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  Apollo 17 flown flag: orbit or surface? (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   Apollo 17 flown flag: orbit or surface?
Chuckster01
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posted 01-28-2017 07:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chuckster01   Click Here to Email Chuckster01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am looking for information on this Apollo 17 flag from Gene Cernan.

There is no question of authenticity rather if this would be a orbit or moon landed flag.

I am assuming of course that it was from Gene's PPK and not part of the OFK. I have seen the same letter but with a different date also signed by Ron Evans but I believe this flag was a personal gift by Gene.

stsmithva
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posted 01-28-2017 07:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well this is interesting — usually the provenance just says "Flown on Apollo..." with no way of knowing if it landed on the lunar surface. (But most did not.) Your letter, however, mentions that it was carried in Challenger, the lunar module - so I would think it did land on the moon.

Ken Havekotte
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posted 01-28-2017 08:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sometimes an Apollo crewman might want to include both spacecraft together since the command and lunar modules were joined together in getting to lunar orbit. Of course, though, Apollo 13 was a different situation.

But it can be both ways here, however, I do recall seeing a similar letter from Cernan as this. I just can't recall what more had been said about the flown spacecraft flag status. For some reason, though, I am more inclined to think Cernan was referring to only a CM-114 placed or stored flag and not onboard LM-12.

spaced out
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posted 01-29-2017 05:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I already touched in this issue in the Apollo 17 section of the flown flags page on my Space Flown Artifacts site but I've actually just updated the text to discuss this in more detail.

The strict rules on APK contents introduced prior to the Apollo 17 mission as a result of the investigations into the Apollo 15 covers 'scandal' limited the contents to 12 items per astronaut but there have been more of these Apollo 17 flown flags with letters appearing over the years than would fit within this limit.

It has been suggested that the rules may have been circumvented by counting a pack of e.g. 25 flags as a single 'item', thus allowing the AFKs to be the source of these multiple flags.

As far as I know no-one ever put this question explicitly to Cernan and no Apollo 17 AFK listing has been made public to-date so we simply don't know if this is the case.

This would have clearly have been contrary to both the letter and the intent of the APK rules but it's certainly possible.

So I would say that if any flags were carried in the Apollo 17 LEM this would probably have been one of them.

The letter is of course key to its provenance. Something that's been discussed elsewhere is the famous Apollo 17 'flown' flag with a copy of its letter. The back story there is that the original owner was apparently given a whole pack of flown flags with the original letter...

Chuckster01
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posted 01-29-2017 06:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chuckster01   Click Here to Email Chuckster01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I do have another Apollo 17 flown flag the clearly states flown around the moon.

This is a very interesting item and I also have a large amount of documentation on the relationship between "Robbie" and the astronauts, especially Gene and Barbra Cernan.

capoetc
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posted 01-29-2017 06:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Of course, nothing would stop someone in the chain of custody from replacing the flag with another unflown flag... for example, if the original was damaged or destroyed or lost. This is going to be the ongoing challenge with flown items that do not have any distinctive markings (serial numbers, etc).

Chuckster01
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posted 01-29-2017 07:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chuckster01   Click Here to Email Chuckster01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe that would hold true for any flown flag or patch that was not signed by the astronaut or crew. In this case I am sure the flag included is the one given with the letter.

I believe the practice of signing and certifying flown status directly on the item is fairly new. The first examples I can recall seeing are from the mid-1990s, excluding of course flown covers.

Larry McGlynn
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posted 01-29-2017 04:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the Apollo era, it turns out that NASA started carrying Official Flight Kits (OFK) on Apollo 11. At least that is what the agency's records show. In my discussions with Al Worden about the flag kits that astronauts carried, I found that each individual vacuumed packed flag kit carried an average of 218 small (4"x6") flags. The standard contents being as follows;
  • 24 US Flags
  • 51 State Flags
  • 4 Territory Flags
  • 136 International Country Flags
  • 1 International Organization Flag
Rich, Jason and I confirmed that there was such a standard kit with other astronauts and by NASA over the years. Al and others said that you could vary the number of flags (all U.S. or more state or country flags) if you had the time to think of that detail during the crammed training period for their flight. Plus astronauts carried a variety of various flags in their PPKs including (8"x10") medium and (12"x18") large size flags. Also, on occasion, an astronaut carried a very large (3'x5') US flag. Those medium, large and very large US flag are rare.

