Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    "After the tragic fire of Apollo 1 on the launch pad…"

    Charlie Duke "Apollo Emergency Escape Procedures" Autograph Manuscript Signed. Offered here is a truly incredible handwritten piece of history. An 8.5" x 11" sheet of Duke's personal stationery where he has neatly written some of his thoughts regarding the fire and the steps taken to make Apollo safer. This item has wonderful display potential. Transcript follows. Excellent.

    "After the tragic fire of Apollo 1 on the launch pad that killed Grissom, White and Chaffee in January 1967, a team had been formed to work out escape procedures for Apollo on the launch pad. If the main rocket engine tanks sprang a leak, or if a problem started in the electrical system that resulted in a fire or if a multitude of other problems occurred, then we had to make an emergency egress out of the spacecraft and leave the launch pad. Stu Roosa and I were the astronauts assigned to be on the team, and after months of work, we had developed two escape routes in case of an emergency on the pad. One way we developed was to exit the spacecraft as fast as possible and to run back across the swing arm to the elevator. The elevator in a high speed free fall would take you to the bottom of the pad. Then you would rush through an automatic sprinkler to wet down your spacesuits, jump into a slide tube and go down the tube to a blast room. The whole vehicle could explode right on top of you and you would be okay, as the room was about a hundred feet below the surface of the pad. It was like being in a big bank vault. There was food and supplies for 30 days in case they had to dig you out. The other way off the pad was to exit the space craft, then jump into a big basket attached to a slide wire. Then cut loose and go sailing down the wire to a bunker about one fourth of a mile away. Nobody ever had to use either one!

    "Charlie Duke

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2020
    21st-22nd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 227

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $19), 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 Nov 21, 2020 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 October 9 Americana & Political Signature Auction Featuring the Michael Ward Collection.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The department director has the heart of a true and highly knowledgeable collector with the business acumen of someone who has been not only successful but has decades of an impeccable track record
    David Greenburg,
    Chicago, IL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search