Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    "It was the greatest experience in my life and there is no way I can thank you adequately. (Deke Slayton)"

    Apollo-Soyuz Test Project Flown Silver Robbins Medallion, Serial Number 43F, Personally Presented by Deke Slayton to and Directly from the Estate of NASA Legend Chris Kraft, with Slayton's Signed COA and Handwritten Letter of Appreciation. This 35mm sterling silver medal is one of only ninety-three flown (of 285 minted) aboard the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, the first international manned space effort, July 17-19, 1975, with U.S. crewmembers Thomas Stafford, Vance Brand, & Deke Slayton and Soviet crewmembers Alexei Leonov & Valery Kubasov. The obverse features the mission insignia depicting the docking maneuver above the Earth and the names of the mission and crewmembers. The reverse features the title "First Joint U.S.-U.S.S.R. Space Flight" and the engraved dates. The serial number is on the rim along with the sterling and Robbins hallmarks. This mission effectively ended the "Space Race" between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. We seldom are able to offer flown examples of this mission's medal and this one is likely the nicest we have ever handled. A great candidate for grading and encapsulation.

    If this were just a Robbins medal with astronaut or even crewmember-provenance, it would be desirable and valuable. When the history behind it is revealed, it becomes a very special item indeed. Deke Slayton was one of the original "Mercury Seven" but was the only one who never flew into space due to being grounded in 1962 with an atrial fibrillation. Ten years later, he was cleared to fly on Apollo-Soyuz with Dr. Kraft's blessings. On December 1, 1975, Slayton met with Kraft and presented this medal to him loose in an envelope hand-addressed " Dr. Chris Kraft/ Personal". Additionally, inside was a December 1st-dated typed letter signed on NASA letterhead that reads: "I hereby certify that Apollo-Soyuz medallion, serial number 43F, was flown in space aboard the Apollo Command Module from July 15, 1975, through July 17, 1975, and that this medallion was presented to Dr. Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., on December 1, 1975. [signed] D. K. Slayton". Letter with flattened folds, stray ink mark, very fine. Envelope folded, very fine.

    Also included in this fantastic lot is a very heartfelt handwritten letter on plain paper dated December 1, in black ink. "Dear Chris, The enclosed ASTP medallion is a small token of my appreciation for all your efforts making my participation in the Apollo Soyuz flight possible. It was the greatest experience in my life and there is no way I can thank you adequately. I only hope that you too will someday have an equivalent experience. Rest assured I will be doing everything in my power to make the Space Shuttle a timely and successful program so that you will have the opportunity. Deke". Letter with flattened folds, extremely fine. Two identical original NASA B&W 10" x 8" glossies are included showing the two shaking hands, excellent.

    These two men worked side by side for a lot of years and the respect was mutual:

    "Deke Slayton's friendship, insights, and management skills carried me through many a day. When the doctors decided that he was fit, after all to fly in space, I was overjoyed to sign off on his appointment to the crew that rendezvoused with the Russians on the Apollo Soyuz Test Project in 1975. Of the Original Seven, Deke got his ride last. We owed him that." ( Flight. My Life in Mission Control by Chris Kraft, page 351, New York: Dutton, 2001).




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2021
    21st-22nd Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 967

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $300,000 and $3,000,000, plus 12.5% of any amount over $3,000,000 per lot.

    Sold on May 21, 2021 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    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
      winnings 
    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

    The pre and post sales experience was wonderful and flawless. Heritage has the best in-house operation I have ever seen and their people are not only professional but fun to work with, especially Steve C.

    As for Heritage's online system… Yes the interface is more complex than what we are used to with SAN but what is behind that interface is amazing for sellers and buyers alike. It is real time and for a real serious auction buyer there is nothing better in the auction industry, bar none.
    Ron Cipolla,
    AZ
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search