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    Apollo 13 Flown Heat Shield Ablative Heat Shield Plug in Acrylic Display Directly from the Estate of NASA Legend Chris Kraft, on Wooden Base, with Certificate of Authenticity. A 1.5" diameter x 2.25" tall threaded plug taken from the Command Module Odyssey after its return to Earth. It is encased in a clear cylinder of 2.75" diameter x 2.75" tall. The top of the plug is blackened from the heat of re-entry. The cylinder is set onto to a handsome wooden base of 5" x 7" x 3.5" with a plaque engraved "APOLLO 13 APRIL 11-17, 1970". The bottom of the plug has a number 56 scratched into it by hand. In thirteen-plus years of Space auctions, this is only the third Apollo 13 acrylic we have offered, also the largest and the only one with a wooden desktop display. Don't hesitate on this one! This item was kept by Kraft in the west bookcase of the upstairs den. Included with this lot is a 10" x 8" silk finish color reprint photo of Kraft captured from the video of the press conference mentioned below. After the return to earth and the processing of the space capsule, Kraft was awarded this souvenir, one he certainly had earned.

    Apollo 13 is known as NASA's "successful failure." Chris Kraft first heard of a problem by receiving a phone call while in the shower from Gene Kranz. The next few hours were frantic with formulating plans to get the crew home safely. Kraft was in charge of handling a midnight press conference to inform the world's press of the details of the situation:

    "I didn't tell them about my personal impressions of the mission control guys. The control teams and the backroom support technicians were on top of their game. Not once did I hear the words 'If we get them back...' It was 'When we get them back...' and 'Here's what we have to do...' Maybe the youth in mission control had something to do with it. Gene Kranz likes to say that failure is not an option. But it was more than that. Failure was not possible in their minds. It was never a question of if. The only question was how. That confidence affected us all. I was worried, all right. But I didn't doubt." (Flight. My Life in Mission Control by Chris Kraft, pages 336-337, New York: Dutton, 2001).

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2021
    21st-22nd Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 748

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