NASA kept records of items carried in the agency OFK starting with Apollo 11. They carried an average of 25 US flags per mission until Apollo 17, then they realized that they had better stock up on lunar flown US flags. Their records show that 2000 small US flags were flown for NASA on the last mission to the moon. As of 2008, NASA had 69 small lunar flown U.S. flags still in their possession. In talking with one of the deputy directors of Johnson Space Center, he said that in the beginning the U.S. flags were given to politicians as well as people of distinction in the space industry. I actually had an Apollo 17 flag presentation given to the president of MITRE Corp which included a flown embroidered Apollo 17 patch (which NASA had 440 of them carried on the mission also). Now NASA only gifts those lunar flown US and International flags to US Presidents and various heads of state around the world.

Our study is on going, but the estimate is approximately 3,200 U.S. flags of all types and sizes were carried on all Apollo missions. And the majority, about 2,275, were carried for NASA (2000 on Apollo 17) to be given as gifts to heads of state and persons of distinction within the aerospace industry. This makes U.S. flags from the various mission prior to Apollo 17 very rare as an average of 100 U.S. flags were flown on each mission from Apollo 11 to Apollo 16.

As I said, the research is still on going, so nothing is carved in stone, but hopefully that will help answer Chuck's question about the Apollo 17 U.S. flag in his possession.

Chuckster01
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posted 01-29-2017 05:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chuckster01   Click Here to Email Chuckster01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Larry as always a treasure trove of information. Unfortunately this does not clear up the question of the flag that I have.

I did however find two other examples sold by Heritage with identical letters. Both of these flags where sold as lunar landed flags.

As I understand it the NASA Official Flight Kit stayed in orbit so there is the possibly of 2000 flown to the moon flags but there are at least 10 examples of lunar landed American flags sold at auction or in the collections of people I know. Some of these landed flags where awarded by NASA to VIPs after the mission like this one.

That being said I can see no reason not to believe this flag was in fact carried to the lunar surface by Gene Cernan.

I am still waiting for a reply from Ken Havekotte, as I respect his opinion greatly and he seemed to have reservations on my conclusion.

spaced out
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posted 01-29-2017 05:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Indeed Apollo 17 flown US flag presentations (official NASA versions) are far more common than those of any previous mission, which ties in well with Larry's figures above. U.S. flags from astronaut PPKs would have outnumbered those from the OFKs for earlier missions.

This still leaves open the question of the origin of the Cernan and Evans flag/letter combinations. Their AFK lists would answer the question as to whether they carried a pack of flags as one of their 12 items.

stsmithva
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posted 01-29-2017 05:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting about how NASA continues to give out Apollo 17 flown flags. I'd always vaguely wondered why some of them are on certificates that show, along with Apollo and Skylab, a silhouette of the space shuttle, which seemed a little early for 1972.

Chuckster01
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posted 01-29-2017 05:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chuckster01   Click Here to Email Chuckster01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Was or is there an AFK list somewhere?

Larry McGlynn
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posted 01-29-2017 06:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The PPKs for Apollo 17 are public information. They list 12 items. But there are items that that have multiple items in a package. Unlike other PPKs, Apollo 17's PPKs are vague, general and are limited to 12 items. And it was a fight that went right to the top to allow the crew to carry 12 items in their PPKs.

Their PPKs don't list any flag packages, but I would assume that the crew received some of the 2000 U.S. flags to give as gifts to friends. The rest were held by NASA and they had, as of 2008, 69 U.S. flags left that were carried on Apollo 17. That was almost ten years ago, so who know how many are left in NASA's possession at this time.

I wish I could help in determining if Chuck's flag was lunar surface. The question that I have is if any of those 2,000 US flags made it to the lunar surface. I believe that NASA would know. I can tell that Gene had no Apollo 17 U.S. flags left as of 2016 that I know of, but he did still have some small U.S. flags from Apollo 10.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-29-2017 06:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Larry McGlynn:
In the Apollo era, it turns out that NASA started carrying Official Flight Kits (OFK) on Apollo 11.
Although perhaps only a matter of semantics, for clarity sake, we should probably try to keep the terminology consistent with its historic use.

Accordingly, the Official Flight Kit (OFK) flew for the first time on Apollo 17. Prior missions carried a "flag kit."

