A piece of space history has sold at auction for US$744,994 after the moondust-besmirched checklist Apollo 17 Commander Gene Cernan wore on his spacesuited wrist during the last crewed lunar mission went on the block at RR Auctions.
Previously sold in 2021, the checklist was worn by Cernan on the third and final surface EVA of Apollo 17 while walking on the Moon in the Taurus Littrow region on December 14, 1972. It contained a detailed list of tasks for the astronauts to complete, penned notes by Cernan, maps of the area (a first for lunar exploration), and three cartoons of astronaut dogs inserted by the backup crew – an Apollo tradition of leaving surprises for the primary crew in the checklist.
However, what set this 25-page spiral-bound checklist apart from others that went to the Moon was that Cernan, aware that he would be the last man to leave the satellite, had made crib notes of the plaque affixed to the ladder of the Lunar Module Challenger and for what he would say before he climbed into the spacecraft.
“‘Here man completed his first exploration of the Moon, December 1972 AD,” said Cernan, quoting the plaque. “‘May the spirit of peace in which we came be reflected in the lives of all mankind.
“This is our commemoration that will be here until someone like us, until some of you who are out there, who are the promise of the future, come back to read it again and to further the exploration and the meaning of Apollo.
“As I take man’s last step from the surface, back home for some time to come – but we believe not too long into the future – I’d like to just [say] what I believe history will record. That America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17.”
The video below highlights the Cernan checklist.
Source: RR Auction