Description

    "So much for explorers naming rights!"

    Apollo 8 Flown "Target of Opportunity Flight Chart (ATO)" with Crew-Named Crater Notations Directly from the Personal Collection of Mission Command Module Pilot James Lovell, with Signed LOA. An extremely interesting and historical chart flown aboard man's first flight to the moon. Measures 57" continuous (taped together- displays as two sides of 28.5" wide) x 14", a map of the lunar surface with the seventh revolution tracked, as "Prepared under the direction of the Department of Defense by the Aeronautical Chart and Information Center, United States Air Force, for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration", being "Edition 1, 1 November 1968" for a "21 December 1968 Launch Date". "Lovell" is written in red ink at bottom margin and there are dozens of handwritten notations on the map being the names given by Bill Anders to various craters on the equatorial zone of the moon's far side before the flight. These were to be used as aids in spotting landmarks for photographic purposes during the mission. The names given are generally based on names of astronauts, NASA leaders, and U.S. locations. As Lovell explains in the accompanying LOA, these names were submitted to the IAU after the flight for official recognition but were refused. A fascinating and little known piece of history. Chart shows signs of use, overall fine.

    Starting at 90E on the "front" and progressing down, here is a partial list of the crater names as written pre-flight with the corresponding "official" IAU nomenclature in parentheses: Collins (Brunner/ Hirayama), Houston (Sklodowska), Anders (Backlund), Charlesworth (Saha), Borman (Pasteur), Lovell (Hilbert), Mattingly, Haise (Kondratyuk), Aldrin (Langemak N), Armstrong (Langemak), Brand (Danjon X), Carr (Perepelkin), Slayton (Chauvenet), Florida (Mendeleev- southern part), Kraft (Marconi), Texas (Gagarin), Webb (Chaplygin), Paine (Beijerunck), Apollo (west of Keeler), Gemini (Keeler), Mercury (Heaviside), Washington (Aitken), Shepard (Racah), Phillips (Daedalus), Low (Icarus), America (Korolev), Givens, Freeman (Kibal'chich), Debus (Vavilov), Gilruth (Hertzsprung), Williams (Lucretius), and Schmitt (northwest Grachev). In every case, we like the names given by Apollo 8 much better.

    In 2013, both Bill Anders and James Lovell went public regarding the IAU not recognizing these crater names by writing letters that were published in the New Scientist magazine. Anders wrote: "I was a member of the first crewed flight around the moon. In training, I chose names for a few of the unnamed craters along our orbital track. These included America, Kennedy and Houston, as well as the names of crew (Borman, Lovell and Anders) and NASA colleagues and leaders. These were recorded on our lunar orbital map and used during the mission... I thought these names would have some priority, but when the IAU honoured our crew with crater names, it picked three craters that were not only well out of sight of our orbital track, but also in darkness at the time of our mission. I wrote to the IAU to try to correct this and even included the flight map. I got brushed off by its bureaucracy - and never got my map back." Lovell's letter added: "I agree with the views of my fellow Apollo 8 crew member William Anders on the naming of lunar landmarks. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) disregarded his suggestions, even though we discovered the craters on the far side of the moon." Luckily, Lovell didn't lose his map and one shrewd bidder can claim it for their own.

    Included with this lot is a signed Letter of Certification from Lovell on his company letterhead stating, in full: "This lunar flight chart was flown on Apollo 8 and indicated Apollo 8's projected path around the moon. The craters on the far side were photographed by NASA's Lunar Orbiter satellite that photographed the far side in 1966 and 1967. The chart was made from those photos to help the crew identify craters on the far side. Bill Anders, Apollo 8's photographer gave names to the far side craters prior to the flight to help spot them as we observed the far side. After the flight he submitted the names to the International Astronautical Union for official recognition. The IAU refused to accept our suggestions and did the naming themselves. So much for explorers naming rights! This chart is from my personal collection of space artifacts and has been in my possession since the mission."




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    Auction Dates
    May, 2016
    20th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
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