for the return to Earth, and kept them as part of his personal space collection.
In his letter of certification, Duke stated "It is my opinion that the grey smudges on the handles are traces of lunar dust.” A Heritage auction in March 2008 they were sold for $33,460.
4) Apollo 16 Lunar Module Flown Spacecraft Identification Plate Display
Three Lunar Module identification plates were flown on Apollo 16, and once back on Earth they were mounted and presented to the crew members. Each display was accompanied with a plaque which read: "ORION.... A MIGHTY GOOD SPACECRAFT ....A GREAT LUNAR BASE"
The quote is a reference to the comment made by Young as the Orion capsule was jettisoned before the return to Earth. The plaque came from the personal collection of Young himself, and was sold by Heritage in March 2009 for $33,460.
3) Apollo 16 Lunar Module Optical Alignment Sight
The piece of precision equipment was vital in allowing the module to dock with Apollo 16 after its mission to the lunar surface, and at the time was just one of the many tools in which the astronauts entrusted their lives.
It was sold in October 2009 at a Heritage auction for an impressive $65,725, and is one of the very few items of lunar module technology to have appeared on the market.
2) Apollo 16 Lunar Surface Excursion Map
The Apollo 16 mission took Young and Duke to unexplored region’s of the lunar surface, and this map was held by Duke as Young drove the rover. It was signed by Duke with the comment "In all probability the dark smudges are lunar dust from direct contact with the surface."
Objects marked with lunar dust are some of the rarest imaginable, and the holy grail for space collectors. Therefore it’s no surprise that this map sold for $94,000 at a Christie’s auction in 2001.
1) Charles Duke’s wrist-mounted checklist
The most valuable Apollo 16 memorabilia item is also one of the simplest: a metal-bound booklet strapped to the wrist of Duke’s space suit.
Its pages include a cartoon of a drooling astronaut in the arms of a buxom nude woman, proclaiming "Happy Birthday Whatever Your Name Is.” It was drawn as a joke by NASA engineers. The booklet sold for a stunning $206,000 in July 2009 making it one of the most expensive pieces of space memorabilia ever sold at auction.
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