NGC-Certified "Ex. Charles M. Duke, Jr."Apollo 11 Flown MS68 NGC Silver Robbins Medallion Originally from the Personal Collection of Mission CapCom Charlie Duke, Serial Number 189, with Handwritten LOA. This 28mm sterling silver medal was one of 450 flown aboard Apollo 11, the first manned moon landing, July 16-24, 1969, with crewmembers Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin. The obverse depicts Collins' early and original concept for the mission insignia with the eagle carrying an olive branch in its mouth. NASA thought the sharp, open talons of the eagle looked too "warlike" and the olive branch, representing peace, was moved to the claws. This is one of, if not the only, major official item that renders the insignia as it was meant to be by the astronaut designer. The reverse has the dates of the mission, surnames of the crew, and the serial number. A wonderful Superb Gem Uncirculated example from a moonwalker, worthy of the most advanced collection.
Included in this lot is a handwritten and signed Letter of Certification on Duke's letterhead stating, in full: "I hereby certify that Apollo 11 Silver Robbins Medal, Serial Number 189, was one that was flown to the moon aboard the historic mission that was the first to land on the moon on July 20, 1969.
"It was my honor to have worked on and supported that mission as CapCom in the mission control center in Houston. Many problems were encountered on the descent to landing including computer, low fuel, and communications. All these were overcome as Armstrong and Aldrin landed with only seconds of fuel remaining. After landing, Neil Armstrong transmitted his first words: 'Houston, Tranquility Base, the Eagle has landed.' I responded with great excitement: 'Roger, Tranquility Base, we copy you down. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue, we are breathing again. Thanks a lot'
"As a member of the Astronaut Office, I was permitted to purchase this flown medal. It has been in my possession and a part of my personal collection of space artifacts since receiving it shortly after the mission. [signed] Charles M. Duke, Jr./ Apollo 11 CapCom/ Apollo 16 Lunar Module Pilot"
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