May 6, 2013
Auction House Puts Neil Armstrong’s Heartbeat On The Block
Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
A New Hampshire auction house has announced that it will soon be accepting bids for the electrocardiogram of Neil Armstrong´s heartbeat taken when he first stepped onto the moon from the Apollo 11 spacecraft in July 1969.The slow, metronomic heartbeat represented by the EKG stands in stark contrast to that of Armstrong´s pilot Buzz Aldrin.
"It was really slow on the way down, while Aldrin's was racing" Gerald Schaber, who monitored Armstrong's heartbeat during the Apollo 11 landing, told PCMag. "But that was typical of Neil. Just like the first thing he really said was, 'Houston we have engine shut down here,' really calmly.”
“It was then he said, 'The eagle has landed,' for the TV networks. He was just that cool," Schaber added.
Based in Amherst, the RR Auction House will accept online bids on the EKG and other space memorabilia starting May 16 through May23.
“Our May space auction is really shaped up to be an incredible event, probably our best one yet,” said the auction house´s executive vice president, Bobby Livingston, in a web video.
The auction house is planning to offer a wide range of items from the fields of aerospace and aviation in the same auction.
One of the mote noteworthy items up for auction is the Apollo 11 command module´s joystick-style controller. Measuring 4.5 inches tall with a black trigger-style push-to-talk switch near the top, the controller was one of three such devices used to maneuver the spacecraft along three axes.
“This handle would have been mounted to the right of the center couch, which means it was probably between Aldrin and Collins during the flight of Apollo 11's Command Module and would have been used as a backup to the Commander's control (Neil Armstrong's),” a statement on the house´s website said.
According to auction officials, more than 85 lots of Apollo 11 material will be available in the auction.
Several notable aviation-related items are also being put up for bid in the same auction, including a swatch of cloth from the Spirit of St. Louis signed by Charles Lindberg. According to the auction house, this piece of cloth was most likely signed on Lindbergh´s tour across America that followed his historic trans-Atlantic flight. From July to October 1927, the famed pilot touched down in all 48 states to make appearances, give speeches and ride in parades.
Two items associated with the Wright brothers are also going up for sale, including sketches of the Kitty Hawk, wing schematics and a letter written by the two aviation pioneers. In the rare letter to one of his newly trained French pilots, Wilbur Wright warns, “Before you permit a pupil to fly alone be very sure to caution him to rise not higher than three or four meters from the ground.”
“There´s over 800 lots in this auction so there´s an incredible amount of rare flown artifacts and some unique signed material,” Livingston said. “These types of items don´t come on the market often and this is your chance to add them to your incredible space collection.”