The crew members' personal mementos were flown in the Astronaut Preference Kit (APK) until STS-1, when it became the Personal Preference Kit (PPK).

rjurek349
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posted 01-29-2017 08:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rjurek349   Click Here to Email rjurek349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
About six years ago, Larry and I spent some time with Gene in Larry's hotel room in Weatherford, OK, discussing items Gene carried in his PPK. I had recently acquired Gene's three-time flown $2 bill, and he agreed to a filmed interview to discuss the bill, why he flew it, and some of his other items, especially the restrictions around what he could take after the Apollo 15 incident.

Given that he discussed PPK items, he asked that I not share the video until after his passing. In honor of his wishes, I have not... until now, for obvious reasons. I've edited out the relevant parts to the above from the over 30 minutes he granted me. Hopefully, this video can add some to the discussion. But if it was in Gene's PPK on 17, since he only had one PPK, then it also went to the surface.

SpaceAholic
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posted 01-29-2017 08:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
cS member David Scott holds the APK list (which he shared with me).

Recommend reach out to him directly (hint: apparently only a single flag flew in that pouch).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-29-2017 10:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As Larry mentioned, the Apollo 17 APK and OFK manifests are public record. They are held within the NASA History Archive at the University of Houston Clear Lake.

The only entry in Cernan's APK list that mentions a flag is no. 12:

Gemini 9/Apollo 10 memento (consisting of flag, silver dollar, 2-dollar bill, and picture of family carried as a package on both of Captain Cernan's flghts)
There are no flags listed as part of Schmitt's or Evans' APKs.
quote:
Originally posted by Chuckster01:
Some of these landed flags where awarded by NASA to VIPs after the mission...
It would not surprise me if NASA's wording — "This flag was carried to Taurus Littrow Valley of the Moon," was inaccurate. The Apollo 17 OFK remained aboard the command module and the mission did not carry a flag kit on the lunar module.

spaced out
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posted 01-30-2017 01:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
As Larry mentioned, the Apollo 17 APK and OFK manifests are public record. They are held within the NASA History Archive at the University of Houston Clear Lake.
Is there anything preventing copies of these lists from being published online - e.g. in the collectSPACE resources section?

spaced out
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posted 01-30-2017 01:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It seems clear from the above that no pack of mini flags was taken to the surface in the Apollo 17 astronaut APKs.

As Larry says the question is then - did any of NASA's 2,000 US flags in OFK make it to the surface? The rules seem to be clear that the OFK would remain in the CM and I don't remember seeing any OFK in the LM to CM transfer list but that doesn't rule it out completely.

Chuckster01
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posted 01-30-2017 04:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chuckster01   Click Here to Email Chuckster01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is one problem with the APK list discussed here. Both Gene Cernan and Ron Evans have sold flags from there personal collection at auction with "Flown to the lunar surface" written on the flag. If no flags where flown to the surface did they lie?

If they flew one flag each that would have to be wrapped in fireproof material in order to fly could it have been a package of 25 shared by the astronauts? I have no idea but I have seen two flags certified by Cernan or Evans as lunar landed and there may be more I have not seen?

In addition I have an Apollo 17 flag listed as "Flown to the Moon" why produce an award certificate that says carried to "Taurus Littrow Valley of the Moon" if it was only in lunar orbit? These flags have also been sold at auction listed as lunar landed.

For me the only issue is am I holding something that has been on the surface of the moon? I get chills thinking about it as I have several items that have been in lunar orbit but only an Apollo 14 lanyard that has been to the surface and it is laminated.

Larry McGlynn
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posted 01-30-2017 07:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you watch the 2010 interview that Rich videotaped in 2010 with Gene Cernan, I think it answers questions about ways that flags could have gotten into the AFK.

capoetc
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posted 01-30-2017 10:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Was the addressee of the letter the Gordon Robinson who provided security for some of the astronauts' families during the launches at the Cape?

If so, that would strengthen the provenance. I would recommend that you type up a letter and sign it in the presence of a notary — the letter should state everything you know about the chain of custody of the letter and flag. This will be particularly helpful if you acquired the flag and letter directly from Mr. Robinson's family.

For what it's worth, barring some new information coming out about the flown flags, I don't think you will ever be able to safely claim that this flag flew to the surface. Even if 25, 50 or 250 flags are verified to have gone to the surface, you will likely never be able to verify that this particular flag was one of those surface-flown examples.

