John Young's Unused, Flown Flatware Set from the First Space Shuttle Flight.Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-1) Flown Complete Engraved Dinnerware Set Directly From the Personal Collection of Mission Commander John Young. This is an amazing lot in that this five-piece set of utensils is still together in both original sealed plastic bags (one inside the other). It consists of: (1) a 6.75" Community Stainless tablespoon; (2) a 6" Community Stainless teaspoon; (3) a 6.5" Community Stainless fork; (4) a 6" Community Stainless table knife; and (5) a 2" x 0.75" can opener marked "Made in England" with a small piece of Velcro attached. The four pieces of flatware are all engraved on both sides of the handle, with "SHUTTLE" on the front and "14" on the back. The inner sealed bag is 8" x 3.5" and has a piece of Velcro attached along with a 2" x 0.75" piece of masking tape, and a 0.875" x 0.625" label with the text, "SERIAL NO. FBJ 484". The outer sealed bag is 9.5" x 6". Excellent condition. An historic, still-sealed tableware set flown on the very first shuttle mission, rare as such.
This mission was the first test flight of likely the most complex spacecraft ever built. It was impossible to test many of the systems on the ground so John Young, one of NASA's most experienced astronauts, was chosen, along with Robert Crippen, to take Columbia on her "shakedown" cruise, April 12-14, 1981. There were quite a few "anomalies" (a NASA word for problems) and the crewmembers were kept quite engaged with their duties. Young has stated that this was the most harrowing of all his six missions. Worthy of the finest collections.
Included with this lot is a signed Letter of Certification from John Young stating: "I hereby certify that the sealed silverware set (2 spoons, 1 knife, 1 fork, 1 can opener) that accompanies this letter, sticker tagged FBJ 484, was my silverware set and was flown with me aboard STS-1 April 12-14, 1981. It was unused and is still sealed because we ate mostly sandwiches during the mission and did not have a need for the utensils. It has been a part of my personal collection since the mission."
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