Carried on the lunar surfaceApollo 14 Lunar Module Flown and Surface Carried Brush-Scriber-Lens Tool on Plaque, Presented to and Directly from the Personal Collection of Mission Support Crew Member Bruce McCandless, with Signed COA. An 8" x 2.5" x 1.75" precision aluminum tool with a steel brush and a carbide tip made to serve multiple purposes, mounted onto a 10" x 6.5 x 1" wooden plaque with an engraved plate reading: "Apollo 14/ Jan. 31 - Feb. 9. 1971/ To Bruce/ From Al, Stu. & Ed". On the top of the tool is engraved a clearly legible and verifiable NASA part and serial number "SEB39100406-203/ SN 2003/ Assy." with an additional number on the side of the lens area "SEB39100407-202". This brush-scriber-lens was made to aid the astronauts in observing, cleaning, and marking specimens of moon rocks. It was part of the Small Tool Carrier that was included only on the Apollo 12, 13, and 14 missions; it was carried during Apollo 14 on the Modular Equipment Transporter which is shown in various lunar images (several prints included with lot). It was scheduled to be abandoned on the lunar surface, but instead was returned by Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell and presented to McCandless at the post-mission "pin party." Very fine.
Included with this lot are several pages from the NASA publication "Catalog of Apollo Lunar Surface Geological Sampling Tools and Containers" picturing the tool and the carrier. Also, a National Air & Space Museum inventory of "dispositioned" Apollo lunar surface tools, used for training, etc. McCandless explains this as follows: "On the page, marked '88,' you will notice that my 'Brush-Scribe-Lens,' serial number 2003, is prominently missing. Of the '2000 series' flight hardware tools, the rationale is as follows. Apollo 11 carried the EASEP (Early Apollo Science Experiments Package), because the real ALSEP (Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package) was not ready for flight. The Brush-Scriber-Lens was a part of ALSEP, carried on the MET (Modular Equipment Transporter) on Apollo 14. So, Apollo 12 carried S/N 2001, and left it on the moon. Apollo 13 carried S/N 2002, and dumped into the Pacific Ocean when the Lunar Module was jettisoned just before earth re-entry. Apollo 14 carried my item (S/N 2003), and it was not carried on subsequent missions. Hence, the enumerated items in NASM's custody." This confirms that this is the only one of these tools extant that flew to the moon and thus an extremely rare and desirable piece of space history.
Captain Bruce McCandless II (U.S. Navy, retired) was selected as the youngest member of the NASA Astronaut Group 5 in April 1966. He was a CAPCOM on Apollo 11 and joined the astronaut support crew for Apollo 14 where he was also a CAPCOM. He was Backup Pilot for Skylab I (SL-2) and served again as CAPCOM for Skylab II (SL-3) and Skylab III (SL-4). He later collaborated on the development of the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU). McCandless made the first untethered free flight on each of the two MMUs carried on board Space Shuttle Challenger (STS-41-B) in 1984, thereby becoming the first person ever to make an untethered spacewalk. A photo of him floating free in space is one of the most familiar and iconic in American space history.
Included with this lot is a signed, illustrated, and notarized Certificate of Authenticity on his personal letterhead stating, in full: "I, the undersigned Bruce McCandless II, was selected as a member of the NASA Astronaut Group 5, and reported for duty as an Apollo Astronaut in June of 1966. I served in various capacities throughout the Apollo, Apollo Applications (aka, SKYLAB), Apollo-Soyuz Test, and early Shuttle Programs.
"I was a member of the Apollo 14 Support Crew, and supported the Prime Crew (Alan B. Shepard, Jr., Stuart A. Roosa, and Edgar D. Mitchell) during training, spacecraft checkout and configuration, and as a communicator (CAPCOM) during the mission. Immediately following completion of the mission in early 1971, at the so-called "Pin Party," I was presented the subject Brush-scriber-lens, depicted herein, as a token of appreciation by the crew. It had been designated for abandonment on the lunar surface in order to save weight on the return trip home, but was in fact returned, mounted non-destructively on a wooden plaque, and presented to me.
"Note that this item carries both a legible and valid NASA Part Number (SEB 39100406-203) and a legible and valid Serial Number (2003), incorporating the convention that numbers of the format 2xxx denoted flight hardware and 1xxx denoted training hardware. Apollo 12 was the first mission to carry the ALSEP (Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package), and would have carried S/N 2001, abandoning the it on the lunar surface to the best of my knowledge. Apollo 13 would have carried S/N 2002, burning up in the atmosphere at the conclusion of that mission. The Brush-scriber-lens was not carried after Apollo 14, and S/N 2004 (not flown) can be seen in the listings of the National Air and Space Museum.
"This item has been in my personal custody continuously since receipt at the Apollo 14 Pin Party until consignment to Heritage Auctions. In accordance with the provisions of Public Law 112-185, I assert clear title to ownership of the subject Brush-scriber-lens, and also the right to sell or otherwise dispose of same."
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