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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/26/2021
Apollo 16 moonwalker Charlie Duke signed handwritten essay about serving as Apollo 11 Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) during the tense moments of the first moon landing. In riveting detail, Duke describes how the system's computer was guiding the Eagle into a crater, forcing Neil Armstrong to assume control of the landing, with only seconds of fuel remaining. Essay reads in full,

''On July 20, 1969, I was the Apollo 11 Mission Control Capsule Communicator, or 'CAPCOM' for Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin during mankind's first landing on the moon!

As such, I became the first person in history to ever speak with humans on another world, as I confirmed their report of a successful landing with my transmittal reply, 'We copy you down, Eagle!'

Although we sounded calm, the minutes leading up to that historic landing were filled with tension and high drama. During Eagle's descent, its onboard computer suddenly warned that it was overloaded and about to fail! The crew bravely pushed on, just minutes away from landing on The Sea of Tranquility!

Then in the final moments before landing, the crew realized that the computer was about to land them in a boulder filled crater, which might have resulted in a crash! Man then triumphed over computers as Neil quickly assumed control, safely missing the crater, but leaving the Eagle with only seconds of fuel left!

Finally, at 4:18 PM, with barely 20 seconds of fuel remaining, Buzz Aldrin transmitted the words we were desperately waiting to hear: 'Contact Light, OK, Engine Stop' signifying that the Eagle's footpad probes had touched the moon, and I responded 'We Copy You Down, Eagle!'

Moments later, Neil Armstrong transmitted 'Houston Tranquility Base Here. The Eagle has landed!' We all breathed a sigh of relief, and I gratefully replied 'Roger, Tranquility, we copy you on the ground...you've got a bunch of guys about to turn blue...we're breathing again...Thanks a lot!'

So ended a very long day at MCC, and a very historic moment for mankind!' / Charlie Duke / APOLLO 11 CAPCOM''. Single page measures 8.5'' x 11'', on Duke's custom Apollo 16 stationery. Near fine condition.
Charlie Duke Signed Handwritten Essay on Serving as Apollo 11 CAPCOM -- ''...Neil quickly assumed control, safely missing the crater, but leaving the Eagle with only seconds of fuel left!...''Charlie Duke Signed Handwritten Essay on Serving as Apollo 11 CAPCOM -- ''...Neil quickly assumed control, safely missing the crater, but leaving the Eagle with only seconds of fuel left!...''
Charlie Duke Signed Handwritten Essay on Serving as Apollo 11 CAPCOM -- ''...Neil quickly assumed control, safely missing the crater, but leaving the Eagle with only seconds of fuel left!...''
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$1,700
Auction closed on Thursday, August 26, 2021.
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