A long time ago in a galaxy not so far away . . . brave men landed on our Earth’s moon, and lived to tell the tale. And ever since then, anything associated with the ‘Space Race’ has been incredibly collectible. Autographs are, of course, the most widely available kind of memorabilia. Much more rare and far more interesting are the various physical artifacts generated by the missions. At the top of this spectrum are the actual moon-rocks gathered from the lunar surface, and now exist in aerospace museums, government holdings, and a few private collections; next in desirability: equipment, tools, and gear that very occasionally come to market; however, these objects are understandably few and far between. In the middle-spectrum is the various media and ephemera created by NASA that constitutes, in my opinion, the most interesting and accessible market to collectors of space exploration history.
And here is one such compelling example: an original super-16mm film documenting highlights of Apollo missions 12 and 13. The original packaging states that this item originates from the official recording studios of the United States House of Representatives, and documents the ‘Open & Close’ of those voyages (presumably: lift-off and splash-down).
It would be absolutely fantastic to see and hear what’s on this tape; however, as time passes, this item becomes more important as a physical object than as a document. Like an ancient clay tablet spidered with cuneiform characters, this is a compelling marker to and evocative evidence of a certain point in time; though once designed to deliver specific data, it is now valuable not just for the information it once conveyed, but as an artifact that connects us to distant historic events.