It has been a while since we have seen high space exploration material here at Dreweatts, so we are pleased to present the Space Exploration Photography and Ephemera auction on Tuesday 30 June.
The sale features a rich variety of items from the lovingly-crafted personal collection of passionate astronomer-hobbyist David J. Hasdell. All objects were collected by David himself or obtained for David by a relative who worked at the Boston Globe in the 1960s and acquired them directly from NASA or its contractors.
Lunar, earth, and planetary photography make a strong showing in this sale with a selection of 68 large format Lunar Orbiter prints. Lot 10, an image of emerging Earth as seen from the Moon is a particularly striking print. Most of what can be seen on the Moon is the far side with the Tsiolkovsky crater prominently featured in the medium resolution image.
This second earthrise image (Frame 117) was taken on 25 August 1966 at 13:02:05 GMT, two days after its twin and the first famous image of the Earth (Frame 102). Both photographs show similar composition and viewing angles. Both pictures were not included in the original mission plan. Taking these images required that the spacecraft's attitude in relation to the lunar surface be changed so that the camera's lenses were pointing away from the Moon. Such maneuvering meant a calculated risk and, coming early in the flight, the unplanned photograph of Earth raised some doubts among Boeing management about the safety of the spacecraft - especially on the very first Lunar Orbiter mission.
Then there are the scarcely seen lunar charts, with the sale highlight being Lot 42 – four sets of maps charting out the photography of Apollo 14, 15, 26 and 17 missions. Each map has a legend which lists a group of camera frame numbers associated with each orbital pass using different colours, either red, purple, green and black. This method enhances the clarity of the maps when images overlap.
The collection features a broad selection of other vintage ephemera, especially original press kits and press releases by NASA and its contractors providing insight into the - often early - details of NASA’s space programme.
Lot 40 containing the original NASA press kit for the Apollo 11 mission is sure to catch the eye of many collectors. This very comprehensive, illustrated document provided the press with every possible fact about this landmark mission and is an exhaustive reference to it. The contents comprised of chapters describing every detail of the mission, from programme management and crew information, through technical description of the spacecraft and its equipment, to mission's scientific objectives and post-mission activities.
This is a timed online auction running from 12 - 30 June.
Sign up for auction alerts and our monthly newsletter to receive expert analysis and insights from our specialists and keep up-to-date on forthcoming auctions, valuation days and previews.