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  Apollo 13 flown LM Lunar Surface Checklist donated to Space Center Houston

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Author Topic:   Apollo 13 flown LM Lunar Surface Checklist donated to Space Center Houston
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29337
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-15-2008 11:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Space Center Houston's blog:

We have been offered quite a few artifacts over the past years. From spare parts for a Saturn V Moon rocket to a cigar butt smoked by a former flight director, it is always interesting to see what shows up at our front door. While each item carries with it an interesting piece of history, it doesn't always meet the criteria for our permanent collection. However, there are those rare and amazing pieces you just can't pass up.

Moments after the explosion on Apollo 13, any hope of landing on the Moon was abandoned. Despite the disaster, history would ultimately label Apollo 13 as NASA's most "successful failure". Space Center Houston is now honored to host a rare artifact from one of NASA's finest hours. An artifact that would today be forgotten on the surface on the Moon if things had gone as planned.

On a perfect mission, Jim Lovell would have picked up this artifact shortly after landing. It is a collection of pages held together with three metal rings. Although it is marked as the "final copy," various pages are marked in longhand with last minute notes and reminders. The Apollo 13 Lunar Surface Checklist would have served as the crews guide during the exploration of the lunar surface. Although it conjures up memories of a nearly disastrous mission, it also gives some unique insight to the mission planning and how an alternate reality might have played out.

One of the greatest joys of working with artifacts is meeting the people with whom they are associated.

Scott Millican is the author of the Lunar Surface Checklist and the donor of this rare piece of history. He worked in the crew procedures division during Projects Gemini, Apollo, Apollo/Soyuz, and Skylab -America's first space station. He was working in mission control on the day that an electrical arc sparked an oxygen tank explosion thus crippling Apollo 13. As problems were resolved, it became evident that Scott's intimate knowledge of the lunar lander Aquarius played a vital role of the timely assembly of a carbon dioxide filter to purify the air in the spacecraft.

After the crew's safe return, the crew arranged a special thank you for his important role in returning them safely. On the cover of the checklist the crew inscribed this message:

"To Scott-

This document flew to the Moon on Aquarius 11 - 17 April 1970. Thanks from the Apollo 13 crew.

James Love Jack Swigert Fred Haise"

When displaying artifacts, you're always limited with how much history you can reveal about the object. Sometimes, in the interest of preservation, interesting features of an object (or even the object itself) will never be displayed. In this case, the checklist has been displayed face down to preserve the crew's inscription on the cover. Over time UV rays can cause ink to fade away and certain papers to become yellow and brittle. However, working closely with our fabricators, security team, and exhibits department, we've arranged to feature unique elements of this amazing document.

Space Center Houston would like to express our thanks to Mr. Millican for his service to NASA and his generous donation to Space Center Houston.

The Apollo 13 checklist can be viewed in the Starship Gallery at Space Center Houston.

LCDR Scott Schneeweis
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posted 09-16-2008 05:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice to see at least one intact lunar flown checklist that will be protected from separation and having its individual pages disseminated around the globe...

------------------
Scott Schneeweis
http://www.SPACEAHOLIC.com/

ejectr
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Posts: 1519
From: Brimfield, MA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 09-16-2008 05:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Too bad all three didn't use the same pen as Swigert. His autograph doesn't look like it would ever fade.

Larry McGlynn
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Posts: 818
From: Boston, MA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 09-16-2008 07:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Scott,

There are sixteen flown complete checklists up this way that have been saved from separation and dissemination.

------------------
Larry McGlynn
A Tribute to Apollo
www.apollotribute.blogspot.com

freshspot
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Posts: 287
From: Lexington, MA, USA
Registered: Dec 2005

posted 09-17-2008 04:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for freshspot   Click Here to Email freshspot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Scott, I've been over to see Larry's collection several times. Amazing. The intact checklists are a pleasure to flip through.

Dave Scott
(not the astronaut)
http://www.apolloartifacts.com/

SRB
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Posts: 258
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Registered: Jan 2001

posted 09-23-2008 03:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SRB   Click Here to Email SRB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have suggested to the person who posted this nice write-up about the A-13 Lunar Surface Checklist that he (or she) correct the name of the first astronaut who signed the inscription to "James Lovell", not "James Love."

LCDR Scott Schneeweis
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posted 09-23-2008 04:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Larry McGlynn:
There are sixteen flown complete checklists up this way that have been saved from separation and dissemination.
Outstanding - because of the astronaut annotations applied in-flight, each is unique and therefore worthy of consolidated preservation...

RocketmanRob
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Posts: 256
From: New York City USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 09-23-2008 07:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RocketmanRob   Click Here to Email RocketmanRob     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Larry:

With all of the great items you have we can only hope that one day you open a museum! It would be well worth the admission. Thanks for preserving these important items.

Rob

Podge
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posted 09-26-2008 10:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Podge   Click Here to Email Podge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LCDR Scott Schneeweis:
Nice to see at least one intact lunar flown checklist that will be protected from separation and having its individual pages disseminated around the globe...
There are a number of Flown Complete checklists in the latest Heritage auction (including Apollo 13). I was amazed at how little $ they cost ($3 - $7k). It would be quite easy, I guess, to get these checklists "broken up" in front of a Notary, and then perhaps over a period of time attach the relevant astronauts signatures. Each page would easily sell for $1k or so (IMO) on eBay etc. making it possible to make circa $35k!! I can see why people split the checklists up!

Have I got my maths wrong?

PS. Although tempting (because I REALLY could do with the cash!), I wouldn't be able to live with myself for breaking up a complete checklist. On the other hand... my first purchase was a page from the Apollo 11 G&N Dictionary. If that hadn't been broken up, I (and I guess most of us) would never have been able to afford the complete item. Just a thought.

PPS. I WON'T be bidding on these items! (Get thee behind me Satan!)

Brian Maguire

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