That's okay, though... it is a cool item regardless. Just don't lose the letter or allow it to get separated from the flag, and advise any future owners to carefully document the chain of custody.

Ken Havekotte
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posted 01-30-2017 11:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good advice and comments from everyone above concerning the Apollo 17 flown flags, however, I am (and never was) comfortable with "those letters" from Cernan and Evans in 1975 about such flown flags on their lunar voyage.

Having said that, I just can't see crewmen having access to so many carried/flown flags rather on the lunar surface or not after Apollo 16.

As Cernan pointed out in the video, provided by Larry and Rich, the crew themselves had hardly no souvenirs or very little with them on Apollo 17.

Concerning any official NASA-stored flags aboard both Apollo 17 spacecrafts (rather OFKs, state dept. add-ons, etc.), that would be another research study required (guys)?

Larry McGlynn
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posted 01-30-2017 02:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jim Fletcher and George Low were involved in the Apollo 17 flag and AFK decisions. Also, included with the Apollo 17 crew AFK lists, there is a letter directly from Fletcher stating what was included in the OFK.

He personally listed the objects to be carried. It included 50 Apollo 17 medallions as well as flight wings as well as Apollo 17 patches. The crew got a quantity of those flags and I tend to think that they are all lunar orbit, but... read below.

To start out, in Fletcher's letter about (in general) any changes in APKs and OFKs, Fletcher, the NASA Administrator at the time, listed 609 Apollo 17 patches, but the NASA inventory for that flight lists a total 440. In the last paragraph of his letter, he states that if there are any changes due to weight considerations, to advise him. Maybe NASA dumped 169 patches due to weight.

Issues like that have made it hard to attempt to interpolate or generalize what each mission carried for any souvenirs such as flags. There were guidelines, but there were variations on every mission. That has made it tough to come to an exact total of flags or which spacecraft that they flew in.

As an example, I was under the impression that no flags flew to the surface on Apollo 11 in the NASA flag kit, yet there are Apollo 11 flags that NASA presented to personnel, such as Deke Slayton, that state "lunar surface" flown. Maybe a flag kit got to the lunar surface? So there is more room for further study, but it takes research efforts such as archival research for documents, interviews and making connections to get that information.

And don't really rely on auction lot descriptions as the bible. Those descriptions are only as good as the expertise of the people involved with the auction house. Some are good and some are...

I am running into a similar conundrum on the Snoopy pins carried during the Apollo era as I noted in another thread on this message board. I can come to a conclusion based review of PPK lists that I have seen and with talking to members of all the Apollo crews that there are a total of between 90 to 110 Snoopy pins that flew on all 11 Apollo missions (not per mission, but all missions), but I just can't quite nail the exact number down due to some differing information.

I have found that to be the case with all the various souvenirs and spacecraft objects that were carried by all the guys on all the missions. But that is the fun of the research.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 01-30-2017 02:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Regardless of whether the flags in question were flown it was just so good to see Gene once more: and in a relaxed, candid situation.

Thank you Larry and Richard for making that happen and Richard for sharing the video.

Given how few items Gene and the rest of the crew flew on Apollo 17, I'd be interested to know how many if any, of the oversized AB Emblem mission patches were flown and did they make it to the surface: the patches with their initials embroidered in to the ground.

I paid a visit to AB Emblem in 1995 and one of each are displayed in the foyer as having flown.

Ken Havekotte
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posted 01-30-2017 02:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Larry for the good input and keep up the excellent work in trying to nail down the issues concerning all of the flown Apollo U.S. and other flags.

And by the way, what does the research and records show for Apollo 7 flown/carried Snoopy pins? I've got/know of Snoopy pins flown by Lovell on Apollo 8, but never got a breakdown of the number of Snoopy pins flown on each of the 11 manned Apollo flights?

Chuckster01
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posted 01-30-2017 03:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chuckster01   Click Here to Email Chuckster01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I hope the last post on arguing history on this point.

It is listed and stated here that Gene Cernan only flew one flag (and as the video says not a small one),. Ron Evans and Jack Schmitt flew none in there APKs.

There are in auction archives at least one small flown flag from each Cernan and Evans where they have written on the flag and signed that flag as lunar landed. This would contradict the APK list.

If needed I can post pictures of both flags.

