Lunar Bible text fragment: A fifty-page Faberge exampleApollo 13 Flown and Apollo 14 Lunar Module Flown Lunar Bible Text Fragment, with Certificate of Authenticity Signed by Apollo 14 Lunar Module Pilot Ed Mitchell and Apollo Prayer League Representative James W. Stout. A 0.25" x 0.25" fifty-page section of a Microform Bible contained in a beautiful 3.375" tall Fabergé Egg housed in a deluxe deep blue suede box with an engraved plate: "APOLLO 14/ Lunar Surface Bible Text Fragment/ 50 Pages". The "Lunar Bible" represents the first Bible, the first complete scripture, and the first published book ever carried by Man to landfall on the Moon. A complete Lunar Bible contains all 1245-pages of the King James Bible, and was printed as a miniature "Microform" book out of necessity, given the size and weight constraints for flight to the lunar surface. The text of the COA can be read online. Excellent.
One hundred complete copies of the Lunar Bible landed on the Moon during Apollo 14 in the personal "PPK" bag of Moonwalker Edgar D. Mitchell (after having been previously flown to the Moon aboard the Apollo 13 mission). The Bible from which this text-fragment originates thus flew to the Moon twice, having circled it once on Apollo 13 and then accomplishing its purpose by landing on the Moon during Apollo 14! It then spent three days housed in the Lunar Module Antares, where it resided under the one-sixth gravity of the Moon and was exposed directly to the lunar environment each time the hatch was opened for moonwalks.
After the mission, a portion of the complete Bibles were carefully segmented into both fifty-page and two-page sizes by Reverend John M. Stout to maximize the potential number of recipients. This was the exact approach taken with the Gutenberg Bible, whereas two defective copies (the "Trier II" and "Noble Fragment" copies) were segmented into individual books and leaves due to the scarcity of complete copies. Indeed, there are numerous parallels between the Gutenberg Bibles and the Lunar Bible.
The fifty-page copy offered here is one of only thirty-two examples that were officially flight-certified by both astronaut Mitchell and James W. Stout, former "Apollo Prayer League Governing Committee" member, during the "Lunar Bible Certification Project" (A.D. 2000 - 2001) and then encapsulated in modern Faberge' Eggs. This lot has profound significance not only to space collectors as a twice-flown and once-landed lunar artifact, but also to the religious, rare book, and even the Masonic community as astronaut Edgar Mitchell is a Freemason.
Several of the thirty-two Fabergé-encased copies are already permanently off the market, with a copy having been acquired by the State of Georgia for their rare-book holdings, and two more in the personal space collection of Edgar Mitchell and James W. Stout. Another fifty-page example is on indefinite-loan to the Atlanta Masonic Library and Museum. It is likely that many of the fully-certified Fabergé-encased copies will be permanently institutionalized within a generation or two, given their profound historical and religious importance. You may read "The Story of the First Lunar Bible" on-line at www.lunarbible.com.
"I CERTIFY that the accompanying LUNAR BIBLE TEXT FRAGMENT, containing 50 Complete Pages of Scripture from the King James Bible,
"Is A Portion Of One Of The First Bibles Ever Carried By Mankind To The Surface Of The Moon!
"In 1967, Reverend John M. Stout formed The Apollo Prayer League, dedicated to landing the first Bibles on the Moon. Due to NASA's size and weight constraints, the only printing format of the Bible capable of accompanying an astronaut's personal effects to the Moon's surface were complete 1245-page Microform Bibles, which John Stout designed accordingly.
"A total of 512 Microform Bibles were then submitted for flight. Astronaut Jim Lovell carried all 512 Bibles aboard Apollo 13, which aborted and failed to land. Some of the Apollo 13 flown Bibles were then distributed to dignitaries upon their return.
"I received 300 copies of the previously-flown Apollo 13 Bibles to take with me on Apollo 14, the next lunar-landing attempt. Of those, 100 copies would accompany me to the Moon's surface, with the extra 200 copies remaining behind in lunar orbit.
"The 100 Lunar Surface Bibles were stowed in my "PPK" Bag aboard our Lunar Module Antares. On February 5, 1971, they made their historic landfall with Alan Shepard and me on the Moon at Fra Mauro, where they remained for 34 hours. Fours days later, they returned to Earth within a 25,000 mph fireball, and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.
"After the flight, some of the Lunar Surface Bibles were cut-up into 50-page Text-Fragments, for presentation to dignitaries. Of those, this Fragment is one of only 32 examples to date that have been located, encased within customized Faberge' Eggs, and officially flight-certified by me. Likewise, only 12 complete Lunar Surface Bibles have been flight-certified by me to date.
"This Copy thus remains one of only 32 Astronaut Flight-Certified Lunar Bible Text-Fragments in existence.
"As this Text-Fragment originated from a complete Lunar Surface Bible, it also bears the distinction of being a portion of one of the first 100 astronaut flight-certified books ever carried to the surface of another world.
Finally, this 50-page portion of Scripture also remains one of the few objects on Earth ever flown twice to the Moon, having circled it once on Apollo 13, and then landing on it during Apollo 14.
"Dated the 2nd day of June, A.D. 2001
[Signed] James W. Stout/ Apollo Prayer League Committee
[Signed] Edgar D. Mitchell/ Apollo 14 Lunar Module Pilot"
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