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    Rare flown gold Robbins Medal from the mission commander

    Apollo-Soyuz Test Project Flown Gold Robbins Medallion, Serial Number F, Originally from the Collection of Mission Commander Tom Stafford, with Extensive Signed Letter of Authenticity. This 35mm diameter 10K gold medal is one of only three minted in gold for Stafford and flown aboard the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, the first international manned space effort, July 17-19, 1975, with U.S. crewmembers Thomas Stafford, Vance Brand, & Deke Slayton and Soviet crewmembers Alexei Leonov & Valery Kubasov. An incredible rarity, worthy of the finest collections. Includes the original case with sticker. An absolutely gorgeous medal!

    Included with this lot is a signed LOA on Stafford, Burke and Hecker letterhead reading, in full: "The enclosed with this letter is a 10K gold Apollo Soyuz medallion that was flown on the historic Apollo Soyuz docking mission during July 1975. It is one of only three gold medallions I had made by the Robbins Company for my direct personal use. The medallion features our mission emblem showing both Apollo and Soyuz space vehicles just prior to docking, with the earth below and a brilliant sun above. The last names of all Apollo and Soyuz crew members are along the outer rim. The reverse reads FIRST JOINT U.S. - U.S.S.R. FLIGHT. The Apollo launch date of July 15, 1975 and the Apollo entry date of July 24, 1975 are engraved on the reverse. It has 10K and the letter F, for Flown, engraved along the rim. Included is the original Robbins plastic storage case.

    "Being the commander for the Apollo vehicle of Apollo Soyuz was the end of my long career as a NASA astronaut. I was selected in 1962 with the second group of astronauts and was pilot for the Gemini 6 mission of December 1965, which made the first manned rendezvous in space with Gemini 7. I next commanded Gemini IX in June 1966. When the Apollo flights started, I was selected to command Apollo X which carried the first Lunar Module (LM) to the moon. Gene Cernan and I took our LM we called Snoopy to within 50,000 feet of the surface. We tested and confirmed the techniques required to make the first lunar landing of Apollo 11 possible just two months later in July 1969.

    "Just after Apollo 11, the Soviets started conversations about a possible joint mission with the United States. After about two years, things began to show progress and the technical details started to enable an earth orbit flight during the summer of 1975. By late 1972, I was selected as Apollo Commander. Donald "Deke" Slayton and Vance Brand were soon added to my crew. The Russians picked Aleksei Leonov and Valery Kubasov to fly Soyuz. We had extensive training together for the next 2 1/2 years.

    "Soyuz was launched into orbit first on July 15 and my Apollo crew followed some 7½ hours later that day. After a nearly 2 day rendezvous sequence, we made the first manned docking of international space vehicles on July 17. After entering our common docking module, I opened the hatch and greeted Aleksei where we shook hands then exchanged gifts and ceremonial flags, plus signed certificates confirming this historic event. All five of us later shared various different periods of conducting scientific experiments inside our docking module during our 44 hour docked mission. We undocked with Soyuz and two days later on July 21, Soyuz returned to earth. My crew remained in orbit and three days later returned to earth on July 24.

    "I had hoped that this flight would start a new beginning of U.S. and Soviet corporation. However, various world events continued the Cold War for over 15 more years. With the Soviet Union collapse in 1991, we finally moved closer on many fronts. Cooperation with the International Space Station is just once example of what Apollo Soyuz helped to start back in 1975."

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2019
    9th-11th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 992

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