Larry McGlynn
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posted 01-30-2017 03:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ken, I listed my research on another thread, but I just looked at my notes.
  • Apollo 7: 3 (Walt confirmed that number on the list)
  • Apollo 8: 5
  • Apollo 9: 7 or 21 (based on the notation ea. beside the number)
  • Apollo 10: 6 (The General isn't sure of the number, but Gene's list said 6)
  • Apollo 11: 0 None known
  • Apollo 12: 3
  • Apollo 13: 30 or 51 (Most carried were on this mission)
  • Apollo 14: 1 (Seen on the Apollo 14 PPKs in Edgar's possession)
  • Apollo 15: 5 (Dave confirmed that he only had five and they were in his suit pocket)
  • Apollo 16: 1
  • Apollo 17: 0 (there is no mention of Snoopy pins on the AFK, but the word pin is mentioned several times and maybe a few are Snoopy pins. I just have never seen one)
Because of some listings and descriptions and the memory of the astronaut, the number is approximate on Apollo 9, 10, 13 and 17. That why I give a range.

I know from talking with every crew about Snoopy pins, they usually took a hand full with the exception of Apollo 13 (which I find ironic). Dave Scott told me that when he and Wally presented Snoopy pins after Apollo 7, they were not flown pins.

Based on all the interviews and documentation such as an astronaut who was willing to show me his AFK list, I was able to determine that flown Snoopy pins from the Apollo era are not very prevalent. I am giving a range of between 61 and 96. But I just keep working on getting more data to get an exact number.

Snoopy pins and US flags are rarer than we originally thought. The funny thing is that Apollo 17 US flags were thought to be almost non-existent, then we find out 2000 were carried.

The large US flags are very rare. I estimate that there maybe 20 to 30 large format lunar surface US flags. Most crews carried one or two large US flags in their AFKs, which would mean between 3 or 6 large flags in each mission. But there are exceptions like Apollo 12 which carried many 12x18 inch US flags.

And that's about all our research so far on Snoopy pins and US flags.

Larry McGlynn
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posted 01-30-2017 03:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Chuckster01:
If needed I can post pictures of both flags.
Chuck post them.

spaced out
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posted 01-30-2017 04:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember that Cernan added a "Flown to the lunar surface" inscription to one of these flags a few years back. I believe he said the wording of the letter implied it was LEM flown and said that such flags were rare.

This was 40 years after the fact and I don't believe the person having the inscription added pushed for an explanation as to where/how any flags were carried in the LEM. The flag was resold as lunar surface flown not long after.

Just to clarify, I'm not saying here that I don't think it was true, just that we don't have any explanation at the moment how flags may have been carried in the LEM.

I'd be interested to see the Evans inscribed example as this might give an additional clue.

Ken Havekotte
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posted 01-30-2017 05:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Many thanks Larry and let me check with a few of the AFK inventory lists that I do have, Irwin for sure, regarding the possibility of any other flown Snoopy pins.

Getting back to the flown Apollo 17 flags topic, I do know of at least two (2) types of NASA presentation formats of the "2,000" flags made reference to here earlier. One was presented to veteran space reporter Mary Bubb and another, with a different display or design format, was given to Cecil Jenkins, both of the Florida Space Coast/Kennedy Space Center.

The Jenkins flag for the final lunar landing mission did indicate that the US flag went to the Taurus-Littrow region of the moon, which does indeed pose the mysterious question of rather it did or not travel to the lunar surface.

I have never been able to answer that question, or similar ones to it, but I have always thought of them to be part of the flight's OFK for lunar orbit and not landing (from information during that era of the early/mid-1970s, but not confirmed).

There may also be a slight mis-wording or understanding when referred to the landing site area. Just because the text description of the Jenkins American flag indicates that it was flown to Taurus-Littrow doesn't necessarily mean that it was in fact aboard LM-12. It would certainly seem so, however, for several decades I've always had a different opinion of such an assumption in the case of Apollo 17.

Chuckster01
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posted 01-30-2017 05:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chuckster01   Click Here to Email Chuckster01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Chuckster01:
If needed I can post pictures of both flags.
Okay, here is the Gene Cernan flag (Heritage lot 41225 from October 2008) and the Evans flag sold as landed (Heritage lot 40490 in April 2013), but I am sure I have seen one written on the flag so I am still looking.

