Description

    Apollo 13: An Early Copy of the Legendary Towing Bill Sent to North American Rockwell by Grumman. This is one of the original Grumman photocopies, 8.25" x 10.75" in size, of the humorous towing bill that Grumman sent to Rockwell just after the successful return of the Apollo 13 astronauts from their near-disastrous trip to the moon and back. One of the great historical oddities of all time emerged during the final hours of the Apollo 13 crisis, as the LM was being powered up and reheated for final injection into Earth trajectory on April 17, 1970, at which point it finally became possible for Grumman's engineers to believe that the crew would survive. John Hussey and his men, "slap-happy from relief and from days without sleep," prepared a "Towing Bill" for Rockwell (builders of the crippled CSM). After having hauled Rockwell's capsule and its service module back to Earth with the Lunar Module's engines, the engineers decided to charge four dollars for the first mile, one dollar each additional mile, with (among other additional surcharges) an invoice for use of the LM's jumper cable to recharge the Command Module's batteries. The bill was typed, photocopied, passed around, and recopied until, inevitably, one of the copies ended up on newscaster Walter Cronkite's desk. Grumman and NASA management, to say nothing of Rockwell management, "were not laughing," according to Hussey. For many months afterward, concerned citizens who took the joke seriously sent Grumman envelopes containing money, to help Rockwell pay the 400,000 mile towing bill. This particular bill bears a handwritten inscription, written in the early 1980s: "One of the old, original (amazing multiplying) copies/ of Grumman's Apollo 13 towing bill to Rockwell/ - Charles R. Pellegrino." This is the actual inscribed copy published in Pellegrino and Stoff's Chariots for Apollo. A copy of this fascinating book is included with the lot, signed by Pellegrino. Excellent condition. From the collection of scientist and author Charles Pellegrino.

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2011
    30th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
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