Lot 153

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Apollo XI PSA Mint +9.5 Insurance Cover Signed by Armstrong, Aldrin & Collins, From Buzz Aldrin Family Space Collection

A NASA Manned Spacecraft Center Stamp Club Official Commemorative Cover, "First Manned Lunar Exploration," signed by all three Apollo XI crew members: Commander Neil Armstrong (1930-2012) as "Neil Armstrong" at top center; Command Module Pilot Michael Collins (1930-2021) as "Michael Collins" at center middle; and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr. (born 1930) as "Buzz Aldrin" at center bottom. Signed during the weeks preceding their July 16-July 24, 1969 mission, and later postmarked from Houston, Texas, home of the NASA Command Center, on July 20, 1969. Bearing a canceled Apollo 8 6¢ stamp. Encapsulated and PSA/DNA certified and graded Mint +9.5. Expected philatelic markings recto and verso. Near fine. The envelope measures 6.5" x 3.625" while the slab measures 9.5" x 4.625." Provenance: Comes with a Bill of Sale dated August 29, 2001 from Peachstate Historical Consulting, Inc. (Norcross, Georgia.)

The envelope, with its brilliant color cachet capped with an Apollo XI mission emblem, depicts an artist's rendering of astronauts exploring the moon's surface. When these covers were signed, no one had ever stepped on the moon, so its exact characteristics were left to the artist's imagination. Another yawning unknown--whether Armstrong, Collins, and Aldrin would survive their dangerous mission. One of the best explanations of mission insurance covers and their role was provided by the Buzz Aldrin Family Space Collection. They wrote elsewhere: "The Covers were produced for the crew to sign together in pre-flight quarantine, shortly before launch to the Moon, and then leave behind with their families as a form of insurance that could be sold should they fail to return…These Covers played an integral role in the flight, giving the crew confidence they had left behind a tangible asset that could be sold, if needed, to raise money for their families. This permitted them to focus completely on their mission, which culminated in mankind's first historic lunar landing on July 20, 1969."

While on the moon, the astronauts took photographs, placed a TV camera, collected geological samples, set up seismic and laser experiments, and even received a celebratory phone call from President Nixon. They planted an American flag on the surface and also left behind a commemorative plaque.

Insurance covers are valued among collectors because the specific time and place of the signings were so well-established, thus virtually guaranteeing the authenticity of the crew signatures.

An incredible asset to any space collector!

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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December 14, 2022 11:00 AM EST
Wilton, CT, US

University Archives

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Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
$0 $99 $10
$100 $299 $20
$300 $499 $25
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $2,999 $200
$3,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 + $5,000