The Evans one is very interesting as to Gene's inscription:

To Jay, This Flag Was With Me, To This Place I Called Home! Gene Cernan
I did speak to someone today who has great knowledge of the astronauts and the Apollo program and I was given one good piece of advice: "Do not make definitive statements about what the astronauts did or what they flew. These guys had a way of circumventing the rules." You never know for sure.

Larry McGlynn
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posted 01-30-2017 06:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ken Havekotte:
...Irwin for sure, regarding the possibility of any other flown Snoopy pins.
Ken, Irwin carried one Snoopy pin for Pete. That was accounted for in my numbers.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-30-2017 06:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Chuckster01:
These guys had a way of circumventing the rules.
I would perhaps suggest that it is less a matter of rules as it is memory.

With a few notable exceptions, the mementos meant very little to the astronauts — at least as compared to other aspects of their missions. They didn't give much thought to them until collectors came asking decades later.

There have been astronauts who have gotten major details of their own missions wrong, so why would we expect to them to have photographic memories when it comes to their souvenirs? This is in no way a criticism; in fact, it is the opposite. It is acknowledging that they are just like everyone else. No one can be expected to remember the fine details of what they did years ago.

As for the NASA presentations, we know the agency isn't perfect when it comes to knowing its own history (even recent history) and in fairness, the agency was never concerned with the posterity of these items. The flags were meant as a token of gratitude, nothing more, so if being vague in its description so as not to distinguish between orbit and surface, so be it.

These flown presentations and mementos were never intended to be sold. They weren't created with the market concerns in mind. Neither were they viewed as artifacts, which NASA treated with more care (in some cases). So it is perhaps to be expected, however unfortunate, that there will be questions about their history that we will never be able to definitively answer.

Larry McGlynn
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Posts: 1181
From: Boston, MA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 01-30-2017 06:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The flag to Jay Barbree is inconclusive, but I believe I know where the flag that is inscribed as flown to the Moon came from. I think that flag was in Noah Bradley's collection. I would need to more provenance on it.

As I have said, there are exceptions to the NASA guidelines. People did smuggle things on board Apollo spacecraft and sometimes they even got caught. More to come on that story, I have more research to do.

Ken Havekotte
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Posts: 2718
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 01-30-2017 09:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well said Robert, and Larry too, and for Chuck, remember that the primary topic on this was for Apollo 17.

You must take into consideration that the final Apollo lunar voyage was severely limited or cut-back as far as flight souvenirs go. New top NASA management rules, regulations, and guidelines were strictly enforced after Apollo 16 concerning future crewmen's personal flight kits.

The flown lunar covers aboard Apollo 15, along with prior astronaut signings and other activities, were very much limited and prohibited in most cases of what a prime crewmember would be permitted to carry with him. The hardest hit mission was indeed, for sure, Apollo 17! Even the traditional unflown pre-launch signed insurance cachet covers for Apollo 17 were not completed and/or abandoned altogether.

Simply put, in my opinion and from other sources, Cernan, Evans and Schmitt were in no way going to "circumvent the rules" as they did not want to disappoint or upset their astronaut boss along other agency top brass officials.

Deke Slayton had future Apollo, Skylab and ASTP crews sign paperwork assuring that no rules and/or regulations would be broken in any way, shape, or form before an Apollo astronaut would leave the ground on a space trip. He made sure of that!

Chuckster01
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Posts: 724
From: Orlando, FL
Registered: Jan 2014

posted 04-07-2017 05:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chuckster01   Click Here to Email Chuckster01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, here is a NASA issued flag that states it was flown to the surface to the moon on Apollo 17. Comments welcome.

If you want to see the entire award I will have to mask the name.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 40915
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-07-2017 06:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Experience suggests that NASA used that exact and similar language ("Carried to the [landing site]") to refer to both lunar surface and orbit-only flown flags. Unless it explicitly states "flown to the lunar surface on the [name of the lunar module]" I would suggest you cannot be certain.

capoetc
Member

Posts: 2111
From: McKinney TX (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 04-07-2017 07:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
...I would suggest you cannot be certain.
Absolutely concur. No one at the time was considering that 50 years later the distinction might matter.

Chuckster01
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Posts: 724
From: Orlando, FL
Registered: Jan 2014

posted 04-14-2017 02:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chuckster01   Click Here to Email Chuckster01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Will be interesting to see what the flag listed on RR will sell for.


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