions, such as Surveyor, Lunar Orbiter and other unmanned missions to the moon. Apollo 8 and each succeeding mission was given an objective to take high-resolution photographs of planned future landing sites. By the time that the Apollo 13 maps were produced most of the desired areas had been photographed by earlier Apollo missions. The best coverage was selected and made into a mosaic of the planned landing area.

    "I took the first images provided by the Army and hand scribed the first iteration of what was known up to that time to be the data that we wanted to be shown on the maps. These first iteration maps were then given to the crew for use in training sessions with the geologists who were assigned to this landing site. I would then get together with the crewmembers and the geologists and we would mark the maps with the information that we felt was best. At this time I would send the hand annotated maps back to the Army and they would provide printed copies. It usually required several iterations before the maps were in the format that we all agreed was the final product. At this time I sent the marked up copies back to the Army and the final copies were printed.

    These final copies were printed on 7mil Cronopaque. Cronopaque is a type of plastic found to resist burning. All onboard material had to meet stringent fire and outgassing specifications that were developed as a result of the pad fire that killed Grisson, Chafee and White. The paper products used in the book also had to meet these specifications.

    "When I received the loose material back from the Army I took it to our in-house clean room where it was processed into the final book format. Each sheet was trimmed to final size and laminated back to back with the next page. Holes were punched, covers were prepared and rings were inserted to make the LM LUNAR SURFACE MAPS into a loose-leaf book. If you examine the rings carefully you will see that each ring has clear tubing on it. This is heat shrink tubing and keeps the rings from opening. Careful examination will show that this tubing is original and has not been disturbed since the original construction of the book.

    "Two exact copies of each book are built. In this case it was serial number 1001 and 1002. Serial number 1001 is always designated to be the flight article and 1002 the backup. In the event that 1001 is damaged than 1002 can be substituted. In the case of Apollo 13 serial number 1001 was the book that was flown.

    "The book LN LUNAR SURFACE MAPS, PART No. SKB32 100082-371, SERIAL NO. 1001 was given to me personally by Jim Lovell with all three crew members present, a few days after their return to the Johnson Space Center, Houston TX. This was part of a larger ceremony where other awards and presentations were made.

    "This book has been continuously in my possession since it was given to me and it has not been altered in any way."

    [signed] George M. Colton

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    18th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,623

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold on Apr 18, 2013 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 November 7 Guitars and Musical Instruments Signature Auction.

    Learn about consigning with us

    This was my first time dealing with an auction house, and I am 100% completely impressed with Heritage. There is not an aspect of this process that I have a critique for.
    Darryl S.,
    Stuart, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search